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Nontando Ngidi Jan Du Plain Nowetu Luti Embassy of South Africa Chef Zondwa Sikakane (Photo by Tony Powell)

At the seventh annual Embassy Chef Challenge, twelve countries compete for best dish. 

By Erica Moody

Nontando Ngidi Jan Du Plain Nowetu Luti Embassy of South Africa Chef Zondwa Sikakane (Photo by Tony Powell)

Nontando Ngidi, Jan Du Plain, Nowetu Luti and Embassy of South Africa Chef Zondwa Sikakane (Photo by Tony Powell)

At Cultural Tourism DC‘s seventh annual Embassy Chef Challenge at the Reagan Building, a total of twelve embassies offered small plates showcasing their countries’ signature delicacies, serving them up as guests stopped by each tasting station before casting their ballots for the People’s Choice Award.

Embassy of Venezuela Chef Manuel Rodriguez (Photo by Tony Powell)

The winning chef, Embassy of Venezuela’s Manuel Rodriguez (Photo by Tony Powell)

This year, Venezuela won out, with Chef Manuel Rodriguez taking home the People’s Choice Award and the Judge’s Pick for “Back to Life,” a delectable dish featuring seafood and shellfish ceviche in tomato sauce.

The winning dish (Photo by Tony Powell)

The winning dish (Photo by Tony Powell)

Some other standout dishes included sunchoke soup from Royal Danish Embassy Chef Lars Beese, a cured salmon dish (served with shots of Linie Aquavit) by Chef Sindre Risvoll of Norway and a beef rendang from Chef Galih Kuntobaskoro of Indonesia.

Nina Langli Royal Norwegian Embassy Executive Chef Sindre Risvoll Karoline Afloy (Photo by Tony Powell)

Nina Langli, Royal Norwegian Embassy Executive Chef Sindre Risvoll and Karoline Afloy (Photo by Tony Powell)

Many of the chefs and staff got into the spirit of the event by dressing in cultural garb from their countries. A panel of expert judges included Washington Post food section editor Bonnie Benwick, Ris executive chef Ris Lacoste, Jardenea chef Nate Lindsay and more.

Beef Rendang (Photo by Tony Powell)

Beef Rendang (Photo by Tony Powell)

Participating embassies included the Royal Danish Embassy; Royal Norwegian Embassy; the embassies of El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, State of Qatar, Georgia, Indonesia, Guatemala, Hungary and of course, Venezuela. Tourism DC executive director Steven Shulman said “This year’s event is especially diverse with embassy chefs representing global regions ranging from South America and Scandinavia to Southeast Asia and South Africa.”

View all of our event photos on Smugmug below. 

Embassy Chef Challenge

Click on any photo to view all of the images from the event!

Photo by Tony Powell. 2015 Embassy Chef Challenge. Reagan Building. May 20, 2015

Jan Du Plain

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