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Three local food and drink experts earned national recognition this month.
In its latest issue, Food & Wine magazine named its sommeliers of the year, a select group of seven taste-makers that includes two from the D.C. area. John Wabeck from Inox was honored for his “incredibly thoughtful, food-friendly list that’s heavy on Burgundy.”
But the big surprise on the list — at least for those whose bias for the grape runs deeper than Mark McGwire’s guilt — was Greg Engert of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, a certified beer geek. The magazine gave Engert a nod because “he’s bringing the same seriousness to beer that other sommeliers bring to wine, sourcing 555 artisanal brews (500 in bottles, 50 on tap, five cask-pumped).”
Meanwhile, pastry chef David Guas, formerly with Passion Food Hospitality and future chef/owner of Bayou Bakery, was named a finalist in the respected International Association of Culinary Professionals’ 2010 Cookbook Awards. Even better, DamGoodSweet, which Guas wrote with Raquel Pelzel, was a finalist in the American cookbook category, not the baking category, an acknowledgment that the volume’s worth extended far beyond its ability to satisfy our sweet tooth.
Interestingly enough, three of the four finalists in the American cookbook category share a New Orleans/Louisiana/Cajun theme.
Y&H extends his congratulations to Engert, Wabeck, and Guas.