Where the foodies hang out

The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show is all about food and the chefs who are cooking it. This year’s ninth annual show was held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., last Saturday and Sunday.

MetroCooking DC engages foodies from around the East Coast by offering a unique culinary experience featuring appearances by Food Network celebrities, a number of the district’s James Beard award-winning chefs and tastings from the most noted restaurants, as well as culinary classes, orkshops, book signings and more.

Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri of Food Network both did on-the-scene cooking demonstrations for live audiences and book signings to follow. Victor Albisu, Caitlin Dysart, and Cathal Armstrong, just to name a few, are the district’s James Beard award winning chefs who did live cooking segments and answered audience questions.

This was my first time attending the metro food show and I must say I was really impressed with the layout and the variety of vendors they had throughout the convention center. As a natural foodie myself, it was good to see so many people interested and exploring different food.

The diversity of vendors was astounding to see, from people selling olive oil from Italy to popcorn that was colored green and red for Christmas, and the best chef knives I have ever cut with. Every year, the food world comes out with new gadgets to make the home cook’s life easier and more enjoyable in the kitchen. This year I saw a new kitchen grater, for garlic to parmesan cheese. The grater was handmade and painted in Spain and the craftsmanship was remarkable.

I didn’t eat breakfast before I went because I knew that I would be sampling everything I could get my hands on while I was there. I had funfetti-colored popcorn, duck liver pâté and foie gras; some were better than others.

I love being a chef because I can try different food from all around the world and compare flavors from different cultures. This exhibit wouldn’t be possible without the help of hundreds of volunteers and willing chefs who gave up time in their busy schedules to show the metro D.C. area what’s happening in today’s restaurant world. As an up and coming chef myself, I learned a lot and was humbled to see so many people there involved around food.

The exact date for next year’s show has not been announced, but if you love food and want to see the newest trends for food around the world, purchase your tickets and make your way over to the D.C. area. The two- day show is all about food, and I promise you won’t go home hungry.

Cody Fitchett, of Fort Valley, is a recent graduate of Triplett Tech in Shenandoah County. He will start a four-year bachelor’s degree program in baking and pastry at the Culinary institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in February. Email him at cookboy32@yahoo.com