Meet Pastry Chef of The Year, Aggie Chin

Bubble, Pop, Electric

Life is short…eat dessert first!  This is probably one of my favorite mantras.  Following this mantra is especially easy when you have Aggie Chin, creating delicious one-of-a-kind desserts in Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown’s The Grill Room.  But don’t take my word for it!  Chef Aggie, was just named “Pastry Chef Of The Year” by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.

Aggie RAMMY SelfieThe Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is the regional trade association representing restaurants and the foodservice industry in the D.C. metro area.  The RAMMY Awards Gala honors exceptional ability and accomplishments of the hard-working individuals and the region’s restaurants.  It was truly a wonderful night witnessing Chef Aggie being honored for her dedication to the industry as well as celebrating her remarkable achievements!

Aggie Chin - RAMMY

Chef Aggie has been a mastermind behind delicious and delectable desserts for many years prior to joining our Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown family.  Aggie spared no time adding whimsical and creative dessert menu options to The Grill Room, welcoming exotic flavors and fresh seasonal mixes to everyone’s palate.  To set a True Capella experience for everyone, Chef Aggie wanted to curate a unique experience for the evolving desserts menu, “My vision for The Grill Room’s new dessert menu matches the welcoming atmosphere of Capella while adding exciting elements reflecting the bustling diverse metropolis of D.C.”

Aggie Chin Headshot

We are all very proud of Chef Aggie’s accomplishments, so I am delighted to share with you an easy spinoff cocktail that draws inspiration from Bubble, Pop, Electric, one of her most popular desserts.

Bubble, Pop, Electric

Make At Home: Bubble, Pop, Electric – The Cocktail (or Mocktail!) – Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (8 oz) of strawberries. Clean and chopped
  • 5 cup of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • A bag of pop rocks candy (Optional)

Preparation:

  • Add all ingredients in a blender and puree together
  • Disperse mixture in a popsicle mold (You can use ice cube trays as well)
  • Freeze in a freezer overnight
  • Rim glass with pop rocks candy
  • Add frozen mixture into a glass and pour over either sparkling water (for a mocktail) or champagne (for a cocktail)
  • Garnish with fresh strawberry

And of course, if you just have to have the real thing, come by The Grill Room and Chef Aggie will share some of her culinary magic with you.  Always save room for dessert!  Enjoy!

Meet Capella Washington D.C.’s General Manager, Marco Bustamante

Marco Bustamante Headshot

I would like to introduce you to the Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown General Manager, Marco Bustamante.  Marco, a 10 year veteran of the Capella family,  took D.C. by storm, bringing with him a wealth of experience and charisma.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Marco to get a better idea of why he loves being part of the Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown team.

Marco Bustamante HeadshotWhat do you love most about Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown?

The people.  We have an amazing team with people from all different backgrounds and experiences.  We have a lot of local Washingtonians as part of our staff and I think it brings great soul to the property.

What makes our property unique in D.C.?

The design of our hotel gives guests an intimate, sophisticated, modern, and high tech feel. From relaxing in the Living Room to enjoying a cocktail in The Rye Bar, our guests have the option of feeling like they are in an urban oasis.

You’ve been part of the Capella team for over 10 years, what is your favorite memory?

When I was working in Los Cabos, we had a couple buy-out the entire hotel for their wedding.  We really wanted to make their experience special and unique, so we built a 120-foot long table to host 150 of their wedding guests in an underground tunnel.  The tunnel started from the entrance of the resort and opened up to the front of property.  We strung chandeliers from the ceiling accompanied with drapery all around; it was really beautiful and different.

What new and exciting events can guests expect this summer at Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown?

We recently held Negroni Week, where $1 of each Negroni cocktail sold will be donated to helping aid the victims in Nepal.  We have an employee who is Nepalese and she started a charity fund to help out her homeland, so proceeds will be sent to support relief efforts.  Summer in D.C. is a great time, we are looking forward to our Father’s Day special package, our annual 4th of July Rooftop party, cocktail specials in The Rye Bar, and Chef Ruta has some amazing new brunch items to be enjoyed on our terrace.

What is your favorite thing to do in D.C.?

I love spending time with my two sons and taking them kayaking on the Potomac River.

We are so happy to have you leading the team here at Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown, Marco!  Here’s to another year of creating more True Capella memories!

