Old Town Alexandria
Since 2006, Chefs Christophe and Michelle Poteaux's award winning brasserie and wine bar located in Old Town Alexandria has continued to offer guests a contemporary spin on French cuisine set within a sophisticated yet comfortable atmosphere.
U St. Corridor/Atlas District
Virginia Ali &Sonya Ali
Virginia Ali is now 85 years old and she started the restaurant with her husband Ben when she was only 24. On August 22, 2019, Ben’s Chili Bowl will turn 61. But it’s not just a birthday for Ben’s, it’s a celebration of DC’s African American history, culture, and character. It’s a celebration of our city, and U Street’s resilience.
DC’s residents have a long history of bouncing back from hard times. Our Black community is front and center in this story and Ben’s is a perfect case study – a study in our quest of freedom and it’s ongoing re-definition.
The jolly, larger-than-life personality and myriad scattershot interests of Gina Chersevani belie this renaissance woman’s ability to apply intense focus to any task at hand. Whether she’s practically inventing a professional field from her passion for ultra-creative mixology, or securing DC’s only mobile liquor license for her 1967 Airstream bar, or creating a popular hipster, “Jewish style” deli inspired by her mother’s beloved childhood soda shop, Chersevani dreams big dreams, and wills them into being.
Daniela Moreira is the Executive Chef of DC’s award-winning Timber Pizza Co. and buzzed about new sister restaurant, Call Your Mother, (a Jew-ish deli). Daniela grew up in Argentina learning to cook alongside her mother who provided meals for the family’s summer campground. After moving to the United States at the age of 20 to learn English, Daniela won a scholarship to attend the Culinary Institute of America, which then led to an internship at New York City’s iconic Eleven Madison Park. In 2015, Daniela moved to Washington, D.C., where she met Andrew Dana and Chris Brady, Co-Owners of Timber Pizza Co., in a blue 1967 Chevy truck that they parked at local farmers’ markets. The rest is history.
A family operation, led by brother and sister, Chef Peter Prime and Jeanine Prime, Cane is all about bridging cultures through food. Its concept pays tribute to the siblings’ native Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, where African, Indian, Spanish, French, and East Asian food and culture all weave deeply throughout the country’s unique history. The Cane experience—sharing a roti tiffin box, sipping diverse rums from the West Indies, and liming with friends and neighbors—embodies the multiculturalism at the core of Trinidadians’ identities.
At Centrolina restaurant and market in CityCenterDC, Chef and Owner Amy Brandwein shows Washingtonians the versatility, grace, and overall delicacy of Italian cuisine. The four- time James Beard Award nominee believes food should taste as good as in Italy, plated with pose, and viewed through the seasonal lens of the Mid-Atlantic—tenets she instills in her fast- casual project, Piccolina, an osteria that opened across the alley from Centrolina in July 2019. “I take Italian food and keep it in its raw state but elevate it presentation-wise without complicating it or losing flavor,” Brandwein explains. “There is something inherently captivating about Italian flavors with an artistic and modern edge, while still being fresh and natural.”
Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon
Founded by Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon, Chaia is a female led, female run business that believes everything’s better in a taco and making the world a better place starts with the food we eat. From a stand at the Washington D.C. farmer’s market to our first Georgetown spot, Chaia is expanding in the nation’s capitol and beyond.
DC Wharf/14th St. Corridor
Welcome to a lively spot where the colors are as vibrant as the flavors. Share in the Cuban way to start and end the day. At Colada Shop we bring people together by transporting them into a space where conversation is flowing, strong coffee is brewed, food & cocktails are made with the flare of Cuban flavor and life. Coladas and conversation go hand in hand. Reach for a cup. Stay for a snack. Order a drink. We are committed to providing quality products, excellent service, and unparalleled hospitality to our patrons.
Rose Previte comes from a food loving Sicilian-Lebanese family. She spent years helping to run her mother's catering business and later her restaurant. Rose spent over a decade working in bars and restaurants. She worked at Mike Schuster's Pour House for over six years, while getting a master's degree in Public Policy from George Mason University. Rose married David Greene, NPR journalist, and joined him when he was posted in Russia. In almost three years’ time the couple traveled to 30 countries, absorbing their street and market foods, and the energy of diverse cultures. These travels reinforced her strong commitment to community, and to offering people the chance to taste delicious foods and discover the meaning behind them, which inspired the opening of Compass Rose in 2014.
