Who says DC is a city divided across the isle?  Communities of common interest are repeatedly coming together to solve problems, share best practices, and celebrate successes.That fact shines brightly in food communities this week as we celebrate our growers, artisans, distributors, innovators and game-changers in the Chesapeake Bay Foodshed during Eat Local First Week.  The series of events and initiatives from local business association Think Local First DC provides a platform for folks to come together to strengthen relationships and source partnerships, as well as let food-focused participants know about their projects.

At the Kick-Off Event How Local Food Grows a City, several businesses, NGOs and non-profits gave a flash talk about their work, including Union Kitchen’s own Cured DC.  (Pictured here with Karan from Clovest, a partner in finance for the Union viagra reviews Kitchen community).  See more pics from the event here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/operationeatery/sets/72157634761109927/
The week cumulates in the Farm to Street Party, a massive foodie festival in the parking lot of Union Market, where thousand of people passionate about local food can buy products from local producers, learn about exciting things happening in the culinary community, and bond with like-minded folks.  Union Kitchen member operation:eatery is presenting a culinary program of delicious proportions on the main stage featuring local music and cooking demos by many local Chefs.Many Union Kitchen superstars will strut their stuff on the Main Stage, including Thunder Pig Confectionery and the Kid and the KaleWhisked! will take the traditional Farm to Street Party pie eating contest to a new level with her famous seasonal pies.

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Check out our favorite kombucha brewers on DC’s WAMU 88.5:

There’s a new brewery in town, but this one is a little different. It doesn’t brew beer. Instead it brews kombucha, a 2,000-year-old drink made from fermented, sweetened tea.

Andreas Schneider opened the District’s very first kombucha brewery, Capital Kombucha, with two of his buddies from business school at George Washington University. They just graduated this summer.

An acquired taste for some

Operating out of Union Kitchen, Washington’s first “food incubator,” Schneider and his partners use special “tents” to ferment their product. The “tents” are actually miniature greenhouses, warmed to 80 or 90 degrees, and covered with blue, zip-up rain tarps, to help block out the light.

Inside each tent are rows of white plastic barrels, each containing sweetened tea with an added kombucha culture, or “mother,” as it’s called. As the mother culture digests the sugar in the tea, a “baby” culture is produced, also known by the acronym, “SCOBY” (Symbiotic Colony/Collection/Community of Bacterie and Yeast).

As fermentation continues, the SCOBY grows. Eventually the liquid is tadalafil cialis from india tapped, retaining some of it for subsequent batch of kombucha.

Now, for a long time in the United States, kombucha was primarily a home-brewed thing. But over the past decade or so, it’s gone more mainstream, so now you can find it in all sorts of flavors. Up until now, Capital Kombucha has sold four: Basil Lemongrass, Mango Chili, Ginger and Mint Lime.

Kombucha is known for its effervescent quality, its probiotic properties, and, as Andreas Schneider knows all too well, its sometimes funky taste.

“I grew up in upstate New York on a small organic farm,” he explains. “It was on the farm that I first learned about kombucha; my dad introduced me to it. During the summers he’ll spend, like, hours on the tractor making hay. It gets hot and he gets thirsty. And one summer he transitioned to kombucha. So I came home from college and he’s like, ‘You have to try this stuff!'”

Read more on WAMU’s website and look for new flavors like cherry blossom and cucumber melon in stores!

Union Kitchen was featured on Relay’s Blog!

In the heart of Washington, DC, a recently established business in an unassuming brick building aims to help the city flourish. The goal of Union Kitchen (UK), an incubator for local, food-related businesses is to build DC into an increasingly “diverse, exciting, prosperous place.”

The shared commercial kitchen space in North East DC, established in December 2012, allows food entrepreneurs access to needed facilities at low cost and low risk. They grow their businesses and build up their credibility as small-business owners. Having this kind of pedigree helps them enter a system rife with obstacles, such as landlords who favor national tenants instead of independent, local enterprises.

“It’s an opportunity to disrupt the system,” said UK co-founder Jonas Singer. “There are vested interests that want to keep things difficult to navigate, and we want to tear down some of those barriers to entry.”

The ultimate goal, according to Singer, is to boost the vitality of DC’s culture. “By creating businesses, we help create Cialis a better and more vibrant culture in DC for all of us.”

UK got its start when co-founders Singer and Cullen Gilchrist, who also co-own the Blind Dog Café in NW DC, wanted to expend the café’s bakery business. They found UK’s building, formerly a production facility for Moby Dick’s House of Kebab, and couldn’t pass it up despite its unnecessarily large size.

“It’s really hard to find a kitchen in this city,” Singer said. “We didn’t need all the space for ourselves. We took out a lease and figured out what we’d do with it after the fact.”

Now the for-profit venture has at least 35 paying, monthly members who use the kitchen space to perfect their products and increase their production. They share expertise and advice, creating a thriving culinary network that will eventually stretch throughout the city.

“We’ve built a nice community of folks around here that are very supportive of each other and want to see each other succeed,” said Singer.

CreativeMornings is a monthly, free breakfast lecture series, started by swissmiss (swiss-miss.com) in NYC. Jonas Singer gave the July lecture, where he spoke about the vision and challenges of starting the Blind Dog Cafe, 2B Studios, and Union Kitchen. Check out his talk here!

Each cheapest generic cialis Creative Mornings event includes a 20 minute lecture, followed by a 20 minute group discussion. The gathering begins at 8:30am with the topic presentation starting at 9:00am and everyone taking off for work at 10am. CreativeMornings are free of charge! Find out more at http://www.creativemornings.com/

Wes from Los Verracos has official been crowned the Washington DC king-of-all-things-dulce-de-leche. Check out this Scoutmob article on Los Verracos sweet treats!

Working out of DC’s Union Kitchen, which provides plenty of support and business advice, says Wesley, the Los Verracos duo does everything by hand and uses recipes they gather from friends and family. “We started with two other friends of mine before moving to DC a couple years ago, and I grew up eating Caribbean and Latin American food; I’m half Puerto Rican and half Guyanese. And then because I grew up in New Jersey, I was also surrounded by Italian food, so that also influences me, too,” said Wesley.

Most prominently, though, we can thank his mom for instilling in Wesley his passion. “My mom cooked for the family then when I moved on my own, I cooked out of necessity, but found I really enjoyed it,” said Wesley. In viagra side effects fact, he enjoys his craft so much that he manages to squeeze it in on top of a full-time job. “My full-time job isn’t in the food industry,” he said, which to us, makes what Los Verracos has accomplished all the more impressive.

Besides the killer dulce de leche and the corresponding alfajores, which are cookies filled with the sweet stuff, Los Verracos’s specialty is pork, and specifically Pernil, a Puerto Rican pork shoulder recipe that slow-roasts for 20 hours, and Porcetta, a Roman street food. Los Verracos is also working on its series of marinades and sauces, which Wesley and his fiancé are currently looking to package and sell at locally owned stores around town along with their decadent dulce de leche.

Check out the rest of the article here and look for Los Verracos at upcoming events. You can follow them on twitter for news at @losverracos.

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