Chef Brandon Kirksey and sous chef Thomas Riland get their game faces on. Both visited with ONO guests in the open kitchen throughout the evening.
Behind the Scenes: Launching the New ONO Dinner Series
The inaugural dinner previewed dishes from Ethan Stowell's Rione XIII
Not sure what was the most dramatically delish show-stopper at Saturday night's inaugural One Night Only (ONO): Chef Brandon Kirksey's scallop-size semolina gnocchi or the whisper-thin salmon carpaccio? Oh, but the English peas and guanciale app was like a burst of summer in my mouth. And I cannot stop thinking about the intense chocolate-y boudino either.
That's the goal of this series of dinners, to create memorable meals in spectacular surroundings. This launch was at the lovely Magnolia home belonging to friends of food writer Julien Perry, one of the women behind this project. She and her partner, marketing mistress, Melissa Peterman, are planning on rolling out twice-monthly events to showcase chefs working outside their comfort zones or to tease an upcoming, hotly anticipated new venture.
For the launch of ONO, Chef Kirksey – the tall drink of agua heading the kitchen at Tavolata for the past few years – prepared a seven-course feast featuring some of the Roman-inspired dishes that will be served at Rione XIII, Ethan Stowell’s latest venture, which is set to open in late July on Capitol Hill.
It was a blast, being in the kitchen, talking with the chef about the recent, super-inspiring trip his boss took him and others on to Italy. “We ate constantly,” he said. Nice work…
As if this gathering of food enthusiasts (who paid $100 a head… full disclosure, I was comp’ed) wasn’t groovy enough, the knock-out menu was paired with stellar selections from Gorman Winery, with vintner Chris Gorman in da house pouring and talking about his whimsically named wines. The 2009, yet-to-be released Bully Cab sipped alongside the grilled strip loin? It was a little bit of terrific. (Bonus BTW: Gorman recently opened a tasting room in Woodinville, near the Hollywood Schoolhouse, where if you play something sweetly on his resident guitar, he’ll give you a discount on the tasting fee.)
The next ONO is set for mid-August. Check out the project’s Facebook page for details on how to get on board. Oh, and just in case you’re wondering if this is another sketchy underground dinner thingies, it’s not. Perry and Peterman are legit, running this venture with all their “I’s” dotted, permits in hand. So, go!