All Photos: Clarissa Villondo
Chef Scott Drewno is no stranger to having… well, strangers snooping around his kitchen. BYT was lucky enough to take a look through his fridge all the way back in 2010 when he won his first RAMMY, and apparently the experience wasn’t too terrible, because he took us back in with arms (and fridge doors) wide open now that he’s been nominated for RAMMYS Chef of the Year again. As we’ve said before, looking through someone’s fridge is surprisingly intimate. It’s basically the window into your culinary soul and while it’s clear some of Scott and his lovely wife Allison’s tastes have changed, his love for Asian food is utterly undeniable. It’s easy to see why The Source has thrived for so long, the man at the helm honestly loves what he’s doing.
From the variety of packaged and homemade dumplings in the freezer to all of the cheese, meats and beer, there is quite lot going on in Scott’s fridge. He and Allison both try to rotate cooking, but Scott readily admits that she cooks at home more often than he does. She loves making fresh pasta and often cooks bolognese, but even when it’s Scott’s turn in the kitchen, he’s certainly not above asking for help. He laughs looking at his wife and saying, “Sometimes I need to make a call to the Bullpen when I need help.”
It’s because of Allison that their fridge is so well stocked with good cheese (and they have a good variety – from Mozzarella in olive oil and basil to a P’tit Basque), which, as a big fan of cheese, is the first thing I notice as soon as I open the door. They both proudly tell me they’re subscribed to several cheese of the month clubs, and it’s at this point I realize they might be my dream couple.
As much as I am impressed by the variety of cheese, there is also a ton of meat in the fridge, including smoked pancetta, hot sausage links, beef brisket, a couple of packs of smoked salmon from D.C.’s very own Ivy City Smokehouse, and so much more. I could write an entirely different post just about Scott and Allison’s meat preferences.
Obviously, this is a fridge stocked to the brim with good charcuterie fodder, but the Drewno’s definitely don’t skip out on the condiments either. There’s about five different hot sauces, as well as a mango chutney, two different kinds of mayonnaise (which Scott claims is his number one staple), and some homemade items like candied chilis (“I put those on everything,” Scott says) and pepper jelly made by a friend.
It’s also very well stocked with booze. Allison is a big fan of champagne, so there are a variety of bubbly drinks in the fridge and other wines around the apartment. There’s also a Double Bock from Genesee Brewing chilling, and enough bourbon to open a small bar, or alternatively, through a party that would involve everyone dying from alcohol poisoning.
It’s while we’re talking about his liquor preferences that Scott brings up the first time BYT went through his fridge. Way back before Four Loko was even a twinkle in some gross companies eye, there was Cisco. A flavored malt beverage that was beloved by young people for it’s ability to get you really (really) drunk, until it someone got alcohol poisoning and then all the fun stopped. Back in 2010, Allison had found a long lost bottle in Las Vegas and brought it back to D.C. as a joke right before we came to take a peek at their fridge for the first time. While it wasn’t highlighted in the article per se, Scott tells me that his favorite thing about the experience was reading the comments and seeing someone had posted, “Is that a bottle of Cisco?!?!”
Unfortunately, the bottle is long gone, but Scott does tell me a little about his bourbon preferences. He prefers Four Roses and Blade and Bow, but the apartment is stocked with a variety of brands and styles of whisky, including Whistle Pig rye.
Moving onto the fridge, his love for Asian food is obvious, especially when it comes to dumplings. There are at least three pre made frozen packs, plus a zip lock bag full of the homemade variety. While I can tell he’s certainly proud of his own dumpling recipe (and he should be, I’m not going through his fridge for no reason), he’s still trying to master the recipe used at his favorite dumpling spot in the world, Yang’s Fry-Dumpling in Shanghai.
“I’ve been fighting that battle,” he admits.
Asking the Drewno’s about where they like to eat when they don’t feel like cooking, one spot immediately comes to mind, Mings Restaurant. “I’m kind of an animal when it comes to Chinese food,” he says, Allison agrees adding, “He never gets tired of Chinese food.”
Going through the freezer, I also find a frozen sleeve of pigs in a blanket, and the Drewno’s start telling me about their weekly poker games. Every Sunday their friends get together at one of their apartments to eat a huge meal and play cards. The pigs in a blanket were bought for a picnic themed meal.
Before I leave, Scott brings out a container of dates the color of tarnished gold. He explains that one of his friends just came back from Saudi Arabia and brought these with him. Like a good host, he insists I try them and they are fantastic. Sweet and aromatic and melt in your mouth good. Even though I’ve only been in the Drewno house for a half an hour or so, I can tell that these are definitely the kind of people you want to have a meal with.