By Punch Premiere Correspondent Lindsey Clark
I don’t spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen.Â Wait.Â Let me rephrase that:Â I don’t spend a whole lot of time in MY kitchen (and if you knew how tiny my kitchen is, you would totally understand).Â That doesn’t mean that I don’t like to cook – in fact, the opposite is true – but I’m much better at watching OTHER people cook, and I especially love to watch someone who genuinely enjoys being in the kitchen.Â I will admit, I haven’t really ever watched any of chef/restaurateur/Next Food Network Star/author/TV personality/husband of actress Stephanie March/Ari Goldman nemesis on “Entourage” Bobby Flay’s shows (this is the part of this post where I admit to being too cheap to pay for cable), so I didn’t really know what to expect at his recent talk at Sixth & I.Â There to promote his latest cookbook (and by “latest,” I mean “tenth”), Bar Americain, Flay spoke to a packed house about how a high school dropout had (literally) worked his way up to the top of the food chain.Â In addition to making fun of his losing streak on “Throwdown,” Flay talked candidly about failing out of multiple schools growing up, and how he eventually discovered his love of cooking after working up the line (he started out busing tables) in a restaurant where his father was a partner.Â Bar Americain (which you can visit next time you’re in New York), celebrates authentically American food, and Flay talked about finding inspiration for both the bistro and the book in the ingredients native to the many parts of the U.S. he’s traveled to.
There was time for a Q&A session following the close of his talk, and not surprisingly, people lined the aisles to ask about his favorite chefs (Wolfgang), where he likes to eat when he’s in DC (Central), his most and least favorite episodes of “Iron Chef” (something about goat and Jose Andres), what his wife cooks HIM for dinner (tenderloin), and when to use cornmeal versus flour (apparently, it depends on what you’re cooking).Â Sadly, there was no cooking demo, which even Flay lamented, saying he was most comfortable in his cooking whites, but he did stay long enough to sign at least a couple hundred copies of Bar Americain for audience members who were more than happy to wait in the line that wrapped around the synagogue.Â There’s no denying that chefs are the new rock stars these days, and with someone who is as approachable and down to earth as Flay, it’s easy to see why.
I probably still won’t be spending much time over MY stove (seriously, it belongs in a doll house!), but if anyone who has real counter space and a copy of Bar Americain wants to invite me over for dinner…I’ll be happy to cook.
Sixth & I is located at 600 I St in NW DC.Â Their full calendar of events is available here – upcoming speakers include Michael Moore, Bill Bryson, Diane Keaton, and Justice Stephen Breyer, as well as performances by Suzanne Vega and Ani DiFranco – among others.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for Sixth & I on wheels – Sixth & Rye – it’s the only Kosher food truck in town.
*All photos by Bruce Guthrie
**Lindsey Clark covers the live music, the arts and shows for the Punch when sheâ€™s not working, taking photos or spending time with her sister Niki, firstname.lastname@example.org***
As the Punch Premiere Correspondent, Lindsey covers all things film and theater related. When not writing for Pamela’s Punch, Lindsey serves as an Executive Assistant at the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (www.pcah.gov). Aside from writing and seeing as much theater as possible, Lindsey enjoys the arts, live music, spending QT with her dog, Lincoln, and being little sister to fellow Punch Correspondant Niki Clark. Follow her on twitter @lindseykayclark. Contact Lindsey at email@example.com.