life after 'Hell's Kitchen' | MoCo360 (2023)


life after 'Hell's Kitchen' | MoCo360 (1)
The kitchen at Full On Craft Eats & Drinks in Rockville is run by Michelle Houser Harris. Photo by Eric Gibson.

Ten years ago,Michelle “Mieka” Houser Harris worked at a McDonald's in a small Pennsylvania town, worried about her future. But life took an unexpected turn for the 28-year-old Olney native. In 2011, she graduated from L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg after an internship in the Oval Office in Washington, D.C., and has since competed on Season 14 of Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen (she was sent home in the fourth episode ), has performed cooking demonstrations on local television and, most recently, was featured in the fall exhibit "Women Chefs: Artists in the Kitchen" at the Mansion at Strathmore.

Harris, one of the few young chefs quietly making inroads, is now the head chef at Rockville's Full On Craft Eats & Drinks, an upscale restaurant serving up signature sandwiches, craft beer and wine, with a focus on ready-made preparations. right from the start. A small, rustic space in a nondescript commercial area, Full On offers a friendly atmosphere with homemade soups, dressings, sauces, sides, and desserts, as well as house-roasted meats.

The chef, who says she "never would have thought any of this would have happened," has absorbed a lot in the process. This is what she learned from:

Attend the Culinary Academy:“Techniques and how to fix things.”

Internship in the Oval Office: "Discipline."


Subscribe to a lark for Hell's Kitchen:"Any chance you get, even if you think it won't work out, just do it."

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The intense pressure of being on reality TV:"It's okay to get out of your comfort zone."

Gordon Ramsay, host of the show:"Get it right the first time."


Being a chef at Full On:: “Sometimes the easy way is not the right one. Do everything to the maximum”.

Her mother:"You've only got one life."

Full On Craft Eats & Drinks, 4007-D Norbeck Road, Rockville, 240-669-3875,


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life after 'Hell's Kitchen' | MoCo360 (2)
Matt Cimino offers tasting flights of his cider in Silver Spring. Photo by Michael Ventura.

Hard cider is all the rage these days,and Kensington resident Matt Cimino was on the ground floor of the growing trend. With a doctorate in botany from the University of Maryland, Cimino was doing forensic analysis for government contractors when he decided to change the subject, opening Great Shoals Winery in 2010 in Spencerville, Maryland. Great Shoals now produces over a dozen varieties of hard cider, as well as a number of traditional and sparkling wines.


While the wines are made in a few locations around the state, Great Shoals ciders are made in Silver Spring, in a warehouse at Heyser Farms, where Cimino also runs a tasting room. Great for a weekend activity, even on a cold winter day, tasting flights run from $7 to $10.

Bodega Great Shoals en Heyser Farms, 14526 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, 410-849-9616, Winter tasting room hours are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. m. to 6:00 p.m. m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Ciders are also served at Denizens Brewing Co. and Urban Winery in Silver Spring, and bottles can be purchased at Fenwick Beer and Wine in Silver Spring, Mom's Organic Market and King Farm Wine Shop in Rockville, and Roots in Olney.



When chef Ype Von Hengst designed the menu for the upscale Silver Diner in downtown Bethesda, he wanted it to be an extension of the brand but not entirely different from the restaurants at Silver Diner, the regional chain he founded in 1989 with his Partner Bob Giaimo. . So one-third of the menu is the same, one-third is new (ie tuna tartare, chia pudding, and banana), and the remaining dishes are sophisticated, flavor-enhanced versions of Silver Diner classics. Examples: chicken wings at Silver Diner, chimichurri wings at Silver;
flat iron steak at Silver Diner, hanger steak at Silver. Look what happened to the meatloaf.

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life after 'Hell's Kitchen' | MoCo360 (3)

Organic Bison Truffle Meatloaf in Silver, $20

Fresh spinach wilts with organic garlic oil.
Yukon Gold mashed potatoes are given a drizzle of basil oil.
Meatloaf made from organic ground bison is tossed with chopped truffles and topped with demi-glace; Sautéed chanterelle mushrooms and roasted pearl onions sit on the side.

Pastel de carne Black Angus sin Silver Diner, US$ 14,99

Sliced ​​meatloaf, made with ground Black Angus beef, topped with brown gravy and crispy onion straws.
Side dishes include buttered corn and freshly steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.
Mashed potatoes are made from russets.



taste italian grill
Another quick and casual take on have it your way, this time the Italian way. That means custom pastas, flatbreads, and salads with a variety of proteins (meatballs, chicken, steak, porchetta), sauces (like classic tomato, pesto, Alfredo), and dressings (olives, artichoke hearts, sweet and hot peppers, bacon and more) .
Mover: Hearty, home-cooked food that will leave you satisfied without enthusiasm. Porchetta (slow-roasted pork shoulder with herbs and spices) is done right here.
4733 Elm St., Bethesda, 240-396-6398; 8512 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, 301-565-2800,

Wagshal's Restaurant
A longtime Northwest Washington institution known for its high-quality, reliable restaurants, expands its hold on Spring Valley Mall with a casual eatery set to open in October. The company already has a deli and small market downtown, plus Pitmasters Back Alley BBQ, in an alley behind.
(It also has a sizable gourmet market on New Mexico Avenue NW and businesses catering, importing, school lunch, and custom cakes.)
Mover: the conservatory dining room is quite simple, and the uncomfortable metal chairs will hurt your belly. But the stuffed sandwiches can rival the best in the Big Apple, and the crab cake, with giant chunks of meat, two vegetables and a salad, is a delicious bargain at $17.
4855 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 202-363-5698,

my crazy jamaican
Food truck operator Naya Radway, the daughter of Jamaican parents, puts on a physical show on the dining terrace at Westfield Montgomery.
Mover: Tender oxtail and whole grain braised chicken are better options than tame chicken or goat curry.
The hotheads will like the jerk chicken.
7101 Democracy Blvd. (sin compras en Westfield Montgomery), Bethesda, 202-505-2447,


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After his foray into high-end hot dogs, burgers and donuts, Bethesda's Bold Bite owner Alonso Roche is going back to his culinary roots with a tapas bar. Roche is shooting for a casual, lively place calledtapas, to open later this spring in a part of the former BlackFinn pub, next door to his Bold Bite restaurant.

At the time of publication,barra maki, a sister restaurant to Bethesda's Maki Maki sushi restaurant, was preparing to open in The Shops at Wisconsin Place on Wisconsin Avenue, just below Trader Joe's.

After less than a year on the market, Silver Spring'sCoffee SligoIt changed ownership and by November was transitioning from American comfort food to Korean casual.


Benny's Bar and Grillit also changed hands, when the Potomac restaurant was sold in October to the owner of the Irish Inn in Glen Echo. Not surprisingly, a traditional Irish restaurant is on the way, expected to arrive in January.

Also in 2016, the construction of a 15-seater bar will begin in theThe ranchrestaurant in Chevy Chase; replacing a small private ballroom, it will offer drinks and snacks in addition to the regular menu.

In big closing news,Chef Geoffon Rockville Pike, which opened in 2012, flopped and closed in early November. Owner Geoff Tracy told Bethesda Beat that he was unable to generate the necessary revenue and that he was losing a lot of money on the site.


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