Ballston Quarter/Dulles Town Center
Since 2009, Cookology has touched the lives of thousands of people at our locations at Dulles Town Center and Ballston Quarter. The goal is simply to inspire people to connect with friends and family over a great meal. We teach folks to do this everyday by offering professionally taught, hands-on cooking classes in our safe commercial kitchens.
At Cookology, we believe that with practice and patience you can begin to change your life and the lives of your children by learning how to cook and changing what you eat. We hope to encourage every adult and child we meet to make cooking a lifelong passion.
14th St. NW
Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts opened Cork Wine Bar in January 2008 in their Logan Circle neighborhood with the dream of creating a welcoming space for people to come with friends and family to try outstanding wines, often from unexplored regions of the world, paired with delicious, simple, local food.
Riverdale Park/Silver Springs
Julie Verratti and Emily Bruno
Co-founders Emily, Jeff, & Julie opened the doors to Denizens Brewing Co. in 2014 as the first production brewery in Montgomery County, MD. A place to enjoy high quality, locally made craft beer and hard seltzer in a warm and welcoming space that is inclusive of everyone. Craft beer doesn’t need to be exclusive, and that is why we started this company. Everyone has a seat at our table. Everyone matters. And everyone deserves delicious craft beer made right in their own neighborhood by people who live in their neighborhood.
Mom & Pop
Mosaic District/Bethesda/City Center/Hirshhorn Museum
Violeta grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina and her love of gelato is strongly influenced by her Argentine roots. Violeta attended American University where she studied communications. She started her career in production working in television and documentaries at National Geographic. In 2004, Violeta co-founded Dolcezza along her husband Robb Duncan because they wanted to connect people to real food. She currently serves as Dolcezza’s CEO, leading a team of 100 employees, 5 retail shops, 1 production facility and a wholesale program that includes 100 restaurants, and 1500 grocery stores throughout the country.
Dolcezza gelato has been regarded by many, including Saveur, Bon Appetit, Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, to be among the best in the country.
Violeta comes from a long lineage of feminists, a strong supporter of women, she recently completed the James Beard Foundation Women Entrepreneurial Leadership program.
Violeta lives in Washington DC with her husband and 3 daughters.
Dupont Circle/DC Wharf/Old Town Alexandria
Old Town Alexandria
Chef Jamie Leeds is a pioneering and tenacious female entrepreneur who has spent her career fostering community, mentoring other female business owners and culinary professionals, and supporting sustainable practices across her restaurants and the seafood industry at-large.
Founded in 2016, Healthy Fresh Meals was born out the need for a home cooked meal that was healthy, convenient, and delicious. We believe that high-quality, healthy food should be accessible to everyone. Headquartered in Hyattsville, MD, the team focuses on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, that are prepared by professionally trained chefs.
Old Town Alexandria
Meshelle Armstrong and Zena Polin
Meshelle Armstrong, of the famed Restaurant Eve and Michelin Bib Gourmand Kaliwa on the Wharf, and Zena Polin of RAMMY winning, The Daily Dish, and The Dish & Dram, have partnered to create a new femmepire to include Hummingbird Bar + Kitchen and their new epicurean concept devoted to food – Beauty.
Pentagon Row/Woodley Park
Grace Shea and Gladys Abi-Najm
WOMEN'S FOOD FEST SPECIAL
Grace Abi-Najm Shea’s pick- Camel Wings- "Nice and lemony these are a big hit with my whole family especially my 12 year old son. They’re baked and fried which makes them the perfect bite!)
Marie Abi-Najm’s pick- Moujardara-“This is the most essential family meal in Lebanon. Made from things you always have in your pantry and something everyone loves. Frying the onions makes it even more special”
Gladys Abi-Najm’s pick- Salmon Harra- “I get this almost every time I eat in the restaurant and it comes out perfect each time. The salmon is cooked well without being overcooked and the sauce is to die for!”
Le Mirch is a South Asian restaurant that brings the taste of South Asian delicacies to Washington DC. We always serve freshly cooked food just the way our customers want to ensure they are satisfied. Our spice level is always the customer's choice. We have been impacted by covid as well but we are here to serve people.
