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