Runaway Spoon

Georgetown Pizza Makers Star in Vegas

March 22, 2012

Top brass of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletena presented Joe Farruggio, owner of il Canale in Georgetown, with its official Neapolitan pizza certificate at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.

Joe Farruggio (Photo by: il Canale) Joe Farruggio

The award was presented on March 14 by VPN General Director Massimo Di Porzio from Naples and  President of VPN’s American Division Peppe Miele from Los Angeles.

They noted that il Canale is the first restaurant in 2012 to be honored as a member of the Naples-based association.  VPN promotes the culture of true Neapolitan pizza worldwide.

On average, il Canale bakes and serves up to 1,800 pizzas a week.

“After 42 years in business, it is very important to me to receive this certification,” said Farruggio who is a native of Sicily. “We are excited to be included in VPN and be recognized as a maker of truly authentic Neapolitan thin-crust pizza.” 

il Canale, he said, met all of the qualifications for VPN membership, including using Antimo Caputo flour ground at mills near Naples, as well as bufalo mozzarella and San Marzano tomato sauce imported from Italy.

“We are proud to embrace the philosophy of Neapolitan pizza,” said Farruggio. “And our pizzas, of course, are baked in our wood-fired oven shipped from Naples.”

Accompanying Farruggio to accept the award at Caesars Palace in Vegas were il Canale’s executive chef Antonio Bigletto and manager Francesco Crovetti.

Farruggio said he and his executive staff plan to return for next year’s convention and enter the competition for having the best pizza and pizza-makers internationally.

Il Canale is located at 1063 31st Street NW in Georgetown DC. Phone 202-337-4444. Ilcanale.com

With his family Farruggio also owns Joe’s Place “Pizza & Pasta” in Vienna and Arlington, Va.


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Wearin' of the Green in The District ... and for Once, We're Not Talkin' The Color of Money

March 12, 2012

A top woman vote getter in the election to represent the District of Columbia at President Obama’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. , Susan Meehan, and her husband, Bob, held their annual St. Patrick’s Day party Sunday at their Dupont Circle neighborhood home. Lots of creative folks dropped by to read poetry, argue statehood and listen to Irish songs.

Meehan, a supporter of Obama from the last presidential election, collected ample votes to be among D.C.’s contingent of  convention delegates.   She ran in the delegate district that includes Georgetown. She is a strong advocate of DC statehood, and plans to make that known at the convention, as will other local delegates.

Meehan was graduated from Wellesley College (as was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton), and has been a human rights activist for a number of years.

A poet and blogger, Meehan read her poem “On Knowing The Current Darling,” which refers to her popularity when an old friend who once had no fame comes into the spotlight.

 “Now your face is on every screen and your words articulate our beliefs. Contenders for public office proudly wield your opinions as their implements of war…People come to me for favors of introduction, desiring to share in celebrity’s hierarchy, and, so, remembering your generosity, I take pleasure in giving them the speckled help they seek…. But you have moved on, rushed onto today’s breaking news, guarded by roughs paid to fend off those whose claim is old and not-for-profit, unmindful that strobe-lit fame may fade.”

The generally politically astute audience applauded that wisdom. 

 

  


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Look Who Rode Back Into Town ... Firing Away

February 17, 2012

In a presidential campaign year, a relatively new biography, “Shooting from The Lip: The Life of Senator Al Simpson,” has a certain sweet smell of truth that cannot be denied.

Vice President Cheney, Mrs. Cheney, Judith Terra (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Vice President Cheney, Mrs. Cheney, Judith Terra

“I’ve pissed off so many people…I think I’ve pissed off everybody in America,” Simpson, 80, chuckled at his book-signing party at the Jefferson Hotel. If any of those were among Thursday night’s happy crowd, they must have gotten over it by now.

Not that he is done yet.

Pressed by The Georgetown Dish on whom he supports among those in the lineup of GOP presidential wanna-bees, the lanky Wyoming Republican finally said:

“Just the other day, I wrote a check for Mitt Romney.”

And how much was that for?

 “One thousand dollars,” he acknowledged after a bit of added prodding.

Author Donald Hardy & wife Becky (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Author Donald Hardy & wife Becky

Simpson is famous for his outspoken, often sarcastic, rat-a-tat one–liners poking the media, political sacred cows and other aspects of the human condition. True to the book’s title, Simpson has never been known to lip-lock, philosophically, with either side of the aisle.

The senator’s former chief of staff Donald Loren Hardy wrote the biography, with Simpson’s blessings. It took nearly six years in the writing. The source was the senator’s 19-volume personal diary.

 “I am in the presence of royalty,” joked newsman Sam Donaldson, bear-hugging Simpson at the party.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Hobnobbing with Simpson were more of his longtime friends: former Vice President and Mrs. Richard Cheney, Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas and Mrs. Thomas, Congressman John Dingell and Mrs. Dingell, political commentator Mark Shields,  former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, former Cabinet member Norman Mineta, former Senator Chuck Robb and Linda Robb, and dozens upon dozens more filling up three rooms.

Bob Woodward & Al Simpson (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Bob Woodward & Al Simpson

Vignettes abound in the book, such as that of Simpson’s grandfather, Bobby Simpson, shooting a bank clerk in 1905 for bouncing a check.  It details about how, the book says, Simpson was nearly picked as George H.W. Bush’s running mate. As a juvenile, he was a hell raiser and ended up in jail or court a few times over.

Throughout his professional career, the media relished quoting one of the funniest guys around because the zingers – whether during his Senate days or his more recent appointments to national commissions – created snappy leads.  Often he aired out political bed sheets that, if truth be told, needed it. At times, fellow politicians grimaced in pain since their fates were pinned to that wash.

Former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Former Sen. Elizabeth Dole

As far as pissing people off, he referred to his remarks in connection with co-chairing President Obama’s bipartisan commission on reducing the deficit, when he compared Social Security to a “milk cow with 310 million tits” – a remark he later apologized for.

 

 


 

  


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