Fast Casual Indian Concept Chosen for First StartUp Kitchenposted Friday, July 20 by Think Local First DC
Media Contact: Stacey Price
Stacey@thinklocalfirstdc.com / 202.674.2005
Fast Casual Indian Concept Chosen for First StartUp Kitchen
Tonight at the StartUp Kitchen Launch at Domku, DC Dosa will be introduced into the DC culinary scene.
On Wednesday, the finalists competed for the first incubation opportunity for StartUp Kitchen, a partnership with NURISH and Think Local First DC. Three finalist presented culinary concepts to judges including Nizam Ali of Ben’s Chili Bowl. Alicia Mehr of Pete’s Pizza, Warren Brown of Cake Love, Harriet Tregoning of DC Office of Planning, Trevor Brown of Eagle Bank and Jamie Stachowski of Stachowski Market.
“Each concept was inspiring and really shows the future potential of the culinary entreprenueral mix in DC, “ states Nizam Ali, owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl and Ben’s Next Door.
DC Dosa, the winning concept presented by Priya Ammu offers dosas, the popular Indian lentil and rice pancake, three way: three fillings and three chutneys made to order and ready to go. The fillings and chutneys vary seasonally and are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free. DC Dosa expects lunch and late night to be popular times for dosas among its urban, well-traveled, international, foodie clientele base.
“I love the flavors (of DC Dosa). They’re intense and the spice blends she makes are very apparent and will sit well with people who like spices,” explains judge Warren Brown of Cake Love.
Ali, who is also president of the Think Local First DC Board explains, “Priya’s (DC Dosa) concept seemed to be most simple to execute with flavorful food that is both healthy and simple. Though all concepts would work at some level, we unanimously agreed she was the most ready to launch.”
The health component resonated with the judges. Harriet Tregoning of DC Office of Planning explains, “She is reaching a great underserved vegan and gluten-free market.”
DC Dosa will begin incubation September 3. Ammu will receive mentorship from Kera Carpender, owner of Domku and founder of NURISH as well as an education package from operation:eatery. The first StartUp Kitchen restaurant night will be September 17. DC Dosa’s will be a ticketed pop-up with limited seating for 6 weeks on Monday evening. Tickets can be purchased through Think Local First DC.
The next StartUp Kitchen will launch at Hello Cupcake on Capitol Hill in January. The call for concepts will be limited to bakery and dessertery contestants.
Ammu will create samples of her concept for the launch party tonight at Domku from 7 to 9 p.m. Each finalist will be present with an information table about their concept. The event is free and open to the public. The event is a part of Think Local First’s Eat Local First Week. For more information contact Stacey Price at Stacey@thinklocalfirstdc.com.
About the Runner Up StartUp Kitchen Finalists:
Julien Shapiro – Worthwhile Meats & Provisions
Food concept description: Julien Shapiro’s concept, Worthwhile Meats & Provisions, is a full-service specialty butcher store with prepared foods, bar and dining room offering classical French-themed bistronomique cuisine. The fixed-price three-course menu would feature specialty cuts and charcuterie in addition to dishes created from the products of the whole animal butchery. Julien is passionate about using his culinary repertoire to provide charcuterie, classical fabrications, and butcher’s cuts not readily available anywhere else in the city.
Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon – Chaya
Food concept description: Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon have developed Chaya, a “restaurant with a purpose — mostly plants, less meat, and superior taste and quality.” The menu will focus on their house-made griddled corn tortillas filled with vegetables, legumes, and whole grains finished with various fresh sauces and toppings. They hope to focus their efforts in the Shaw/Little Ethiopia and Foggy Bottom/West End markets.
About StartUp Kitchen
StartUp Kitchen is an initiative from Think Local First DC and NURISH: The Center for a Creative Culinary Economy. Through a competitive process loosely modeled on the Kauffman Foundation’s StartUp Weekend, food entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to present their concepts before a panel of food industry veterans who will critique their business plans, offer constructive advice, ask probing questions, and review the general soundness of the concepts. The selected winner of the competition will be given access to an existing restaurant during its off hours and afforded all the marketing support of Think Local First DC.
The first StartUp Kitchen incubation is at Domku in Petworth and lasts eight weeks starting September 3rd. Each Monday night starting September 17th consumers can buy tickets, test the food, and give feedback on the winning concept. Applicants must apply online at http://startupkitchen2012.tumblr.com/ or www.eatlocalfirstdc.com.
About Eat Local First Week
Eat Local First DC is a weeklong celebration of local food- our local farms, our local restaurantsand chefs, and our locally owned, independent retailers. This year’s focus will be on local farms, local restaurants and the organizations and people that are making locally-grown food more accessible in the DC community. A special feature will be made on the emerging culinary entrepreneurs that are growing the restaurant economy in DC. Eat Local First is an initiative of Think Local First DC, a non-profit leading the local movement in DC with advocacy, promotion and education for independently owned businesses. For more information visit www.eatlocalfirstdc.com and thinklocalfirstdc.com.