Pols, Chefs Primed to Fete Military Families

Posted February 23, 2015 at 4:33pm

A group of bipartisan lawmakers is expected to join a cadre of local chefs and administration officials Tuesday in showing their support for civic groups and community leaders devoted to assisting military families any which way they can.  

Blue Star Families’ Fifth Anniversary Celebration, an invitation-only affair hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled to kick off Tuesday at 6 p.m. The annual gala pays tribute to those who look out for armed forces personnel — either by hiring returning vets, providing assistance to their families or facilitating the transition from active duty to civilian life — here on the home front. This year’s honorees include leaders of The Creative Coalition and 2015 Blue Star Neighbor of the Year winner Mark Johnson.  

According to forever indebted sibling Kelly Durkee-Erwin, Johnson went above and beyond during the winter of 2013 to keep one veteran’s home clear of snow (amid a brutal winter), effectively enabling the rest of the family — including her elderly father and a wounded brother recuperating at Bethesda Naval Hospital — to focus on more pressing issues.  

Solons slated to lend their support to the cause include Florida Democratic Reps. Patrick Murphy and Corrine Brown, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott.  

Organizers said celebrity restaurateurs would partner with active military chefs on regionally inspired dishes. David Guas is on the hook to produce crab meat nouvelle orleans (chilled crab with caper-parsley aioli on buttered toast), Robert Wiedmaier has signed on to create salmon Napoleon (featuring crème fraiche, chives and caviar), Cathal Armstrong is gung ho about sharing “Kinilaw na Madai” (Filipino-style ceviche), globe-trotter José Andrés anticipates keeping things simple with mini ham biscuits, and Bryan Voltaggio plans to showcase organ meats (beef cheeks, pickled tongue) while Jeff Buben goes the Southern route (Low Country she-crab soup with toasted crab roe).  

Georgetown’s Dog Tag Bakery is expected to sweeten the deal by plying folks with mini apple pies.  

Correction 6:16 p.m. An earlier version of this post misspelled Corrine Brown’s first name.  

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