Images via MoMo Photography

Race For The Cure, D.C.

Crowd at Race For The Cure

Over 200,000 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2014, of which almost 40,000 lost their battle. That’s why when the Susan G. Komen, Race For The Cure 5k, came to D.C., I knew I wanted to participate and race for an impact. Luckily, many of my colleagues had the same sentiment and we formed a Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown team and completed the 5K together!

I thought it would be interesting to share a bit of our experience with you in case you are thinking of taking on the race in your own hometown. Crowd at Race For The Cure

More than 15,000 people gathered in the heart of our nation’s capital at the Washington Monument, to take part in the race. The event began with a lively opening ceremony with more than 1,500 inspiring survivors in attendance. We paid tribute to those who were present, and honored the loved ones we have lost to breast cancer. We listened to moving stories of breast cancer survivors whose lives have been touched by Komen grants, and just before the race began, we were pumped up by Race Grand Marshal, Hulk Hogan! We then took to the course more committed and empowered than ever to keep fighting for an end to breast cancer.

I asked Houda Mintz, Accounting Assistant, at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown what participating in the race meant to her, “Participating in the Susan G. Komen Race made me feel very happy and proud to be a part of the fight to end breast cancer.” Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the Race for the Cure D.C., the organization made nearly $1 million dollars in donations!

Capella Employees at Race For The Cure

Five simple steps that we can take to lower the risk of breast cancer include having a balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables, maintaining an active lifestyle, sustaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and not smoking.

Participating in the race meant so much to me; nothing makes me happier than empowering and supporting fellow women. I’d especially like to thank my fellow colleagues for being so supportive of this cause, and I’d like to extend a special thank you to the outstanding group of all-star volunteers, generous sponsors, and the thousands of supporters that came to the National Mall to cheer everyone on!

Race For The Cure DC

Hopefully my experience has inspired you to get involved as well.  If you would like to learn more about different Susan G. Komen events held across the country please visit HERE.

Mother’s Day At The United States Botanic Garden

USBG Mother's Day Children's Program

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”  I could not have said it better than our Nation’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.  I hope to shower my children with as much love, kindness, and laughter as she does for my siblings and me.

When planning what to surprise my mom this Mother’s Day, I knew I wanted something different and unique.  Fortunately there is so much to do in Washington, D.C.!   This year’s plan: taking my mother to the United States Botanic Garden where we’ll be able to design and plant her very own garden.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America.  The three-acre National Garden draws its inspiration from the regional environments from the Mid-Atlantic.  Within the National Garden, the major features include the Butterfly Garden, the First Ladies Water Garden, and the Lawn Terrace.

UPDATED USBG Terrace

You too can bring your mother to the USBG and help her choose from different plants to grow in her own vegetable garden!  From the ingredients you choose to be planted in your new garden, you can help her make two recipes and taste the fruits your garden will flourish into.  Get creative with your recipes and bond over family heritage traditions!  This program is designed for all ages; to learn more, visit here.

USBG Mother's Day Children's Program

Don’t forget to also take the opportunity to participate in the Mother’s Day Tour of the Rose Garden.  It is sure to be beautiful and a memorable experience for everyone!

USBG Rose Garden Tour

If you are staying at Capella Washington, D.C. Georgetown, your Personal Assistants are available to help plan your own Mother’s Day adventures either at theUnited States Botanic Garden or somewhere else. And if you are looking for a perfect brunch, join me at The Grill Room this Mother’s Day for a feast fit for a queen. It’s time to celebrate the most important women in our lives, our Moms!

 

Images via United States Botanic Garden

Top 5 Things To Do This Spring In Washington, D.C.

Great Falls

I absolutely love D.C. I’ve discovered that alongside the magnetic energetic buzz, there are countless recreational activities to partake in. I’m glad it’s finally time to put away the snow gear and to start enjoying everything D.C. has to offer! Here are five activities I am looking forward to this spring in Washington, D.C.

standup paddleboarding

Standup Paddleboarding (SUP)
I’m always looking for new ways to make fitness fun and this popular sport has taken a form of surfing to a new level! You’ll find yourself enjoying the waters all while working out your core mastering your balancing skills. With the warmer weather approaching, now is the perfect time to try out this fun activity.  You can learn more about here.

