Embassy Chef Challenge: Around the World in an Evening

The Tenth Anniversary Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge was held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on Thursday night, with chefs from 28 participating nations showcasing their cuisine. Embassy chefs exhibit their talents, ultimately competing for the honor of being named a People’s Choice or Judge’s Choice Champion. Colorful displays from the participating countries serve as beautiful complements to the food.

It’s a night of delicious dishes, delightful cultural displays and entertainment, and international camaraderie, making this one of my favorite events of the year. One of the highlights is queuing up with attendees at the various stations, excitedly sharing sentiments about the not-to-be-missed dishes and drinks.

Chef Abigail “Abie” Sincioco-Mateo representing the Embassy of the Philippines was selected as the People’s Choice Champion, as well as the Judges’ Choice Champion for her plate of Pork Sisig.

Both second-place prizes were given to the Embassy of Ghana Chef, Francis Otoo, for his Lamb Jollof Rice. Chef Jouvens Jean from the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti took home the third-place prize in the Judges’ Choice category for his Kabrit Kreyol served with Haitian Cinnamon Water. In the People’s Choice category, third-place was awarded to the Embassy of Colombia Chef, Alex Salgado, for his Coconut Shrimp with Pancetta and Heart of Palm Ceviche.

Embassy of Ghana Chef, Francis Otoo


Embassy of Colombia Chef, Alex Salgado

Two new awards were handed out this year as well. The Best Beverage presented by Pepsi was awarded to the Embassy of Barbados for their Drunken Bajan Lemonade developed by mixologist Philip Antoine and Chef Creig Greenidge.


More highlights:

Embassy of Nepal serving Chana Chaat Polie

Embassy of Kenya


Embassy of El Salvador serving Pupusa Loca


Mutton Biriyani from Embassy of Bangladesh

Embassy of Georgia serving Chanakhi (lamb stew)


Embassy of Mauritius serving seafood bisque and chocolate mousse

Events DC senior vice president and managing director of sports, entertainment and special events, Erik Moses, said of the tenth anniversary event, “This year’s challenge was bigger and better than ever before. It was great to see so many embassies turn out with such pride for their native cuisine and culture. Congratulations to all the chefs who competed. Here’s to another decade of friendly and delicious competition.”

The 2018 Event DC Embassy Chef Challenge presented by TCMA sponsors include Astral Tequila, Bundaberg, Cultural Tourism DC, Cutco, Legacy Partners Distribution, Macy’s, RCN Business, Social Driver, Sombra Mezcal tequila, Teahouse/Pureleaf, TYKU Sake and Voss artesian water.

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