National Chocolate Day at Design Cuisine

For #TuesdayTreat day at Design Cuisine we celebrated National Chocolate Day. At a recent event we paired our warm Pumpkin Cupcakes with none other than our childhood favorite – Chocolate Dipped S’mores. And because more is more, both of these delicious treats are presented on a bed of Chocolate Bark with dried cranberries, walnuts and drizzled in white chocolate. It’s a tough job but someones gotta do it!!

Smores, pumpkin cupcakes

Indisputably Delicious ~ Lobster Grapefruit Spoons

Look who just showed up to the party. Lobster Grapefruit Spoons, featuring juicy fresh caught Maine lobster poached in court bouillon and served warm napped with a grapefruit beurre blanc. Pair with a frosty Sam Adams Oktoberfest for a duo that is sure to brighten up this rainy Monday.

DSCN0032 (2)

#wcw – Accounting Gals, Sussy and Amarlyn

It’s a double dose of love for this week’s #wcw. We’d like to introduce you to two ladies from our account department, Sussy and Amarlyn. Working behind the scenes with astounding dedication, they are the glue that holds us together at Design Cuisine.



Sussy Garay has been with Design Cuisine for over four years serving as our accounts payable manager. She was born and raised in Honduras. After falling in love with her now-husband Enrique, she fell in love again, this time with city life. First in New York City then settling and making a home in Washington D.C. almost a decade ago. When she’s not perusing the city, Sussy is a avid cook, wine connoisseur and keeps busy with her boys – hubby Enrique and her mischievous and always entertaining mini-Schnauzer Chester.



Amarlyn Diaz started her journey with Design Cuisine in 2007 as the Account Billing Specialist. It’s a job that might just be a match-made-in-heaven because it combines her passions of accounting, food and entertaining. As the work week comes to a close, Amarlyn unwinds in the kitchen with a glass of wine and a bit of cooking often trying a new recipe for her husband.

For their phenomenal talent, hard work and commitment these remarkable ladies have been named this weeks #wcw.

#WCW – Sarah Gallo, Account Executive

Sarah Gallo

For the last 11 years, Sarah has been the undeniable sweetheart of Design Cuisine, and not just because she’s married to Executive Chef Shannon Shaffer.  Armed with a degree in Hospitality & Tourism she earned from James Madison University, Sarah joined the DC team as an associate and was quickly promoted to Account Executive within only two years.  One of Sarah’s favorite events is the annual Wolf Trap Ball, a program that benefits the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts; Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods; Wolf Trap Opera, and the Center for Education at Wolf Trap.  This year the Ball raised over $1,100,000 for Wolf Trap’s programs.

Outside of her work professional work as an event planner, Sarah helps to organize an annual run benefiting our own Chef Andro Franetovic who was severely injured when he was struck by a drunk driver while riding his bicycle.

Sarah’s kind heart, dedicated professionalism, and ever present positive attitude makes her our #wcw

Wolf Trap Ball Photos by Event Digital Photography Inc.

kw7_3441_k1 kw7_3406_k1 kw7_3372_k1 kw7_3422_k1 kw7_3354_k1

Here’s Sarah cheering at Pedro’s Run to Recovery.

Pedros Run 2014 527

Jam, Jelly, Pies & Preserves

Summer fruits give way to fall harvest, and our chef’s find ways to preserve the carefreeness of summertime with a road trip to Garden Hour Orchards of Smithsburg, MD.  A truck load of peaches later, they make quick work of canning, jellying, and preserving at the peak of ripeness bushels of peaches to carry us through the cold winter months.  As a special treat Executive Chef Shannon Shaffer offers his recipe for a piping-hot Peach and Blackberry Cobbler!

Here are a few behind the scenes snaps as the peaches undergo the baking process, along with his previously well guarded recipe.


– Olive oil cooking spray
– 6 medium fresh Garden Hour Orchard Peaches
– 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (do not thaw if frozen)
– 2 tbsp light spelt flour
– 2 tbsp raw honey
– 1/2 tsp ginger, ground


– 2 tbsp extra-virgin coconut oil, melted
– 1/4 cup raw honey
– 1/2 cup unsweetened plain rice milk
– 1 tbsp finely ground flaxseeds
– 1 tsp pure almond extract
– 1 cup spelt flour (light or whole grain)
– 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)
– 1 tbsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp fine sea salt


1.      Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly mist a 2-qt (8 cup) casserole or heat-proof glass pan with cooking spray.

2.      Prepare bottom fruit layer: Wash, pit and slice peaches about 1/4-inch thick. (TIP: There’s no need to peel them, but if you prefer to do, use a vegetable peeler to remove skins before slicing.) Place peach slices and blackberries in a medium bowl. Add flour, honey and ginger; toss to coat fruit. Turn mixture into prepared pan and set aside.

3.      Pepare top biscuit layer: In a small bowl, whisk together coconut oil, honey, rice milk, flaxseeds and vanilla and almond extracts. Set aside while you measure dry ingredients or for at least 2 minutes.

4.      In the bowl of a food processor, whirl flour and oats until you have a coarse meal (there should be no large pieces of oats visible). Add baking powder, cinnamon and salt and whirl briefly to combine. Pour agave-milk mixture into processor bowl and blend to create a thick batter.

5.      Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop spoonfuls of batter randomly over top of fruit in prepared pan. (Don’t worry if fruit isn’t entirely covered with batter; typically, the fruit filling will bubble up over the topping while it bakes.)

6.      Plave pan on a baking sheet (to catch any spills if fruit bubbles over edge) and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, rotating pan about halfway through, until top is deep golden brown. Cool slightly before serving. May be served warm or at room temperature. Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 5 days; return to room temperature before serving.

Tons of Peaches photo (12) photo (13)
Peaches Cobbler Peaches Peach Cobbler