Washington DC may have its own renowned summer and winter restaurant weeks, but this fall the city’s epicurean scene saw the arrival of Sidwell Friends’ DC Food & Beverage Week. A partnership between the School and the DC regional alumni club, the event, which ran from September 25 to October 1, showcased, celebrated, and supported local alumni and other community members who work in the world of food and drinks. The weeklong fest for foodies featured a wine tasting with the owners of Revelation Vineyards, a pizza buffet at Sonny’s Pizza, meetups at local farmers’ markets, and more.
The week also provided an opportunity to learn more about service opportunities within the food and beverage industry itself. Grace Kohn ’18 works at Eat the Change, a local snack-food company that prioritizes ecologically responsible foods. “I believe what we eat is our single biggest environmental impact,” says Kohn. “Eat the Change is not just a food and beverage company, but a call to action—because every bite and sip affects the planet.”
Similarly, Genevieve Fulco ’94, who aggregates local agricultural products for regional farmers’ markets at Local Growers Alliance, places a strong value on the connection between food and the environment. “The agricultural industry has tremendous impacts on the health of people and the planet,” she says. “The fundamental values I learned at Sidwell guide me as I work to optimize both.”
Kiah Gibian ’08, meanwhile, started Our Time Kitchen after being “continually baffled by the challenges small minority food businesses faced in building and retaining equity in this industry.” Gibian has opened a commercial shared kitchen that helps members eliminate some of the overhead in starting up a food business. Our Time Kitchen also offers several ways for members to generate revenue onsite, including a to-go window, a food truck, backyard event space, and a grab-and-go market. Plus, they teach classes, consult, and share resources. “I support a stage where small businesses can grow and shine,” Gibian says. “I also get to experiment and get creative in self-expression with my own food events at the kitchen.”
Rounding out Sidwell Friends DC Food & Beverage Week, Center for Ethical Leadership Coordinator Alex McCoy ’04 and Julia Hastings-Black ’00 capitalized on the spirit of giving back by bringing it to the School. The pair hosted a food-based community service social in the Upper School dining room, where participants prepared bagged lunches for Sidwell Friends partner La Casa.