Want a restaurant-level experience at home? ‘Save DC Eats’ is here to help

When the coronavirus pandemic struck and shut down D.C. restaurants, chef Chris Morgan was just two weeks away from opening his new restaurant, Bammy’s, in the Navy Yard neighborhood.

With a health inspection yet to be performed, and other final details also in need of finishing, everything was shut down. But, before he was able to get Bammy’s up and running (it opens for carryout customers on Friday afternoon), Morgan spent a lot of time thinking and talking to friends both in the restaurant industry and out, and both here in D.C. and elsewhere.

It led to an idea he called Save DC Eats, an online portal that brings people a wide array of offerings from restaurants all over the city. It could be something as simple as buying gift cards or a meal kit to-go — something a number of restaurants around the region have been doing recently.

But, how does having a private, six-course dinner cooked for you by a James Beard-nominee sound, too? Or, creating and having your own cider named after you? Or, what if a chef showed up and taught you how to roast a pig or a lamb in your backyard?

All of that and more is also on the table through Save DC Eats, though obviously some of these experiences comes at a higher price than others.

“These are things that we always want to do as chefs, and they’re the events that, when they do happen, are the most fun for us,” said Morgan from inside the dining room of Bammy’s. “It’s really cool for us to be able to do it as well.”

Morgan is among those offering what he described as “interactive” pig and lamb roasts, promising to haul the big metal grills needed for such an event right to your home. Similar events are being offered by other chefs as well.

“I love teaching people how to cook, and I think it’s fun for people,” Morgan said.

Several other cooking classes, private dinners (some where the chef comes to your home, some where you go to their kitchen), and other tastings are among the dozens of different offers and experiences for sale right now.

No matter what you buy, you’ll pay for it now — and if it’s one of those special experiences, you’ll then schedule it for a time that’s safe and works for you and the restaurant.

“All the money that goes to the restaurant or chef or whatever, they can decide to spend how they see fit because everyone is in a different circumstance,” Morgan said. “Some people are using it to help pay some of their rent to help them get through this time,” while others might be paying employees.

In all, about 30 restaurants from around D.C. are participating in Save DC Eats.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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