The Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge was a culinary smack down for the ages, netting several winners from the Caribbean and Africa who displayed their vision of culinary diplomacy to more than 1,200 guests.
Embassy chefs were vying to win the celebrated People’s Choice and Judges Choice awards at the 10th anniversary contest on May 17 – judges hailed from diplomatic, culinary, cultural, and media circles.
Chef Francis Otoo from the Embassy of Ghana won the second place People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice awards for his Lamb Jollof Rice. Meanwhile, Chef Jouvens Jean from the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti scored third place in the Judge’s Choice category for his Kabrit (goat) Kreyol served with Haitian cinnamon water.
Africa and the Caribbean cleaned up in the 10th anniversary contest’s two new categories too. The Best Dressed Embassy Award went to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The Best Beverage Award went to the Embassy of Barbados’ Chef Craig Greenidge and Mixologist Philip Antoine for their Drunken Bajan Lemonade. The sparkly purple lemonade, glows in the light and was incredibly popular, with people spending more than 20 minutes in line to try the drink. That prompted one guest to wonder if Rihanna was in the building (she wasn’t). Antoine told the AFRO he concocted the drink out of rum, butterfly pea flower, fresh mint, all spice, coconut extract and lots of love.
The trophies were shaped like pineapples, the international symbol of hospitality. The event, held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, allowed guests to eat their way through 28 countries, including Jamaica, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ethiopia.