Photos By Jonny Grave, Words By Brandon Wetherbee
It’s not too difficult to sell someone on a José Andrés event. It’s really not difficult when it’s a massive José Andrés event, taking place at 12 different restaurants and one Carnegie Library, with all proceeds going to World Central Kitchen. So my job is done.
The annual Dine-N-Dash event gets bigger each year. This year the party has an after-party. Rather than just eat amazing food from 6 to 9 p.m., Penn Quarter visitors will now be able to party at the Carnegie Library until 11 p.m. That’s five hours of eating and drinking and dancing for a good cause. The $129 ticket price does appear steep, but divided over 5 hours, it’s $25 an hour, about what it costs to buy one cocktail and one small plate every hour at the 12 participating restaurants.
It’s an expensive event. It’s an event that may be difficult to justify on a Tuesday night. But it’s a worthwhile expense simply for what World Central Kitchen does. We attended a preview for the event and learned about how the nonprofit is changing lives in simple, tangible measures. The small staff isn’t claiming or attempting to solve world hunger, but they are training chefs in Port-au-Prince’s Culinary School, have converted 30 schools to from charcoal stoves to clean cookstoves, increased the income of 44 families through social enterprise and smart school kitchens in Haiti and have other programs in the Domican Republic, Zambia and in D.C. (For an excellent, in depth feature on Andrés and the World Central Kitchen, read this Washington Post Magazine feature from June 6, 2014 edition.)
For purely culinary reasons, consider Dine-N-Dash so you can enjoy old Jaeleo standbys like Croquetas served in glass sneakers and new China Chilcano must haves like the Aeropuetro, a fried rice, egg noodle, crispy sweet potato, 20 seasonal vegetables, soy sprout and “airplanes” dish.
If a worthy cause and excellent food isn’t enough, there’s always the celebrity chef angle. Look who showed up last year and made some Instagram/Facebook profile pic dreams come true…
Dine-N-Dash is Tuesday, June 9. Participating restaurants include China Chilcano, Cuba Libre, Del Campo, Jaleo, Oya, Oyamel, The Partisan, Ping Pong Dim Sum, Poste, Proof, SEI and Zaytinya. After-party participants include craft beer from Dogfish Head Brewery, live music by City of the Sun and Veronneau. VIP ticket participants can enjoy desserts provided by Dog Tag Bakery, Buzz Bakery, Zaytinya and Pitango Gelato, signature cocktails provided by El Camino, Mockingbird Hill and 2 Birds 1 Stone and music by the Jess Eliot Myhre Jazz Band.