The District Fishwife is a family-owned small business operated by partners Fiona Lewis and Ben Friedman, who have lived together in the Washington, DC area since 2009. Fiona and Ben share a passion for all things aquatic and a commitment to promoting healthy and abundant oceans for future generations. Fiona’s upbringing in Australia was marked by her family’s passion for fishing, seafood, and conservation of local fish species in her native state of Victoria. Prior to moving to the United States, Fiona was a seasoned hospitality professional working in both casual and fine-dining establishments in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia.
“Food has played a vital role in helping me connect with others throughout my life, and for years I’ve considered how I could help others make similar connections with their immigrant neighbors. The D.C. area has some of the best, and most diverse, immigrant-owned restaurants in the nation. Many of these restaurants are hidden gems, and I want to help others discover these culinary treasures.” -Mary
DC : Dupont Circle/Georgetown/Spring Valley
MD : Hyatsville
We opened Pizzeria Paradiso so we could make the kind of pizza we longed for but couldn’t find in the DC area; the kind of pizza where the crust was the most important part. To create that pizza, we start with a wood-burning, domed, stone oven able to cook at a temperature of 650 degrees and above. Then we placed the oven at the heart of the restaurant so our guests would feel the warmth and comfort of its glow.
Pluma is a café concept from the folks behind D.C.'s acclaimed Bluebird Bakery. After providing Washingtonian restaurants and cafes with signature, high-quality wholesale pastries for years, proprietors Camila Arango and Tom Wellings are thrilled to be serving guests in their own bakery.
POW POW is an award winning plant-based Asian, organic and kosher certified fast-casual restaurant located in the heart of the popular H Street, North East corridor of Washington, DC.
Adapting classic Chinese, Japanese and Korean techniques through corporate American food models, POW-POW creates its version of “New Asian” cuisine. Serving creative plant-based salads, hearty bowls and Egg rolls the size of your arm. Using the highest-quality natural-ingredients from local farms when available, POW POW serves its unique version of creative, fun and healthy food in a culture rich environment.
Valerie Zweig and Taryn Pellicone
Valerie Zweig and Taryn Pellicone have a new nickname: The Soup Ladies.
The gals behind Rx Chicken™ started delivering soup to hungry bellies through the Washington, DC area in September of 2016.
Valerie and Taryn, in addition to being soup aficionados, are cousins who have strong hospitality backgrounds.
They channeled their love of all things chicken soup to create a business dedicated solely to churning out bowls of liquid gold. You can find their liquid gold in DC and Philadelphia and in grocery stores such as Whole Foods Market, King’s Food Markets and Balducci’s in Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and even into Connecticut
Toyin Alli, the Owner/Chef of Puddin' got her start ten years ago as a street food vendor at DC's historic Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. Since her start, Puddin' has grown to include Union Market, various local markets and two food trucks.
At Puddin', Toyin specializes in divine comfort food including chicken 'n beef sausage gumbo, shrimp 'n grits, etouffee, red beans 'n rice, shrimp, Rappahannock oyster and wild blue catfish po'boys and of course, her signature dish and the company's namesake, Brown Butter Bourbon Bread Puddin'.
Patrice Cleary’s passion for cooking came at a very young age. Born in the Philippines to a Filipino mother from Bicol, and an American father from Massachusetts, her family moved to the U.S. when she was still a baby. Her mother’s desire to acclimate herself and her children to the American way of living but still hold onto her Filipino roots was a challenge but ultimately she did it through food.
Razieh (Razzi) who founded Razzicakes Bakery - had the courage to launch her new small business in the midst of COVID. Razzicakes is a custom home based bakery business. All of the ingredients in thecakes and icing are all natural/ organic. Razzi believes that it takes clean and simple ingredients in order to indulge in the best tasting cakes.
Charese John is more than a “chef” and way beyond the title of “designer.” John is a creative force with plenty of innovation, vision, and talent. She can see the horizon and she knows how to build it. John has roots in the soil of Corporate Hospitality via Fortune 500 companies like Safeway and Dean & Deluca. Those roots grew stronger as co-owner of Revive Events & Catering, a boutique catering business in Washington, DC.
The mission is to create expanded experiences to merge worlds of cuisine with culture and custom designs.
