Features on StarChefs.com interview

Farrah Olivia
600 Franklin Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


with Chef Morou Outtara of Farrah Olivia by Will Blunt
Chef Morou of Farrah Olivia on StarChefs.comWill Blunt: Tell me about your restaurant, your concept, and how it all came together.

Morou Outtara: It’s every chef’s dream to have his own restaurant, and I was always taught that what you do best is what you know. I grew up eating African cuisine until I moved to this country at 22, then I learned to do American cuisine. So I wanted to create a restaurant that would blend both of them in a sophisticated way. We’re doing what we call “Creative American Cuisine.” We want the exact same thing to show in the restaurant. When you walk in it is American, then when you look closer, we have coconut rings hanging from the ceiling and animal print behind the bar – African touches, but not in your face. more »

Chef Morou with Chef Koji Terrano of Sushi-Ko and Chef Noriaki Yasutake of Perry’s

Chef Jose Andres of Café Atlantico and Chef Nora Pouillon of Nora’s

Cooking the Shocked Tuna with Red Wine and Spicy Apple

Chef Katsuya Fukushima of Café Atlantico and Bar Chef Todd Thrasher of Restaurant Eve and The PX

Pastry Chef Heather Chittum of Dish and Notti Bianchi with Olivier Wittmann from Nicolas Feuillatte and Sommelier Nadine Brown of Charlie Palmer Steak

Plating the Coffee Granita with French Toast and Passion Fruit Paper

Chef Morou in his kitchen with Will Blunt

Morou’s spice rack
Fly on the Wall on StarChefs.com CULINARY EVENTS BEHIND THE SCENES
February 2007

The DC Rising Stars Honorees Dinner

December 12, 2006

Outside Farrah Olivia

On December 12, in the twinkling lights of the sleek glass-walled dining room of Chef Morou Outtara's Farrah Olivia, some of DC's culinary brightest and best gathered, many fresh from the line and still in their whites, for an evening of camaraderie and cuisine. The next day they would be put to work, serving a crowd of over 300 DC gourmands, but not this evening – this night was reserved for a celebration of the new class of DC Rising Stars.

Three years earlier, Chef Morou was a Rising Star. Along with Jamie Leeds, Fabio Trabocchi and others, he served his dishes to the throngs at the Hotel Monaco – and even rallied to throw the afterparty. This time he closed his new restaurant for the night to welcome a new generation of culinary talent through the doors, accompanied by their mentors, all the 2003 Rising Star award winners, and the sponsors that made the affair possible. The trailblazing Jose Andres and Katsuya Fukushima, the sustainably-minded Nora Pouillon, Todd Gray, Cathal Armstrong and Barton Seaver, and the area's sushi masters Koji Terano and Noriaki Yasutake, counted among his guests.

Nicolas Feuillatte 1998 Blanc de Blancs Champagne accompanied the rounds of passed hors d'oeuvres – elegant bites of smoked pear with wasabi and black salt on skewers stuck in playful wooden cubes and spheres, petite squab burgers with spiced fig ketchup jelly, marinated tuna espaliered on personal pipettes of gingery apple juice, and Kobe tartare with delicate 65° eggs perched on cubes of brioche. A 2002 Vineyard 8 Chardonnay, acidic, fruity and minerally, from the Spring Mountain district in Napa, accompanied the seared diver scallop with creamy, savory melon seed milk, and white tuna with citrus caramel and peppery shansho anglaise. Vineyard 8 Cabernet, with rich blackberry on the nose and complex spice and oak on the palate, paired with Cervena venison and sweet-spiced red palm jus, and a selection of American Farmhouse cheeses with grapes and honey. Devi’s Himalayan Dawn Tea cleansed the palate, and a homey but elegant dish of french toast and coffee granita, paired with a Rhum Clément Créole Shrubb, ended the night.

Well, almost ended. Guests lingered well after midnight, talking shop (fish purveyors, American wines, tea flavor profiles), planning field trips to Polyface Farms in Virginia, and sharing stories of time spent in San Francisco, Ireland, Spain, and more. It was this camaraderie between colleagues – from an industry that so rarely affords them the time to gather together – that made the night a true success.



Recipes in Bold

The StarChefs.com Rising Stars Revue™
Honorees Dinner
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hosted by 2003 Washington DC Rising Star Chef Morou


Kobe Hangar Tartare | 65º egg | berbere oil
Black Eyed Pea Fritters | smoked shrimp essence | tail pepper honey
Shocked Tuna | red wine | spicy Apple
Hudson Valley Foie Gras |0 date bars
Smoked Pears | wasabi | black salt
Micro Squab Burgers | fig ketchup jelly
Nicolas Feuillatte, Brut Blanc de Blancs, 1998

Diver Scallop | bacon powder | melon seed milk
Vineyard 8 Chardonnay, Spring Mountain, 2003

White Tuna | citrus caramel | sansho anglaise
Vineyard 8 Chardonnay, Spring Mountain, 2003

Hudson Valley Foie Gras | quail | chocolate Merlot
Nicolas Feuillatte, Cuvée Spéciale, 1999

Slow-Roasted Cervena Venison Rack | plantain loaf | red palm jus
Vineyard 7 Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain, 2002

Devi Tea’s “Himalayan Dawn” Indian Black Tea

American Farmhouse Cheese | grapes | honey
Vineyard 7 Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain, 2002

Coffee Granita | french toast | passion fruit paper
Rhum Clément Créole Shrubb

We would also like to thank:
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, Chefs Warehouse, Devi Tea,
Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Metropolitan, Rhum Clément,
Samuels & Sons, San Pellegrino