Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 23, 2014

Posts in "Food"

June 24, 2014

DC Toques Mix Things Up for Charity

Local tastemakers are scheduled to take a crack at custom cocktail creation Thursday during a “Chefs Behind Bars” fundraiser benefitting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

The debut competition is expected to take over the Liaison Capitol Hill’s rooftop deck (415 New Jersey Ave. NW) from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets to the glitzy evening — admission is $40 per person, and includes featured cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres — may be purchased via NoKidHungry.org/Events.

Chefs tasked with whipping up crowd-pleasing tipples include:

  • Alba Osteria’s Amy Brandwein (anticipated contribution: “Peaches & Herbs,” blending together peaches, infused whiskey and herbs)
  • Art and Soul’s Wes Morton
  • Bar Pilar’s Jesse Miller
  • Bibiana’s Nick Stefanelli
  • Cave Mezze’s Dmitri Moshovitis (anticipated contribution: “Melåni,” muddling together Grey Goose vodka, harissa syrup, St-Germain liqueur, lemon, mint and squid ink syrup)
  • Liberty Tavern/Lyon Hall/Northside Social’s Matt Hill
  • Pabu’s Jonah Kim
  • Sunnyside Restaurant Group founder Spike Mendelsohn (anticipated contribution: “Diamond Brady,” a gin-oyster shot spiked with chili-infused bourbon, sherry vinegar and brined egg yolk)

The chefs will be competing for both critical approval (seasoned drinks slingers Derek Brown, Gina Chersevani and Duane Sylvester will join a handful of restaurant writers in passing judgment) as well as general love (people’s choice award). Full story

June 20, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of June 16 (Video)

As summer approaches, members turned to flavored e-cigarettes, arithmetic and CIA analysts on acid to make it through the heat of the week.

June 18, 2014

Hirono Shepherds Taste of Hawaii to the Hill

Of all the “firsts” Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, has accomplished since succeeding retired solon Daniel Akaka, we’re most excited about the inaugural “Taste of Hawaii” event she’s cooked up for late July.

Hirono Shepherds Taste of Hawaii to the Hill

(Courtesy Mazie K. Hirono)

Why it’s taken this long for our friends from the South Pacific to have the culinary stage all to themselves remains somewhat of a mystery.

“No one had ever asked before,” Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, said of the missed opportunity no one had apparently given much thought to before.

Until Hirono came to town. Full story

Bustos Returns Fire as Taste of America Trash Talk Continues

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., has issued a call for bipartisanship in the Taste of America competition, even as she took a subtle dig at the portion size of a fellow Midwesterner’s dish of choice.

After Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, called out Bustos in a recent press release touting Iowa bacon, Bustos responded with a tweet that still managed to slip in a knock at bacon by adding the hashtag, “#itsatoppingnotameal.”

 

Braley issued a colorful statement on Monday about the competition, saying, “Look, I like a good casserole as much as the next guy, and I have a great working relationship with my friend Cheri Bustos from Illinois — but a contest between deep dish pizza and Bacon is no contest at all — bacon wins running away.”

Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:35 p.m.
FightingWords, Food

June 16, 2014

Bruce Braley Extols ‘The Amazingness of Bacon’ in Taste of America Voting

In a release replete with the salty trash-talking language that defines Roll Call’s Taste of America contest, Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, says the votes among the remaining eight foodstuffs shouldn’t even be close and that bacon rightfully rules the world.

“Katy Perry called bacon the ‘meat candy of the world’ and she’s a vegan for crying out loud. Watching bacon lose to one of these second-tier foods would be an injustice,” the Senate hopeful says in the release that went out with the subject line: “Braley: Don’t Go Bacon my Heart.”

Aside from the Elton John/Kiki Dee duet play on words, we have to admire Braley for the brazenness of his appeal. This is raw (or cooked) regional culinary pride, topped out by his office’s claim that “while there are many proud and tasty culinary traditions in the world, they all pale in comparison to the amazingness of bacon.”

Or, as Braley states in the release: “Look, I like a good casserole as much as the next guy, and I have a great working relationship with my friend Cheri Bustos from Illinois — but a contest between deep dish pizza and Bacon is no contest at all — bacon wins running away.”

Voting ends Friday and the winners will be announced on June 25 at the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

And, returning to Braley’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” reference, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also provide the following cover of it by John Travolta and Captain and Tennille.

