Foodie and the Beast – Aug. 13, 2023


Hosted by Nycci Nellis.


On today’s show:



–   Have you been to Mike Rafidi’s YELLOW in Georgetown? The lil’ Levantine cafe serves up delicious pastries – the lebneh-filled croissant is Nycci’s kryptonite – pita-filled sandwiches and pizza that is not pizza. He is also the chef behind the too-many-awards-to-mention Albi in Navy Yard. The attention to detail at both these spots is what gets them all their accolades – and that includes the coffee program. In today is Ayat Elhag, the coffee director of YELLOW and Albi, where she helms a beverage program that blends creative, Levantine-inspired specialty drinks with intentionally sourced Counter Culture coffee;


–   In 2018, Debby Portillo Gonzalez made a life-changing move to the DMV area from her native El Salvador. Here she and her husband established the 100% handcrafted barbecue operation 2Fifty Texas BBQ. Using exclusively offset smokers, they spearheaded the creation of a unique culinary experience at 2Fifty.  They are dedicated to developing a menu that has top-notch quality control and have now expanded to two locations;


–   Chef Seng Luangrath was born in Laos and fled the country during the Vietnam War. During her stay in a refugee camp in Thailand’s Nakhon Phanom province she learned how to cook from her camp neighbors and elders. In 2009, at the age of 40, she decided to go after her greatest passion – cooking. In 2010 she took over Padaek, previously Bangkok Golden, a Thai restaurant, where she slowly added Lao dishes of her own. Currently the restaurant offers both Thai and Lao menus. And then — in 2014 she opened Thip Khao, a Lao restaurant in Columbia Heights and home of the Lao Food Movement. And she is just getting started!


–   Christian Irabien is the visionary founder of Amparo Fondita, a remarkable restaurant that celebrates contemporary Mexican cuisine, particularly emphasizing the flavors and influences of coastal regions. Christian’s commitment to quality and to showcasing the diverse culinary traditions of Mexico is evident in every meticulously crafted dish;


–   And we are joined on RingCentral by Tiffany MacIsaac. The Buttercream Bakeshops founder grew up on Maui and her family lives there today.  She addresses the absolute horror and devastation that have taken place in Hawaii this week. The wild fires have wreaked havoc — and she has some ideas on how we can help.