Great Falls

The Billy Goat Trail In Great Falls
If you’re anything like me, you’ve never met a view you didn’t like. It’s hard to believe such a beautiful natural view exists just minutes from D.C., you will find yourself engulfed by the Great Falls. Pack a picnic and set off for a leisurely walk along the Billy Goat Trail. You definitely don’t want to forget your camera for a photo op in front of the waterfalls!

kickball

Join A Kickball League
Hands down one of the easiest and fun ways to meet new people in D.C. is to join a kickball league. Join hundreds of young professionals to participate in an amusing game of kickball. This is something that is for everyone and it doesn’t hurt that you’re playing on one of the historical landmarks in D.C, the National Mall.

Visit The National Zoo And Meet Bao Bao
Tigers, lions, and bears, oh my! The Asia Trail exhibit is designed to imitate the pandas natural habitat in China and you can find yourself being just inches away from the bears to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience!

Freshfarm Farmers’ Markets
There are many benefits to supporting local farmers markets, from savoring produce at the peak of freshness, knowing where your food comes from, and enjoying plenty of breakfast and lunch options. No matter where in D.C. you are located, you may find a farmers market close to you!

Of course no visit to Washington, D.C. is complete without making a trip to Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown as your home away from home. Let the team of Personal Assistants make your stay an unforgettable experience by setting up all these fun activities for you and your family.

 

 

Standup Paddleboarding Image via Boating in D.C.
Kickball Image via D.C. Kickball

Capella DC Staycation Tips for the Fall Season

rsz_kayaking_potomac_river copy

Summer vacations may be behind us, but weekends in September and October are one of my favorite times to experience the DC Metro area.  So much, I have decided to plan a staycation here at Capella Washington, D.C. Georgetown!  To do so, I’ve turned to my colleagues and D.C. natives for some of their most favorite activities and inspirations.

DC Staycation Tips:

Michael Katigbak, Capella D.C.’s Director of Sales & Marketing and his wife Courtney have lived in the city for many years, so I could not wait to hear their recommendations:

  • Walk to the Key Bridge Boathouse in Georgetown to rent kayaks for a smooth drift down the Potomac River and down to Roosevelt Island, the best way to see how the river shapes its physical form and influences its wildlife.
  • Head to the Georgetown’s infamous West End Cinema to watch some of the best international films with a beer or a glass of crisp wine (also, the popcorn is a must! It’s rated the best in D.C.!)
  • Check out Union Market, located about 20 minutes from Capella on New York Avenue, but totally worth the trip!  While you’re there, grab a bite to eat, like the lobster rolls and Korean empanadas
  • Relax at Meridian Hill Park on a Sunday afternoon while enjoying a picnic by the well known drum circle, where DCists bring their favorite instrument to entertain passers by

rsz_kayaking_potomac_river copy

Potomac River

Jason, one of Capella D.C.’s wonderful Sales Managers and his seven-year-old son Isaac love family activities.  Some of their favorites include:

  • Saturday afternoons at the National Building Museum, where children and adults can both learn about architecture, design and engineering.  The museum also has specific programs for children with a staff member dedicated to curating these programs.  There are also special exhibits throughout the year.  See them by clicking here
  • The Discovery Theater (part of Smithsonian), for a variety of exhibitions, collections and cultural experiences contained on the National Mall.  This museum is great for children ages 2-16
  • Following a fun day at the museums, check out Chef Geoff’s, where you will find a delicious menu for adults as well as kids just a short walk from the mall’s museums
  • Last but not least, you must stop by Pinstripes in Georgetown for an afternoon of bowling and bocce ball over lunch or dinner right next door to Capella D.C.

rsz_national_building_museum copy

National Building Museum

The opportunities and experiences are endless and I am so grateful to my team for giving me these wonderful suggestions!  With my reservation on the books, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend.  I also cannot forget to mention how excited I am to swim in the rooftop heated infinity pool and sip a cocktail from the lounge!  You can’t beat the feeling of exclusivity and outstanding views of our Nation’s Capital from the rooftop.

For more personalized recommendations and for information on planning your staycation experience be sure to contact one of our Personal Assistant’s at 202-617-2415 or e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com.