The second day of our Destination DC trip was just as busy as the first. It started with a visit to the Mandarin Oriental, which included a dessert demonstration by Chef Matthew Petersen and lunch at Sou’Wester.
When we arrived at the Mandarin Oriental, we were greeted by the Director of Communications, Linda Beltran, who gave us a quick tour of the hotel.
Linda also introduced us to Chef Matthew Petersen, the Executive Pastry Chef for CityZen and Sou’Wester at the Mandarin Oriental. He’s also a contestant on Top Chef: Just Desserts. How cool!
Chef Matthew was really nice (and friendly and handsome) and offered to cook us his Lemon Vanilla Créme with Mint Purée and Hazelnut Sable, which won the second episode of Top Chef.
Chef Matthew didn’t have any fresh mint on hand, so he used basil for the puree.
Watching him cook was really neat. He made the dessert seem so simple!
After Chef Matthew’s demonstration, we headed to lunch at Sou’Wester.
The meal started with freshly baked biscuits.
And a spread of appetizers to share: Fried Oysters with Smoked Pepper Aioli and Grilled Oysters with Bacon Vinaigrette.
Baby Spinach Salad with Granny Smith Apples, Candied Pecans, Blue Cheese, Crostini with Red Onion Jam, and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette.
And Hushpuppies with Honey Butter. These particular hushpuppies were the best that I tried in DC. They were almost like corn donuts.
For my entrée, I ordered the Chicken and Waffles, which was served with a syrup and peach butter.
I enjoyed this dish, but I only ended up eating a few bites of it. It was pretty heavy, and I filled up on the appetizers.
Plus, I was also saving room for dessert! Chef Matt’s special lemon dessert!
It was to die for! The basil puree went so well with the lemon.
The Mandarin Oriental is a really wonderful hotel. Staying there is totally out of my budget, but I’d definitely visit again for the hushpuppies from Sou’Wester and Chef Matthew’s desserts (and good looks).