#TOP15 food stories of 2015

Kolaches have gone through a bit of an evolution in the South. Now, it’s common to see them stuffed with meats, cheeses, potatoes and more. (Courtesy Republic Kolache Co.)
Kolache explodes in popularity  In 2015, we saw a Texas/Czech favorite make its way to the District. Now, fans of kolache line up every Saturday to get a taste of the sweet and savory stuffed pastries from Republic Kolache Co. The half-smoke sausage with cheddar cheese and house-made pickled jalapeño relish is a big seller, as is the chorizo sausage, soft-scrambled egg and sharp cheddar cheese kolache. Read more about the breakfast food craze on wtop.com. (Courtesy Republic Kolache Co.) (Republic Kolache Co. )
At Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, executive chef Jeff Tunks makes Jalisco-style roasted goat tacos. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Who needs carnitas when you can have goat?  It’s thought to have been one of the earliest domesticated animals, and it’s a staple protein in several cuisines and cultures around the world, but for many Americans, goat is new. Not at Arlington’s Fuego Cocina y Tequileria. Executive chef and owner Jeff Tunks is making goat mainstream with his Jalisco-style roasted goat tacos. Read more about the meat you should eat on wtop.com. (WTOP/Rachel Nania) (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
In this Wednesday, April 15, 2015 photo, shows one of Chef Niki Nakayama's vegetarian kaiseki plates, made with: Roaster cauliflower purple and green burnt bred and miso sauce, at her n/naka restaurant in Los Angeles. Nakayama is one of just six chefs to be profiled on Netflix's first homegrown documentary series, "Chef's Table," which features some of the most innovative chefs cooking today. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Lettuce goes luxury  Meat-eaters and vegetarians, alike, are flocking to fine-dining restaurants to try elaborate dishes and tasting menus that don’t include a single serving of meat — or dairy. Read about the rise of vegan fine-dining on wtop.com. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)   (AP/Damian Dovarganes)
Nitro coffee has folks buzzing with excitement  Nitro coffee is the newest caffeinated craze to hit the District. There’s no alcohol in the beverage — it’s just cold-brew coffee made from Stumptown beans, infused with 100 percent nitrogen — but it delivers a buzz, no less.
“I’ve never been higher on coffee in my whole life,” says Dolcezza owner Robb Duncan, who makes the beverage at the shop’s CityCenter location.
(WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Buredo, a popular downtown lunch spot that makes burrito-sized sushi rolls, opened on 14th Street  on June 29. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Sushi rolls get supersized  Buredo is on a roll. The 14th Street fast-casual lunch spot that opened this summer makes burrito-sized sushi rolls — and D.C.’s downtown crowd is eating it up. The menu has something for everyone, but unlike a typical burrito joint, it’s not build-your-own. A few menu options are modeled after more traditional sushi rolls — albeit in a much larger format. The Hanzo has yellowfin tuna sashimi with avocado, cucumber, pickled fennel, arugula, tempura crunch and lemon aioli, and the Sofie is made with shrimp tempura, avocado, pickled cabbage, carrot, toasted sesame seeds, red tobiko and sriracha mayo. Read more about the concept on wtop.com. (WTOP/Rachel Nania) (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Page is a 110-seat restaurant that recently opened in Terminal A at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. It serves Southern classics, such as pimento cheese, cured ham and biscuits, Virginia she crab soup and Chesapeake oysters. Travelers can also check the status of their flights and surf the web at their leisure. (Courtesy OTG/Page)
Pack your bags: D.C.’s latest dining destination requires a ticket Some of D.C.’s biggest chefs and best-known restaurants are opening eateries in an unusual location: the airport. Read about the trend that’s taking flight on wtop.com. (Courtesy OTG/Page) (Courtesy OTG/Page)
Chef Steven Badt and Chef Emily Hagel at Miriam's Kitchen. Badt came to Miriam's Kitchen 14 years ago and revolutionized the way the nonprofit feeds and serves the homeless community. (Courtesy Miriam's Kitchen)
A homeless food program that’s a step above the rest  Steve Badt, a chef who worked in restaurants in New York, Boston and D.C., didn’t see the need to treat a local homeless food program any differently than a program in one of his restaurants. And his approach to feeding the local homeless community made a big impact. Read more about Miriam’s Kitchen’s revolutionary food program on wtop.com. (Courtesy Miriam’s Kitchen) (Courtesy Miriam's Kitchen)
The team behind popular Japanese spot Daikaya in Chinatown has not one, but two new restaurants planned. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
It’s time to get schooled in ramen  Ramen’s popularity has only grown in the U.S. since David Chang popularized the Japanese noodle soup in 2004. But do you really know what you’re eating? A popular D.C. dining destination launched “Ramen 101” classes, so you can learn the history and the etiquette behind your favorite noodle dish. Read more on wtop.com. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Urban Heights is a new Filipino-inspired restaurant in Bethesda. It is one of several Filipino restaurants to open this year.