 

Tom Harkin, George Miller Score Cupcake Title IX Send-Off

Tom Harkin, George Miller Score Cupcake Title IX Send Off

Harkin, left, and Miller can expect cupcakes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The American Association of University Women is sad to see retiring lawmakers Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Rep. George Miller of  California go, but wants to watch them have a blast doing so at a reception featuring bubbly and gourmet baked goods.

The retiring Democrats will be feted on Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Caucus Room (Russell 325) as part of the 42nd anniversary of Title IX. Harkin, the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, and Miller, the ranking member and former chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, are longtime advocates of the university community.

“Cupcakes and champagne will be served,” the open invitation reads. Well-wishers should sign their commitment to their team — Teams Free Booze and/or Sugar Rush — via the online registration site.

Teen Capitalists Demand Congressional Attention, Supply Dessert

Junior Achievement USA’s latest crop of budding entrepreneurs are looking to bend pols’ ears with prospective start-up plans on Tuesday. And the aspiring businesspeople are fully prepared to sweeten the deal by dishing out free ice cream.

JA’s annual “trade fair” is scheduled to take place Tuesday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Hart 902.

Members and staff who attend the presentation will have the opportunity to pick the brains of more than six dozen teen problem-solvers hailing from Chicago; Atlanta; Philadelphia; Los Angeles; Denver; San Diego; Minneapolis-St.Paul; Cupertino, Calif.; St. Louis; Nashville, Tenn.; Tampa, Fla.; Springfield, Mass.; Lancaster, N.Y.; and Camden, Del.

Some of the moneymaking ideas on the minds of the would-be wheelers-and-dealers include:

  • Subscription make-up delivery (a la a lipstick of the month club)
  • School mascot-branded belts
  • Hand-cranked robo vacuum (battery-free operation)
  • Branded digital screen cleaners
  • Customizable bracelets
  • A website development school (Check yo’ self, ITT Tech!)

Organizers said Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Al Franken, D-Minn.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; and Reps. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo.; Chris Collins, R-N.Y.; and Scott Peters, D-Calif., have all agreed to give the projects a look-see.

Their reward?

Jack and Jill ice cream (with assorted toppings) and freshly baked apple pie. And they can wash it all down with lemonade or iced tea.

Exit Interview: Justin Harding

He may be back home in his beloved Beehive State now, but veteran GOP aide Justin Harding tells HOH he will absolutely miss the hustle and bustle — and occasional solitude — of life on Capitol Hill.

The seasoned House aide is following in his latest boss’ footsteps, leaving the side of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, to serve as chief of staff to Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert. Chaffetz did time as chief of staff to then-Utah Gov. John Huntsman before striking out on his own.

Harding started his new gig Monday. Full story

June 14, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of June 9 (Video)

Even with Majority Leader Eric Cantor stealing the spotlight for much of the week, members managed to focus their attention on beef jerky, hamburgers, pools and Ewoks.

June 11, 2014

How Eric Cantor’s Loss Is Like Taste of America

Do you believe in miracles?

It’s been a long time since Al Michaels famously yelled that question after the U.S. hockey team beat the Soviets in 1980 at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. No one thought the U.S. could beat the Soviet Union, at least in hockey. No one thought economics professor Dave Brat could beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Tuesday’s Republican primary in Virginia. Does anyone thinks that, say, Oregon blackberry pie can topple such culinary behemoths as Maine’s lobster roll or Maryland’s crab cakes in the annual Roll Call Taste of America contest.

So, underdog foods, do you believe in miracles?

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:41 p.m.
Food

Plotting Cantor’s Last 24 Hours as Leader

He’s still a ways away from needing to haul a moving van to cart his legislative mementos back to Henrico County, Va. But it’s now painfully obvious that Rep. Eric Cantor is living on borrowed time in Congress.

Plotting Cantor’s Last 24 Hours as Leader

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Virginia Republican saw his career cut short Tuesday after suffering a stunning loss to relatively unknown economics professor Dave Brat in a history-making electoral upset.

We suspect he’s already replaying in his head every single thing he could have done differently. One can only hope he’s sparing himself the indignity of compartmentalizing each crushing blow into a slowly unspooling shame spiral — though that might finally make for an interesting installment of the long-since abandoned “Snapshot of the Leader” series.

Team Cantor briefly experimented with a torturous examination of the House majority leader’s daily activities, but appears to have given up on the documenting process after just 120 mind-numbing minutes.

