Extra! Extra! Read all About the Fourth Estate’s Wine Dinners!



Written by Anita
June 6, 2009


Photos: Photographs 1 and 2 are courtesy of the Fourth Estate

Most seasoned DC dwellers know the National Press Club. Founded in 1908, it is frequently the setting for news conferences and events—many of which are free and open to the public—highlighting today’s leading authors, politicians, and newsmakers (click here to view the Club’s June calendar.) But perhaps one of the press’s best-kept secrets is the Club’s restaurant, the Fourth Estate. Open to the public, the restaurant hosts a wine dinner series that features noted cookbook authors and chefs, their recipes, and wine pairings. Previous dinners have allowed diners to get up-close-and-personal with the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Tom Colicchio, Jacques Pepin, and (one of our personal favorites) Bobby Flay. We recently checked out one of the series’ dinners (featured on GregsListDC!) with James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Saveur Magazine, judge of the upcoming Bravo series Top Chef Masters, and author of the award-winning cookbook, Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Introduced to Indonesia by a college friend, Oseland fell in love with the country—now calling it his “powerful second home.” The cookbook offers recipes developed during his frequent travels throughout Southeast Asia. The evening’s tasting highlights included Opor Ayam (a surprisingly mild Javanese chicken, bathed in a coconut milk curry) and spicy Sambal Udang (stir-fried sweet water shrimp served with fragrant rice). One of our favorite dishes was perhaps the simplest: Rojak, a fresh, crisp salad of jicama, pineapple, mango, green apple, cucumber, and papaya, tossed in a light spicy dressing and topped with ground roasted peanuts. (Click here to get the recipe!) Missed this dinner? Here’s the scoop—a reliable source tells us that the next one is on June 22 and that it will introduce diners to Tom Clare of Longboard Wines. Want to check out the Fourth Estate some other time? Then here’s a hot tip: use Open Table to book dinner there (Monday through Friday between 5:30 and 8:30pm) and receive 1,000 dining points. How’s that for the power of the press?



We chatted with James Oseland about his Indonesian travels and his experiences with the country’s flavors. Q: Indonesia is so spread out geographically. What’s the unifying factor? A: Ingredients are the unifying factor. Cinnamon, nutmeg, galangal—that’s the main connective tissue. Q: What’s your favorite place? A: West Sumatra. They have crazy, passionate, vivid food. Q: Which Asian ingredient would you like to introduce to American cooks? A: I think people are becoming increasingly familiar with kaffir lime leaves. But they are used like crazy [in Indonesia].

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