Filipino and Laotian cuisine makes a big splash  Cliff Wharton has no idea what initiated D.C.’s recent obsession with Filipino food, but he thinks it’s awesome. Wharton is the chef behind Urban Heights, one of four Filipino restaurants that opened this year. And Filipino is just one of several Southeast Asian-inspired restaurants to make its way to the District. In December, D.C. welcomed its first Laotian restaurant when Thip Khao opened in Columbia Heights. Read more about D.C.’s recent boom in international cuisine on wtop.com. (Courtesy Urban Heights) (Courtesy Urban Heights)
AlternateEats_Credit_Mathew_Ramsey.jpg
PornBurger strips away tradition and finds pleasure in the unique Mathew Ramsey has a solution for burger fatigue. Sometimes it’s as simple as whipping up kimchi ketchup or replacing bacon with crispy duck skin. Other times, Ramsey takes on more complicated challenges to beat burger boredom. He adds bone marrow to onion jam, tops grass-fed beef with foie gras mousse or uses Yorkshire pudding as a breaded vehicle for his stacked creations. In 2015, the creator of PornBurger continued to grow his “food pornography” website and his popularity in the local culinary community with his always-sold out dinner parties. And just in time for the New Year, Ramsey is out with his first cookbook, “Hot Buns and Juicy Beefcakes.” Read Ramsey’s tips on how to take your homemade burgers to the next level on wtop.com.  
The design for the kitchen at The Inn at Little Washington came from Windsor Castle. (Courtesy The Inn at Little Washington)
Eat with your eyes  Thirty-seven years ago, it was a small dining room in a former auto repair shop in the tiny Virginia town. Now, it’s one of the country’s greatest restaurants. WTOP sat down with The Inn at Little Washington’s Patrick O’Connell to talk about how the chef and visionary designed the acclaimed dining destination. Read the history on wtop.com. (Courtesy Gordon Beall/ The Inn at Little Washington) (Courtesy Gordon Beall/ The Inn at Little Washington)
Ugly fruits and vegetables  often get thrown away. (Thinkstock)
Ugly vegetables make pretty juices  Shiny green apples, blemish-free beets and round red tomatoes paint the picture of most grocery store produce aisles. But there’s an ugly truth behind all of the pretty produce. Research shows that up to 40 percent of fruits and vegetables go uneaten or get thrown away, mostly because they do not meet consumers’ cosmetic standards. Two Georgetown students, however, are working to change that statistic with their business, MISFIT Juicery. Read the full story on wtop.com. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/Roel Smart)
Over the summer, the South American street food soared to popularity on D.C.’s streets. It's all about the arepa. (Courtesy Arepa Zone)
A South American street food takes center stage  First there was the taco. Then, the empanada took a turn in the spotlight. Now, it’s all about the arepa. Read more on what they are and where you can find them on wtop.com. (Courtesy Arepa Zone) (Courtesy Arepa Zone)
FILE -- Today, you can routinely find Burgundy wines on wine lists at many fine dining sushi restaurants. And when you do, you’ll have a sushi chef in Maryland  to thank for it. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/kityowong)
You’re eating sushi all wrong Do you mix your wasabi in your soy? Or eat your rolls with chopsticks? You might want to check out our expert sushi-eating etiquette tips on wtop.com. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/kityowong)
Don't let dessert be an afterthought. With a few ingredients and a little advanced planning, you can turn out a delicious homemade pie that tastes like it came from one of the best in the business. (Courtesy Bayou Bakery)
How to make the perfect pie crust  When it comes to making a pie, there’s no need to buy the crust. David Guas, chef and owner of Bayou Bakery, shares his favorite pie crust recipe and a step-by-step guide on how to pull it all together. Find the full guide on wtop.com. (Courtesy Bayou Bakery) (Courtesy Bayou Bakery)
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Kolaches have gone through a bit of an evolution in the South. Now, it’s common to see them stuffed with meats, cheeses, potatoes and more. (Courtesy Republic Kolache Co.)
At Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, executive chef Jeff Tunks makes Jalisco-style roasted goat tacos. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
In this Wednesday, April 15, 2015 photo, shows one of Chef Niki Nakayama's vegetarian kaiseki plates, made with: Roaster cauliflower purple and green burnt bred and miso sauce, at her n/naka restaurant in Los Angeles. Nakayama is one of just six chefs to be profiled on Netflix's first homegrown documentary series, "Chef's Table," which features some of the most innovative chefs cooking today. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Buredo, a popular downtown lunch spot that makes burrito-sized sushi rolls, opened on 14th Street  on June 29. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Page is a 110-seat restaurant that recently opened in Terminal A at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. It serves Southern classics, such as pimento cheese, cured ham and biscuits, Virginia she crab soup and Chesapeake oysters. Travelers can also check the status of their flights and surf the web at their leisure. (Courtesy OTG/Page)
Chef Steven Badt and Chef Emily Hagel at Miriam's Kitchen. Badt came to Miriam's Kitchen 14 years ago and revolutionized the way the nonprofit feeds and serves the homeless community. (Courtesy Miriam's Kitchen)
The team behind popular Japanese spot Daikaya in Chinatown has not one, but two new restaurants planned. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Urban Heights is a new Filipino-inspired restaurant in Bethesda. It is one of several Filipino restaurants to open this year.
AlternateEats_Credit_Mathew_Ramsey.jpg
The design for the kitchen at The Inn at Little Washington came from Windsor Castle. (Courtesy The Inn at Little Washington)
Ugly fruits and vegetables  often get thrown away. (Thinkstock)
Over the summer, the South American street food soared to popularity on D.C.’s streets. It's all about the arepa. (Courtesy Arepa Zone)
FILE -- Today, you can routinely find Burgundy wines on wine lists at many fine dining sushi restaurants. And when you do, you’ll have a sushi chef in Maryland  to thank for it. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/kityowong)
Don't let dessert be an afterthought. With a few ingredients and a little advanced planning, you can turn out a delicious homemade pie that tastes like it came from one of the best in the business. (Courtesy Bayou Bakery)

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