Chef Mike Isabella competed against four other renowned DC chefs in the 5th Annual Cochon 555, a one-of-a-kind traveling culinary competition and tasting event to promote sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs. Mike Isabella was crowned the “Prince of Porc” at this year’s DC competition held April 7th at the Newseum. He will compete for the national title in June at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, CO.
The competition required each chef to prepare a menu created from one entire heritage breed pig by creating dishes using all of its parts. Isabella won the title with six dishes, including a pig’s head parm, and a nutella cookie with whipped pork fat frosting, and the crowd’s favorite – a pork fat arancini.
See the slideshow below for photos from the event.
This April, Mike Isabella will be joining Top Chef hosts Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons along with other chef’testants aboard the luxurious Celebrity Constellation. Bravo Media is hosting the April 11-15, 2013 cruise, which sets sail from Miami, with stops in Key West, Florida and Cozumel, Mexico. The float plan includes interactive “Quickfire” cooking challenges, culinary demonstrations, Q&A sessions, Top Chef prepared menus, and a cocktail party. If you are interested in rubbing elbows with Mike, and other stars of the Emmy-winning reality competition, visit http://www.topchefthecruise.com. It’s sure to be a first class culinary vacation.
The top 10 nominees in each category will move on to the final round, which will be decided by popular vote using the same link over a two-week period, February 26–March 10.
Thank you for your support!
Join Chef Mike Isabella and Taha Ismail at the 5th annual Sips & Suppers, a celebration of food and community hosted by José Andrés, Joan Nathan, and Alice Waters on January 26th and 27th, 2013. Some of the country’s finest chefs, artisans and mixologists will come together to raise money for DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table, organizations that serve the neediest individuals in our nation’s capital.
Nominations for the prestigious 2013 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards are now open to the public. Support Graffiato and Chef Mike Isabella with votes for Outstanding Bar Program and Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. The deadline to nominate is December 31, 2012 and winners will be announced May 6, 2013.
For more information and to cast your vote today, visit: http://jamesbeard.starchefs.com/awards/vote/index_2.php.
On October 29, watch Graffiato’s Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley take on other D.C. chefs at the American Institute of Wine & Food’s seventh annual “I Love Crab Cakes!” competition and fundraiser, honoring Karen Cathey. Guests will sample each chef’s unique take on crab cakes, along with carefully selected wines and seasonal beers from Port City Brewing Company. Chefs Scott Drewno and Ris Lacoste will emcee the event at Phillips Flagship restaurant.
AIWF’s “I Love Crab Cakes!” Competition
WHEN: Monday, October 29, 6:30-9:00pm
WHERE: Phillips Seafood, 900 Water Street SW, Washington, D.C.
TICKETS: Tickets are $60 for AIWF members / $75 for non-members, and can be purchased here.
Mike Isabella’s Crazy Good Italian is available nationwide September 25. The first cookbook signing takes place at Graffiato on September 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Top Chef All-Star Runner-Up Mike Isabella puts his gnocchi where his mouth is with 200 Mediterranean recipes that pack a modern punch.
Millions know Mike Isabella as a tough-talking Top Chef competitor and the celebrity chef behind hot new D.C. restaurants Graffiato and Bandolero. Now, in his first cookbook, Mike Isabella’s Crazy Good Italian, you’ll be able to taste the chef’s New Jersey childhood alongside the refined flavors that come from decades in the culinary world. Inspired by the food his Italian-American grandmother prepared, Isabella serves up 200 recipes for everyday meals that appeal to the heart and the appetite, with a modern twist. These are “small plates” versions of Mediterranean classics, made lighter and more flavorful. Isabella shares his secret family recipes, the dishes that made him famous on Top Chef, and signature meals from his restaurant. From Ricotta with Charred Scallion and Harissa to Grandma’s Potato Gnocchi, Chicken Wings with Pepperoni Sauce to Carnival-Style Zeppoles with Seasonal Sugars, home cooks will taste the pure joy these meals can bring. Delivering lip-smacking food (and talking some smack while he’s at it), Isabella makes Italian fun to cook again.
The first book signing will take place at Graffiato in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, September 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This event is open to the public. Reservations for brunch are also available, but not required to purchase a cookbook.
Visit the tour page for additional book signing events, dates and locations.
Pre-order your copy online:
Graffiato joins more than 100 of the area’s finest restaurants as a proud partner of the National Zoo’s annual fundraiser, ZooFari. The event features gourmet food and wine tastings, entertainment, animal demonstrations, and a silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the Zoo’s conservation, research, and education program. Additionally, Mike Isabella and other acclaimed chefs will judge the Sweet Eats Challenge, a zoo-themed cake decorating contest.
When: Thursday, May 17, 2012, 6:30-9:30pm
Where: National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
More Information/Tickets: fonz.org/zoofari.htm.
Chef Mike Isabella will join other renowned chefs at the National Restaurant Association World Culinary Showcase 2012 in Chicago, IL! A cooking demonstration theater will provide event attendees an interactive setting to watch and learn from the culinary masters who will perform live on stage throughout the four-day showcase, May 5-8. Chef Mike Isabella will demonstrate on Monday, May 7 at 1:00pm.
