Oyamel Launches Squash Blossom Festival!

Last night, I was SO fortunate to have the opportunity to preview Oyamel’s Squash Blossom Festival menu.  If you haven’t tried José Andrés’ delicious restaurant located in Penn Quarter (or haven’t visited in a while), you should absolutely take this opportunity to try it (or try it again)!

I wrote the article below for KStreetKate, but I thought I would put it up here too!  For the record, the refreshing and delicious Honeydew Punch (served over hand-cracked cucumber) makes the recent heat wave almost worth it.  And the Sopa de Calabaza (Summer Squash Soup) should absolutely be ordered – multiple times. Oh and get the house-made orange blossom and cream Popsicle for dessert.  It’s pretty much the best creamsicle you’ve ever had.

Paleta de Flor de Naranja

Okay, one last quick note – Oyamel’s new General Manager is Michael Iglesias (pictured to the right), who is the former Beverage & Service Director of Bottega in Napa Valley. Bottega is one of my favorite restaurants in the country and is owned by Top Chef Judge Chef Michael Chiarello.  Iglesias wrote the cocktail section of Chef Chiarello’s new cookbook (which I just ordered) and I couldn’t be more excited to have him in our fabulous city!

Anyway, check out the post below and see more photos on the Chocolate & Stilettos Facebook page! xo – KC

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Last night, food writers gathered at popular José Andrés restaurant, Oyamel, to kick off the Cocina Mexicana’s annual Squash Blossom Festival.  The festival, which is in its fourth year and showcases dishes using the edible flower, lasts two weeks and presents a festive menu in addition to Oyamel’s traditional menu of small plates inspired by the classic street food of Mexico.

Flores de Calabaza Veracruzana (Squash Blossoms filled with Goat Cheese)

Washington’s favorite foodies got to try the squash blossom or “flor de calabaza,” which is a definitive ingredient in Mexican cooking, often used in everything from soups to quesadillas.  During the festival, Oyamel will use an estimated 10,000 squash blossoms (acquired locally from Good Fortune Farm in Brandywine, MD) in a variety of dishes, all of which incorporate the squash blossoms alongside traditional Mexican ingredients.  The menu is developed by head chef Joe Raffa and was deeply inspired by his visit to Oaxaca, Mexico.

Taco de Chorizo Verde

Honeydew Punch

Guests of the preview dinner got to try a variety of dishes from the festival menu, as well as the festival’s signature drinks – Honeydew Punch, a refreshing cocktail served over cucumber ice, and Maria Bruja, a unique spin on the classic Bloody Mary.  Both drinks are developed by General Manager Michael Iglesias and lead bartender Joe Cleveland, and incorporate the squash blossom as part of the creative cocktail concoction.

Oyamel’s Squash Blossom Festival lasts through August 15th.

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