Eating Around the World: Embassy Chef Challenge

12 Mar

Hi lovelies! Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday, but I’m still here! I’ve got a pretty exciting week coming up and one of the things I’m most looking forward to is the 2013 Embassy Chef Challenge.

embassychefchallengeSome of you may have noticed the fun little button on the right hand side of my page showing you my upcoming events and adventures and this is one of them.

Presented by Cultural Tourism DC, the Embassy Chef Challenge is a face-off between some of the world’s most talented chefs who work at embassies from all corners of the globe. For this jet-setting gal, it’s a chance to go on worldwide eating tour without even leaving my city.

For the fifth year in a row, embassy chefs compete in front of a panel of judges and over 400 guests to represent their country’s cuisine. At stake are two awards: the Judge’s Choice (decided by the panel) and the People’s Choice (decided by the plebians guests).

Though these chefs usually only serve diplomats and heads of state, they’re going to be presenting hors d’oeuvres for our critique and will be judged by a well-respected panel of foodies, including Top Chef’s Carla Hall (did you know she lives in DC?) and Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes (cue girlish squeal). I am just excited to rub elbows with people who have cooked for this guy:

Smiling is not allowed in Mother Russia.

Smiling is not allowed in Mother Russia.

What’s great about the event is that it supports all the programs and events that are sponsored by Cultural Tourism DC throughout the year. As a nonprofit, they are doing amazing work to promote the arts and culture in the DC area. Coming from a broke post-grad, I can appreciate that they try to offer tons of free events that are accessible to everybody.

I am really looking forward to the event because there are several participating countries whose cuisine I’ve never tried. Having lived on three continents, I consider myself to be a well-traveled person, but there are so many countries I have yet to visit. I will be perfectly honest when I say a lot of my interest in a country is dictated by how much I like their cuisine, so I am hoping that by tasting lots of different foods, I will have a few more places to add to my travel bucket list!

Here are the competitors:

• Afghanistan
• China
• El Salvador
• Jamaica
• Korea
• New Zealand
• Norway
• Russia
• South Africa
• Trinidad & Tobago

How were the finalists decided? Last month, there was a Top Chef-style competition between a larger pool of chefs who had to create a main course in two hours with one common ingredient and basket of surprise ingredients (a la Chopped).

On Thursday night, the second round of judging takes places when the finalists create hors d’oeuvres to be judged by the panel and the guests. The scores from the first round and this round will be tabulated to determine who will be the NEXT TOP EMBASSY CHEF (feel free to say that out loud in the voice of Tyra Banks from America’s Next Top Model).


Needless to say, I can’t wait to try delicious food from around the world and rub elbows with diplomatic bigwigs. The big question remains, though: what in the heck am I supposed to wear?

If you’re in the DMV and and foreign foods get your juices running, there are tickets left, so come join in on the fun! There’s an open baaaar…

If you aren’t in the area, feel free to follow along live on Twitter or Facebook on Thursday night.  Here are the deets:

Provided both my hands aren’t occupied with stuffing my face, I will be live tweeting the event, so if you follow me on Twitter, you can join in on the fun from afar.

Food For Thought: Have you been to any of these countries/tried any of these types of foods? Which cuisine would you be most curious to try?

I have had Trinidadian cuisine several times and I absolutely adore it, but I have no idea what to expect from New Zealand or South Africa. Can’t wait to find out!

A big thank you to Cultural Tourism DC and Vanessa French for providing tickets for the event for myself and Stefano. 

2 Responses to “Eating Around the World: Embassy Chef Challenge”


  1. Raindrops on Roses | Magia e Pasta - March 15, 2013

    […] Embassy Chef Challenge: I will post a full recap of this next week, but if you follow me on Twitter, you can get a peek into how my night went. It was wonderful!!! I kept saying to Stef how I wished I had four stomachs so I could eat more delicious food. I was full to bursting, but it was worth the stomach pains because now I know why people drop lots of money to go to events like these. If I had my way, I would go to something like this at least once a month. […]

  2. Around the World in an Evening | Magia e Pasta - March 25, 2013

    […] less than two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel around the world without even leaving my own city! Thanks to DC Cultural Tourism, Stefano […]

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