If you’ve been hibernating this winter, then I hope you’re getting hungry. Once the calendar flips to April, three huge DC food festivals and events are taking place within two weeks of each other.
The action kicks off with DC Taste of the Nation on April 4th, moves ahead to Washington City Paper‘s Best of D.C. two nights later on April 6th, and continues with the Cochon555 tour the following week, on the 17th. It’s time to plan out your caloric intake, and your party budget, accordingly.
DC Taste of the Nation – April 4th
DC’s Taste of the Nation Event benefits No Kid Hungry, and takes place this year on April 4th at the National Building Museum. So while you’re busy stuffing your face all night, you’re actually doing it for a good cause, to help more children across the country get the healthy food they need. The 2015 event helped to provide more than 2.3 million healthy meals to children.
The event is headed by “chef chair” Bryan Voltaggio, “dessert chair” Tiffany MacIsaac, “mixology chair” Derek Brown, and “sommelier chair” Nadine Brown. They’re all backed up by dozens of big name restaurants from across the area
In addition to the food and drink, expect a DJ, table games from Maryland Live, auction items, and other entertainment.
Taste of the Nation runs from 6 to 9:30pm for VIP, with general admission starting an hour later. Tickets range from $275 for VIP Plus to $120 for G.A. Purchase Taste of the Nation tickets here.
The 4th Annual Best of D.C. Celebration – April 6th
Washington City Paper’s Best of D.C. Celebration takes place this year at the DC Armory, and honors the winners of the paper’s annual reader’s poll and awards. There will be tastings from more than 50 restaurants, cocktails from many of the best bartenders in the city, and multiple stages with live music and other entertainment.
Tickets to the event cost $65 for General Admission, with admission starting at 7pm, or $100 for VIP, with admission starting an hour earlier. VIP ticket holders also bring home a swag bag and enjoy access to a VIP lounge.
Ticket prices will increase on March 28th. Buy Best of DC tickets online here.
Portions of the proceeds go to Brainfood, and Words Beats & Life Inc.
Washington D.C. Cochon555 – April 17th
The 8th annual Cochon555 tour, which stops at 18 cities across the country, treks to D.C. on April 17th. The event takes place at the Loews Madison Hotel this year, and pits five big name chefs against one another in a competition. This year’s crew includes Jonah Kim of Yona, Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Ripple, Jennifer Carroll of Requin, Anthony Lombardo of The Hamilton and host chef Louis Goral of Rural Society Argentine Steakhouse, located at the Loews Madison.
Each of those five chefs prepare up to six dishes, utilizing one whole hog a piece. Guest judges will be on hand to determine the winner, and who gets crowned as the Prince or Princess of Porc. The regional winners from each city then compete for the title of King or Queen of Porc at the Grand Cochon finale event in Aspen on June 18th.
As if 30 different pork plates wasn’t enough, there will also be boutique wines to sample, cocktails, bites from other restaurants and chefs, and all types of artisanal purveyors offering samples of their wares.
The event starts at 5pm on Sunday the 17th, and you can buy your DC Cochon555 tickets online here. And yes, you’re also doing your part for charity with this one too. Cochon555 benefits the Piggy Bank initiative, supporting socially responsible farming.
Before the actual Cochon555 event, find a full weekend of activities, with special dinners hosted by previous winners Mike Isabella and Scott Drewno. The latter hosts an all-inclusive Late Night Asian Speakeasy at The Source on Friday night, while Isabella hosts a three-hour chef’s course dinner at Graffiato. Each event is limited to only 40 seats, priced at $125 with all proceeds benefiting Piggy Bank.