Cultural Tourism DC dishes up the fourth edition of the Embassy Chef Challenge, the annual culinary competition for world-class embassy chefs. A panel of celebrity judges and more than 400 guests will judge cuisines from around the world and present the coveted Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice Awards. The annual benefit supports the free programs and events provided by Cultural Tourism DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the arts and culture of Washington, DC.
Embassy Chef Challenge 2012 will be held Thursday, March 8, 7:30 – 10 pm, in the atrium of co-host Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. The Embassy Chef Challenge is DC’s only such competition and one of the only opportunities for the public to sample the artistry of these private chefs.
Judging this year’s competition are Tim Carman, Food Reporter, The Washington Post; Chef Lars Beese, Chef at Embassy of Denmark and Winner of Embassy Chef Challenge 2011; Chef Carla Hall, Co-host The Chew, Top Chef All-Stars Finalist; Warren Brown, Founder, CakeLove; Chef Xavier Deshayes, Executive Chef, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center; Chef Sina Molavi, Executive Chef, Occasions Caterers; Chef Maziar Farivar, Executive Chef and Co-owner, Peacock Café; and Missy Frederick, Columnist, “Top Shelf” Washington Business Journal.
Embassy Chef Challenge 2012 chefs:
- Chef Devin E. Johnson, Embassy of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
- Chef Sen Sun, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
- Chef Malknaz Maisashvili, Embassy of Georgia
- Chef Viktor Merényi, Embassy of Hungary
- Chef Djamel Amroune, Embassy of the Republic of Iraq
- Chef Sherene N. James, Embassy of Jamaica
- Chef Shogo Shimodaira, Embassy of Japan
- Chef Yerlan Abdrakhmanov, Embassy of Kazakhstan
- Chef Young A. Byeon Lee, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
- Chef Nazha Kasraoui, Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco and 2009 Embassy Chef Challenge Winner of Judge’s and People’s Choice Award
- Chef Sondre Bruvik Ellingstad, Royal Norwegian Embassy
- Chef José Antonio “Rive” Perez Castro, Embassy of Spain
- Chef Channa Perera, Embassy of Sri Lanka
- Chef Vincent Muia, Embassy of Switzerland
The evening features hors d’oeuvres created for guests by DC embassy chefs as well as a silent auction featuring items steeped in international flavor including trip to the Bahamas, dinner with The Washington Post Food Critic Tom Sietsema, tea with ambassadors, and many more one-of-a-kind experiences.
Embassy Chef Challenge begins behind closed doors with a private preliminary competition, Challenge Denmark. This cook-off will be held on Saturday, February 12, in the kitchens of Challenge Denmark co-host, Occasions Catering. The Top Chef-style competition challenges each chef to create a main course in two hours with an ingredient revealed in advance — beets — plus a basket of surprise components drawn from Danish cuisine in honor of Embassy Chef Challenge 2011 winner and 2012 judge Chef Lars Beese. The Embassy Chef Challenge reconvenes the night of the benefit, March 8, when all chefs offer their best hors d’oeuvres for a second round of judging at the Ronald Reagan Building. The scores from the Challenge Denmark cook-off and the hors d’oeuvres battle determine the Judge’s Choice Award winner. Guests at the benefit vote for the People’s Choice Award.
Individual tickets are $250. Sponsorship packages are available beginning at $1,000. A VIP Reception for high-level sponsors and embassy representatives precedes the event at 6:30 pm. Tickets are on sale at www.CulturalTourismDC.org.