Capital Food Fight: Giving Thanks

As we take time out of our busy lives this week to give thanks -and stuff ourselves silly- it’s appropriate to acknowledge the dedicated chefs, judges, hosts, sponsors, and representatives from 80 local restaurants who participated in last week’s sold-out Capital Food Fight to benefit DC Central Kitchen

The event, held at the Ronald Reagan Building, attracted more than 1,200 participants, and raised $638,000 for the non-profit. DC Central Kitchen’s mission is to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities, which it accomplishes through its culinary training program and by expanding access to healthy food.

Event Founder and Chair, José Andrés, took a break from his humanitarian efforts in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico to inspire and entertain the crowd during the culinary battle that is a focal point of the event.  This year’s battle featured local chefs Douglas Alexander of Art and Soul, Hamilton Johnson of Honeysuckle, Bobby Pradachith of Thip Khao, and Miranda Rosenfelt of Sally’s Middle Name.

Competitor Bobby Pradachith of Thip Khao assisted by Chef Sasha Felikson of Doi Moi

Chef Rosenfelt was declared the champion by the panel of celebrity judges including Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman, TV personality Adam Richman, political analyst Ana Navarro, and New York-based Chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson.  In the final battle Rosenfelt and Pradachith were tasked with making a dish with Salty Hog oysters from Whole Foods Market. Rosenfelt’s victory was the result of her seafood stuffing with roast oysters.

The hijinks on stage, and the witty banter between hosts and judges, are always a highlight of the event. This year Andres removed his shoes, which were worn out from all his trekking around Puerto Rico.  Navarro auctioned them off, as she humorously chided him for their shoddy appearance.  She ended up purchasing the shoes for $500.

Chefs and mixologists dazzled the crowd at tasting stations.  These hard working professionals, and the restaurants they represent, contribute significant time and resources to this event.  As we enter the holiday season, it’s important to remember that hunger and poverty are still a challenge in DC. Thanks to DC Central Kitchen and all the volunteers and attendees of Capital Food Fight, who are helping to empower people so that they can leave hunger behind once and for all.

And now for a few more photos.

Executive Chef Ben Pflaumer, Osteria Morini (right) serves tortellini en brodo


Chef Ryan Hackney represents The Bird with turducken meatballs


Zentan Executive Chef Yo Matsuzaki presents his dish- Yoparrai Tontoro


Proof Executive Chef Austin Fausett whips up Turducken Croquettes


Beuchert’s Saloon Executive Chef Andrew Markert puts his knives down as he finishes his dish of Charleston Gold Rice Congee


The Royal Chef Cable Smith serves up Coriander Spiced Duck Breast


For a full listing of all Capital Food Fight tasting restaurants, competitors, hosts and judges, visit


More on DC Central Kitchen

As the nation’s first and leading community kitchen, DC Central Kitchen develops and operates social ventures targeting the cycle of hunger and poverty. The organization’s life-changing ventures provide culinary training to jobless adults, turn wasted food into balanced meals for shelters and nonprofits, expand access to healthy food, and provide healthy, scratch-cooked meals in low-income schools. These efforts have been recognized with the leading national award for healthy school food innovation, The Golden Carrot; the Washington Business Journal’s Green Business Award for Innovation; and the DC Chamber of Commerce’s Community Impact Award. To learn more, visit or follow @dcck on Twitter.


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