Hour One

Hour Two

Confidence is low they’ll revive the video diary for his last official day here on Capitol Hill. But we can’t help but wonder just what that might look like. Full story

June 10, 2014

Minnesota Democrats Stump for #VoteDuluth

It’s coming down to the wire in Outside’s fourth annual “Best Towns Tournament,” and Minnesota Democrats are doing their darnedest to ensure that nobody, but nobody — that means you, Beehive Staters — comes between Duluth and sweet, sweet victory.

Minnesota Democrats Stump for #VoteDuluth

(Screenshot)

The monthlong competition has seen its share of ups and downs, with the two top contenders battling hard for national recognition.

Along the way, Duluth handily disposed of Columbia, Mo. (enjoying a nearly 5-to-1 advantage in the first round); then trumped Athens, Ohio (second round); La Crosse, Wis. (third round); neighboring Minneapolis (fourth round) and Asheville, N.C. (fifth round), to reach the finals.

Provo bested Jackson, Wyo. (first round); Taos, N.M. (second round); Missoula, Mont. (third round); Anchorage, Alaska (fourth round), and then just barely squeaked by Ithaca, N.Y. (receiving just 51 percent of the votes in the fifth round), in its bid to achieve destination travel dominance.

With municipal bragging rights up for grabs through Sunday (voting closes just before the stroke of midnight June 15), the Minnesota delegation is letting the trash talk fly.

 

Full story

June 9, 2014

Drink In the Granite State’s Awesomeness on Wednesday

The New Hampshire delegation will welcome scores of home-state businesses — including a baker’s dozen of booze makers — to the Capitol Wednesday for the fifth annual “Experience New Hampshire” reception.

Drink In the Granite State’s Awesomeness on Wednesday

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats Jeanne Shaheen, Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster and their Republican counterpart, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, are poised to once again co-host the epicurean love fest.

The invite-only taste-around is scheduled to take place Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Caucus Room (Russell 325).

Per Shaheen’s office, first-timers Ali Baba’s Wholefoods Festival and Treasures, Michele’s Sweet Shoppe, gourmet chocolatier Lindt and New Hampshire Mushroom Company are all expected to inject new life into the noshing side. Shaheen favorites Granite State Candy Shoppe and L.A. Burdick are safely back in the rotation.

Meanwhile, newly recruited beer slingers Great Rhythm Brewing Company, The Prodigal Brewery and Throwback Brewery will join the ranks of an already impressive tippling line-up scheduled to include:

We’re feeling punchy (hic!) just thinking about all the guzzling — ahem, responsible sipping — that lies ahead.

Taste of America Elite Eight Is Set

The final round of this year’s Taste of America competition is off and running, with the Elite Eight facing off for the title of America’s favorite food.

Will the sweet or the savory win top honors? Will the debate over whether Maine or Maryland has superior seafood finally be put to rest? Time will tell as the final round of voting ends on June 20.

The final round contains Utah’s cherry cobbler, Oregon’s blackberry pie, Iowa bacon, Illinois deep dish pizza, Maine’s lobster roll, Maryland crab cakes, Kentucky fried chicken and North Carolina barbecue.

Oregon’s blackberry pie was the top vote-getter in the third round, but the dish made it into the final round by a mere 84 votes, besting Montana steak. Maine’s lobster roll won its spot in the final round by the highest margin, beating Delaware’s boardwalk fries by more than 4,000 votes.

The winner of the competition will be announced on June 25 at a reception during the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

So the choice is yours, America. Don’t forget to exercise your right and vote.

 

June 5, 2014

Rock Lobster! Maine Crustacean Cruising in Taste of America

The Maine lobster roll continues to claw its way to the top of the Taste of America 3rd Round vote totals, steamrolling (so far) Delaware’s boardwalk fries in a regional seafaring fight.

In other Round 3 action, Montana steak is pounding Oregon blackberry pie in a contest attracting many thousands of votes, and New York buffalo wings are taking flight against another Eastern bottom-dwelling protein, Maryland crab cakes. Round 3 might be one of the crueler brackets, as it makes difficult choices imminent. Who really wants to choose between Iowa bacon and Wisconsin macaroni and cheese? Don’t they go together so well?

Round 3 voting ends Friday, so make sure your vote counts.

By Jason Dick Posted at 11:54 a.m.
Food

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