WASHINGTON, D.C.—An event that caters to your taste-bud and bookworm needs—an ingenious idea that has been taken up by a group of creative individuals with an inspiring initiative.

Over the span of three days, The Smithsonian Food History Weekend has become a fall season staple of ward two in D.C. The event is hosted in various Smithsonian locations near 14th and Constitution avenues. Studded with celebrity chefs and nutritionists, the weekend kicked off with a gala on October 26. With this being the event’s third annual occurrence, the gala was one that would attract frequent goers of the event as a whole. It was reigned in with awards, presentations and an extravagant feast created by an executive chef from Union Square Café, Carmen Quagliata.

Proceeding the gala on the 27th, were the roundtable discussions and the “dine out”. A list of participating restaurants was distributed to foodies who wanted to contribute to the legacy of Julia Child, founder of the event charity. With registry, early in the day, festival goers could attend informational roundtable conversations about health, food and nutrition. This event is often followed directly by the dine out. Rebekah Alexander, a first time roundtable attendee stated, “I heard about the roundtable and thought it was something too official for me to go to. I ended up going and I had a great time. They showed us new recipes while also discussing how to create new ones.” She and her posse of young, college friends admitted that they had all RSVP’d for the event without fully knowing what it was. “We like trying new things in D.C. and this was definitely a good choice for the three of us.”

Saturday, the most food-festive day of the weekend is the day that attracted the most traffic. From 10a.m. to nearly six in the evening, guests come to engage in food demonstrations and talks about food history. “Interestingly enough, no food samples are given at any of the festival events. Business owners of a particular specialty, however, have tapped into the market of hungry festival goers during this weekend. Food trucks were lined throughout the entire area of the festival perimeters. “We get more business from the museums so I purposely bring my truck here during this time” said MD Alaam, owner of the Royal Kabob Express food truck. “I try to make myself stand out by using big pictures, the food is everywhere” said Alaam. The fast food industry heavily profits from this event that entices hungry eaters, yet doesn’t feed them. They are then left to eat the quick delights of food trucks.

At the turn of the festival, many would consider it successful according to its turn out. “This is my third time coming and every year it gets bigger!” said Joan Brocco, a food enthusiast. “I love coming to compare celebrity chef recipes to my own family ones” said Brocco. She continued to explain how the food festival has consecutively been the cause of her tremendous weight loss.

Providing the D.C. community with healthy alternative options and a vast understanding of nutritional benefits has a tremendous impact on the culture of the society. “The first year I came really prompted me to start eating better. Three years later, I’m 40 pounds lighter and a heck of a lot smarter” said Brocco. The Smithsonian Food History Weekend is definitely a D.C. event that should not be skipped.

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