Embassy Chef Challenge 2018 – 10th Anniversary

Presented by TCMA (operators of the building) at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, the Embassy Chef Challenge was brought to you by Events DC and Cultural Tourism DC.

This evening is an annual tradition – an opportunity for DC’s diplomatic community to showcase the flavors of their home country to residents of the Washington, DC area. With embassy chefs representing cultures from around the world competing for the Pepsi Best Beverage, Macy’s Best Dressed Embassy, TCMA Judges’ Choice and Events DC People’s Choice. We took our taste buds on a culinary journey around the world!

The event included performances by:

Los Gallos Negros
Ghanian Jazz Guitarist
Cameroon Ballet
Party 21 (Slovakian performance)
Origem (Brazilian dance)
GRUFOLPAWA (Panamanian dance)
Donato Soviero (Italian singing duo)
City of the Sun

We were mainly enjoying the food, so in case you missed the event or would like a trip down memory lane, see the grazing path we took below!

Participating Nations and Dishes



Chef: Emile Emgoulou
Dish: NDomba of fish, grilled chicken, “Camerican” beans and beignets

Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Chef: Sinali Anzata
Dish: Attieke/Poisson (fish), fried plaintains, braised lamb


Chef: Christopher Roberson
Dish: Doro Wat


Winner of People’s Choice 2nd place and Judge’s Choice 2nd place

Chef: Francis Otoo
Dish: Lamb jollof rice
Drink: Ginger lime mint


Drink: Kenya spiced tea
Dessert: Kenya Maandazi with Coconut


Chef: Giovanni Merle
Dish: Dry shrimp tapenade served with tamarind lemonade


Winner of Macy’s Best Dressed Embassy Award

Chef: Faycal Zahraoui
Dish: Chicken with spices and Mojito style mint tea



Chef: Abul Hossain
Dish: Mutton biriyani (An aromatic and spicy rice dish, made with meat, spice, herbs, yogurt, and ghee. A popular and traditional Bangalee main course)

Drink: Borhani (A spicy, minted, savory yogurt drink that aids digestion)

Dessert: Rosogolla (A sweet ball/dumpling made with “cchana” – curdled milk, and sugar syrup, with a hint of “elaichi” – cardamom)


Chef: Djamel Amroune

Dish: Beef short ribs with a blended spices rub, over dill saffron Iraqi rice garnished with crispy shallots and dry shaved baby carrots

Drink: Basil seeds drink

Kyrgyz Republic

Sips and Sweets – Kyrgyz cognac and borsok

Dessert: Borsok (A delicious, puffy, fried bread served on holidays and special occasions in Kyrgyzstan like a wedding or a memorial. It is said that the smell of the oil and the frying borsok floats high into the sky so that your ancestors and dead loved ones can feed on the aroma and enjoy them with you. It’s a beautiful thought as you fry.)


Chef: Lok Tiwary

Dish: Chana chaat polie (mixed fresh vegetables, marinated with herbs and spices)

Drink: Mango lassy and fresh mango saudi


Winner of People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice

Chef: Abigail “Abie” Sincioco

Dish: Pork sisig

Drink: San Miguel (must drink San Miguel alongside Sisig! Can even mix the blond and dark)

Sri Lanka [Absent]

Chef: Anuradha Wijesinghe

Dish: Milk rice, hot prawn curry, and vegetable salad



Chef: Dries Molkens

Dish: Raspberry, white chocolate and basil

Drink: De troch kriek lambic (Belgian sour beer with fruit)


Chef: Malkhaz Maisashvili

Dish: Chanakhi (lamb stew with tomatoes, aubergines, potatoes, greens and garlic)

Drink: Saperavi (Georgian red dry wine)


(Sips and Sweets – Imperial Rickey 300 – Sparkling wine from the Court Vineyard of the Prince of Liechtenstein mixed with Laird’s Applejack, Elderflower Liqueur and lemon juice)


(Sips and Sweets – Sampling of Moldovan wines, including Cricova, Chateau Vartely and Taking Root)

Slovak Republic

(Sips and Sweets – Double Cross Vodka and Slovakian Wines)

North America


Winner of PepsiCo Beverage

Chef: Creig Greenidge

Dish: Scotch bonnet (seared Bajan seafod soup shot with Caribbean spices and herbal shrimp dumpling) and pan-seared Bajan pork tenderloin (or chicken tenderloin with cheesy smoked ham), infused local green peas and rice ended with rum sorrel and ginger sauce

Drink: Drunken Bajan Lemonade [Winner of Best Drink – Made by mixologist Philip Antoine]

Dessert: Pumpkin Fritter (deep fried pumpkin fritter filled with bayleaf rum cream sauce tossed in Caribbean spiced sugar)

Canada (Sips and Sweets – Sampling of five Canadian beers)

Flying Monkey Craft Brewery (Barrie, Ontario)

Nickel Brook Brewing (Burlington, Ontario)

Cameron’s Brewing (Oakville, Ontario)

All or Nothing Brewing (Oakville, Ontario)

Waterloo Brewing (Kitchener, Ontario)

Dixon’s Distilled Spirits (Guelph, Ontario)

Dominican Republic

Chef: Aris and Raymond Compres

Dish: Dominica arepa

El Salvador

Chef: Francisco Ferrufino

Dish: Pupusa loca nibble (corn masa tortilla stuffed with pork carnitas (chicharron), ham, shrimp, spinach and cheese with cabbage slaw, and fresh tomato sauce)

Dessert: Sweet plaintain doughnuts stuffed with rice flour cream and coated in tamarind glaze

Drink: Horchata


Winner of Judge’s Choice 3rd place

Chef: Jouvens Jean

Dish: Kabrit (goat) Kreyol served with Haitian cinnamon water


Don’t miss the Jamaican Jerk festival on June 10th!

Chef: Wenford Patrick Simpson

Dish: Oxtail and butterbeans over four play mac & cheese finish with a mango chutney</p


Chef: Felipe Milanes

Dish: Thick-smoked pork rice stew

Drink: Spiced S6 (Panama’s national rum “Ron Abuelo,” with ginger syrup, lemon juice and angostura

South America


Chef: Carlos Aquin

Dish: Bolivian quinoa

Drink: Singani (made into a Chuflay cocktail)


Chef: Guillermo Munoz

Dish: Pastel de choclo,

Chilean salad and marinated salmon ceviche with shallots, cilantro and red beans


Winner of People’s Choice 3rd place

Chef: Alex Salgado

Dish: Coconut and shrimp creole, slow cooked pancetta with tucupi and heart of palm ceviche

Drink: Colombian Mistela

Dessert: Chucula


Chef: Elmer Gutierrez

Dish: Quinoa salad and shrimp ceviche served with chilcano de pisco

Drink: Chilcano (with either Pisco Porton or Pisco Picasso)

The grandson of Nelson Mandela, Siyabulela Mandela, paid visitation and gave a compelling speech of how we are different outside of these walls but with diplomacy, such as with diplomatic eating, we can be more aware and understand our differences – taking us one step closer to peace and equality.

Be sure to be there next year!

Further information: The Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge presented by TCMA has been a staple of Passport DC, a month-long celebration of Washington DC’s diplomatic community, since 2009. The Challenge, an event that can only happen in the District, which is home to more than 190 embassies, provides a setting for culinary diplomacy to thrive as a diverse group of highly regarded chefs from around the world prepare an authentic sip and bite from their homeland for attendees to taste.

Experiencing cultural diversity and inclusion has been at the forefront of the 10th Anniversary Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge Presented by TCMA and continues to remain as the core principle that drives decisions on how to enhance programming from year to year.

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