West End/Foggy Bottom
Ris Lacoste is one of the most respected and dedicated chefs working in Washington D.C. today. She has earned her reputation built upon high-quality ingredients, bold innovative technique, and food that is both familiar and simply delicious. A James Beard nominated chef, Ris Lacoste is chef and owner of her West End DC bistro, RIS.
It is 2020, and we have just celebrated 31 years at the helm of the DC restaurant scene! My 18 years in the Tuscan countryside fueled the passion, authenticity and the magic for i Ricchi that has earned us accolades and awards such as the Hottest Restaurant in Washington and One of the Best Italian Restaurants in the World.
Simply Fresh was born in 2015 when Rana quit her professional career and sought to turn her vision into a realty. It was not an easy start but with her determination and hard work she grew her own business.
Simply Fresh is a unique Mediterranean American restaurant in the heart of downtown Mclean. It’s a neighborhood attraction that brings together families, businesses and locals. The fresh ingredients and herbs around the patio give the place a nice touch.
Del Ray- Alexandria, VA
Smallcakes was originally founded in Kansas City in 2008 by Jeff Martin. Jeff and his cupcake creations have landed appearances on "Cupcake Wars" and "The View."
We opened our doors as a part of the Smallcakes family in July 2018. Smallcakes NOVA is a locally women owned and operated franchise nestled in the heart of Del Ray-Alexandria, VA. All of our cupcakes are made by hand in small batches each and every morning!
Don't forget about our ice cream which is also made by hand in small batches!
Sara Quinteros Shilling
Shilling Canning Company is a modern Mid-Atlantic restaurant where Executive Chef Reid Shilling and his wife Sara, serve their take on seasonal cuisine highlighting ingredients from around the Chesapeake region.
Mandy and Joe Neuman founded Sloppy Mama’s BBQ in the summer of 2014. The couple catered their own wedding several years before, a proper pig picking, in the style of the pig pickings from years spent in Southern Virginia. From the catered wedding, family and friends starting asking for pig roasts of their own. They bought a food truck and set out to make the best bbq they could with one goal in mind…making people happy.
DC & VA
Southeastern Roastery, the coffee brand of Southeastern Roast and Brewery, started in 2016 with roots in Isle of Wight, Virginia and Washington D.C. Beautifully southern, it is committed to promoting the cultural exchange, open dialogue, and
collective creativity that coffee communion has historically and internationally nurtured. Southeastern Roastery unabashedly continues in this warm tradition by offering fresh, high quality, specialty coffees and sharing inspiring roasts in love.
Take your thyme was my lifelong dream! After a vast experience working in different areas of gastronomy, I’ve finally decided to pursue this dream of launching a startup and also because I now have more time to explore my skills and create unique menus. I’m Brazilian born and mixing my country’s culinary background with my experience, I bring you a comfort fusion cuisine deliciously fresh menu to be enjoyed either at the comfort of your home or even at work. Ready-to-eat, just microwave or water bath take your thyme’s single serving fresh vacuum sealed meals and plate them.
Taqueria Del Barrio is the Mexican concept from the owners of DC Empanadas; Chef Anna Bran-Leis and Shawn Leis. Our menu features many authentic Mexican recipes as well as some modern takes on classic Latin American dishes. Everything is made daily, from scratch including our hand made corn tortillas. Our bar menu was crafted by Bar Manager and features a wide array of classic and signature cocktails
Dupont Circle/Union Market/Penn Quarter
Michelle Brown and Linda Neumann
We founded Teaism in 1996 with the goal of making exquisite loose leaf tea accessible to all. In a time and place where tea was conceived as either a dark powder in a bag with a string - to be sweetened heavily and discarded - or a stuffy afternoon affair with china and linens, we wanted to highlight the beautiful diversity of the camellia sinensis plant itself. We wanted our guests to be enrolled in their choice to drink tea and have a relationship to the leaf.
Baking is in my blood and I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my grandmother taught me that the only tool you need is a wooden spoon and you could bake anything. The Wooden Spoon Cakery is a place for me to stretch my creative limits one baked good at a time.
Everything that I make comes straight from my kitchen baked with the freshest ingredients and a great deal of love and care.
Whatever the occasion, I strive to provide each customer with a cake that represents them and their vision as best I can.