MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Welcome to "Metro Connection." I’m Rebecca Sheir and today we're going Down the Hatch with our annual show about all things edible and drinkable in the national capital region. We'll chow down on cookies and cakes as we explore D.C.'s rising bakery craze.
MS. SARA FATELL
We definitely opened this big shop, with lots of bills and lots of debt and thought, God, I hope we make it.
And we'll visit the first farm at a low-income housing development.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1
Sometimes the assumption is that people don't know what's good for them, etcetera, etcetera. I think that assumption is overrated. I think people know what's good for them.
But before we get to all that we're going to take a bite out of a culinary controversy here in D.C. It has to do with a little something that appeared last week in the Washington Post, an article titled, "What's missing from D.C.'s food scene? A lot."
CHEF MARK FURSTENBERG
I think I feel slightly more hopeful than the article that appeared reflected, but I'm very critical of the food scene.
That's Mark Furstenberg, the guy who wrote the article. Furstenberg is a baker, a chef and the former owner of Marvelous Market and Remarkable Breads. And the way he sees it, D.C. lacks what he calls a discernible food culture.
People who care deeply about food and who come to Washington or grow up here, learning about a food tradition that is geographically native to us, as well as culturally native to us.
Well, Furstenberg's comments got many in the local food scene pretty steamed up, including Jessica Sidman, food editor for Washington City Paper. She says Furstenberg isn't giving local diners enough credit.
MS. JESSICA SIDMAN
The people who live in Washington come from all over the world. They come from those supposedly superior cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. They know good food, and they're going to judge the new restaurants just as harshly as the old ones.
She also says Furstenberg dismissed a major part of D.C.'s culinary culture, the burgeoning craft beer and mixology scene, which, actually, some say isn't all that burgeoning.
MR. DEREK BROWN
The Ricky was invented here in the 1880s. I mean, what other kind of tradition do you want?
That's D.C. native Derek Brown, owner of The Passenger, Columbia Room, and his newest spot, Mockingbird Hill, a ham and sherry bar in Shaw.
I invite Mark Furstenberg to come let me make him a Ricky so he can shut up about of this no local tradition stuff.
Now, Mark Furstenberg says he's aware of the food-based furor he sparked. In fact, that was the idea. He wants to get people talking about Washington's food scene.
I'd like people, particularly young people, to notice much more acutely what they eat. I'd also like people to object to prices and object to pretention. I'd like to have restaurants that don't take reservations called to account for that.
We have links to Furstenberg's article and Jessica Sidman's response on our website, metroconnection.org. And we're curious. Do you think D.C.'s food scene has come a long way? Or does it still have a way to go? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a Tweet. Our handle is @wamumetro.
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