More information: http://www.restaurant.org/show/register.cfm
Chef Mike Isabella will compete against four other renowned D.C. chefs in the fourth annual Cochon 555, a one-of-a-kind travelling culinary competition and tasting event to promote sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs. The chefs will prepare a menu created from heritage breed pigs, nose-to-tail, for an audience of pork-loving epicureans. Guests will also enjoy wines from five family wineries, in addition to cocktail samples and other treats. The Cochon 555 winner in D.C. will go on to compete against other regional winners at the finale Grand Cochon event at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, CO in June.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
4pm VIP Opening; 5pm General Admission
The Liaison Capitol Hill, An Affinia Hotel (Official Hotel Partner)
415 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
$125/person for GA; $200/person for VIP. Tickets are available at www.cochon555.com.
Chef Mike Isabella to Play in Wounded Warrior Amputee Celebrity Softball Game this Sunday, Sept. 4th
Chef Mike Isabella will join a team of DC-area celebrities to take on the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team this Sunday, September 4th, immediately following the 1:35 pm Nationals game against the Mets! The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team is composed of veterans and active duty military members from across the United States who have suffered leg, foot or arm amputations while serving our country.
Purchase your tickets today to the Nationals-Mets game and the Wounded Warrior Amputee Celebrity Softball game through this special ticket link: nationals.com/woundedwarriorsoftball. For each $20 ticket purchased through this link, $5 will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team
Mike is excited to support this worthy cause, and hopes to see you all there!
Just two months after opening Graffiato, Chef Isabella puts some creative twists on his casual Italian-inspired cuisine with a five-course fine dining menu at the James Beard House.
Photos by Geoff Mottram
Formally known for his talents at the stoves, on Saturday, July 2 Mike Isabella will showcase his athletic skills from the mound at Nationals Stadium. Watch Mike throw out the first pitch of the first game in a double-header against the Pittsburgh Pirates, scheduled to begin at 3:30 pm. After the game, catch a bite and a brew at Graffiato in Chinatown.
Anxious to taste Chef Mike’s food, but can’t make it to Graffiato in Washington, D.C., this summer? Join him for an intimate five-course, Italian-inspired dinner at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City on August 23. Tickets and a look at the menu and wine pairings are available on the the James Beard Foundation website.
Chef Mike Isabella joined a panel of celebrities as part of Politico‘s Playbook breakfast last Friday, where he talked about the importance of healthy, local food. Read about it at Politico‘s website.
Thursday April 14, Mike Isabella will support Eat, Pray, Heal Japan, a charity event held at New York’s Bowery Hotel. Sponsored by UNICEF, proceeds from the event will benefit children impacted by the Japanese tsunami and earthquake. Join Chef Mike and his fellow Top Chef celebrity Chefs for an evening of mingling, light bites, music and open bar for a deserving cause. Purchase pre-sale tickets for $75 ($100 at the door) or send a donation online through the UNICEF fund.
Graffiato is still under construction, but the culinary drought we’ve all been experiencing without Mike Isabella’s creations is about to end. In February, there are four opportunities to taste and see what Chef is working on for Graffiato.
February 12 – International Wine & Food Festival
Catch Mike’s live demo on how to prepare spiced beets, chocolate and fresh-made ricotta. Then linger to sample the dish.
February 14 – Cuisine Contra
Spend Valentine’s Day with the Chef you love most at a fun event combining food, drink, art and music. The location is a surprise, but the chance to win roundtrip airfare to Paris is not!
February 17 – Italian Inspiration: An Evening with Chef Mike Isabella at Boffi Georgetown
The American Institute of Wine & Food hosts a reception with Chef at the dapper and contemporary Boffi Georgetown showroom. Sample Graffiato-inspired snacks and local Virginia wines. Tickets available to non-AIWF members. E-mail Carolyn Margolis for tickets and information by February 14.
February 20 – No. 68 Project – a discourse in dining
No. 68 Project is a series of unique dining experiences combining playful chef-driven cuisine with talented artists’ installations for an intimate group of diners to explore and discuss throughout the evening. Chef Isabella kicks off the series on Sunday, February 20. See the No. 68 Project Web site for more info and an exclusive invitation.
On Saturday, February 12 Chef Isabella will take the stage at the 12th Annual International Wine & Food Festival. Watch him prepare spiced beets with chocolates and fresh made ricotta, then linger to sample the unique dish. The demo begins at 2:00 pm in the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center. Purchase your ticket online and arrive early to snag a good seat.
Mike Isabella is one stylish chef – and no, he didn’t get his inspiration from the Jersey Shore.
Chef Isabella and several other rough and rugged DC chefs are poster boys for the latest Lost Boys Look Book. Kelly Muccio, owner and stylist of the boutique men’s shop in Georgetown, outfitted the chefs for an industrial Fall photo shoot along the canal. Check out a few shots below.
Don’t worry, Chef Isabella isn’t quitting his day job just yet.