Miss A Columnist

Marlene Hall grew up an army brat and has lived all over the world and in Washington, DC. Since an early age, she has played sports including soccer, basketball, and swimming; receiving three letters in high school for sports participation. Marlene graduated from the University of Virginia where she wrote for the Cavalier Daily and interviewed popular 90's bands including No Doubt and the Goo Goo Dolls. Commissioned an Air Force officer, she served in Korea, Germany, New Mexico, and Louisiana. Marlene earned two masters degrees while in the Air Force in Management and IO Psych. After leaving active duty, she has worked as a government contractor, freelance writer and public relations executive. Marlene dabbles in improvisational comedy and has taken classes at the famed iO Theater in Chicago. She is very active in the DC charity and social scene and contributes her time to DC Humane Society's Fashion for Paws. She also was a supernumerary in the Washington National Opera's Carmen with opera singer Denyce Graves. An extrovert at heart, she has never met a stranger. Marlene loves journalism, attending events, meeting people and making things happen. She lives by the motto, "The best way to predict your future, is to create it."

Recap: Urban Farm Table Under the Stars

Friday night was a magical night under the stars and tent for the Second Annual Urban Farm Table Under the Stars at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza next to the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  This was an exclusive event maxed at 100 reservations and was sold out.  The talented DC chefs were paired with leading local farmers from the Capital Harvest on the Plaza farm market and exceptional wine producers in this once-a-year setting.  Chefs were Jamie Montes de Oca Jr. from Zentan, Xavier Deshayes from the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Todd Gray from Equinox and Watershed, and Amy Brandwein from Casa Nonna.

Beautiful Settings for Urban Table Under the Stars (Photo by Marlene Hall)

Guests enjoyed canape’s from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. while listening to beautiful music on the guitar.  A special highlight was the British drink Pimm’s that was super sweet and delish.

Guitar player (photo by Marlene Hall)

For dinner attendees sat down for a four course meal prepared by some of the most exclusive chefs in town.  Chef Jamie Montes de Oca Jr made the first course.  It was Duck Prosciutto with pickled wax beans, Marcona almonds, black currant jam with Col D’Orcia Rosso di Montalcino wine.  Second course was made by Chef Xavier Deshayes.  He deliciously delivered Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab with purple Peruvian potato croquette dijon mustard foam paired with Domaine Thomas & Fils Terres Blanche Sancerre Pinot Noir Rose’.  Third course was prepared by Chef Todd Gray.  He made Riseling Poached Breast of Market Chicken with morel mushroom agnolotti, charred asparagus and green peppercorn chicken jus paired with Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina wine.  The fourth course was dessert made by Chef Amy Brandwein.  She made Panna Cotta of Blue Ridge Camembert with carmelized figs, fig vin cotto, fleur du sel paired with Taylor Fladgate Port Quinta de Vargellas port.

The Talented Chefs Jamie Montes de Oca Jr, Todd Gray, Xavier Deshayes, and Amy Brandwein (Photo by Marlene Hall)

This event while only once a year is a not to be missed event as it celebrates the local area’s food. It also supports the the Washington D. C. International Wine & Food Festival. Bravo to the great chefs!

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