Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Haiti and Morocco Win 2017 Embassy Chef Challenge Awards

People's Choice Champion: Chef Cynthia Verna

From our friends at Events DC...

A Record 33 Nations Offered Food and Beverages; Attendees Were the Biggest Winners

A sold-out crowd enjoyed authentic dishes representing the native countries of 27 embassy chefs at the 9th annual Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge presented by TCMA (A Drew company.) An additional six nations represented themselves at a new ‘Sips and Sweets’ pavilion, offering guests a glimpse into global beverage and snack cultures.

Chef Cynthia Verna of Haiti was selected as the People’s Choice Champion, chosen from votes cast by attendees. Her plate of shrimp, plantain chips and fine herbs aioli won a majority of votes cast via social media and paper ballots. Chef Moha Fedal of Morocco walked away the Judges’ Choice Champion for his Marrakech tangia made with lamb shoulder, preserved lemon, saffron, turmeric, garlic, aged butter and olive oil sealed in a clay jar. He was selected by a panel of esteemed judges consisting of:

• Allison Aubrey, NPR
• Valeria Barriga, Telemundo Washington DC
• Chef Xavier Deshayes, Ronald Reagan Building
• Chef Nelson Erazo, The Melrose Hotel
• Christina Fulton, Macy’s, Inc.
• Creig Greenidge, 2016 Judge’s Choice Champion (Barbados)
• Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian

Guests ate their way through an abundant array of foods and drinks prepared by the culinary teams representing Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritius, Moldova, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan.

Events DC Vice President Erik Moses said of the participants, “We had the largest, most diverse group ever represented at the Embassy Chef Challenge this year. The chefs who take part in our friendly competition each year continue to impress me and Washington is ecstatic to have them as part of our community. I know guests last night were able to taste some of the finest foods in the world, and we look forward to continuing this great tradition in years to come.”

The 2017 Embassy Chef Challenge sponsors include Pepsi, RCN Business, Pure Life Tea House, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, The Melrose, Capital Area Food Bank, The Washington Diplomat and Telemundo.

About Events DC:
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation’s capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that generates over $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the Stadium-Armory campus, which includes Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and surrounding Festival Grounds, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and Maloof Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Events DC also built and now serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. The most recent addition is Gateway DC, an innovative and versatile space featuring a covered and open-air pavilion in the center of a 1-acre park, conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. For more information, please visit and find us on social media – Facebook (Events DC), Twitter (@TheEventsDC and @TheEventsDC_SED for the Sports Entertainment and Special Events Division), and Instagram (@EventsDC.)

About Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (RRB/ITC):
The RRB/ITC is the first and only federal building dedicated to both government and private use, mandated by Congress, it unites the country’s best public and private resources to create a national forum for the advancement of trade. Owned by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and exclusively managed by TCMA (A Drew Company), the Reagan Building is the official World Trade Center Washington, DC, and a premier conference and event venue with executive office space, attractions, dining, retail, parking, and community activities. For more information, please visit or follow us @ReaganITCDC.

About TCMA (A Drew Company):
TCMA is the exclusive manager of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (RRB/ITC). TCMA’s team excels in delivering unparalleled service and expertise in Real-Estate Development, Leasing, Building Operations, Hospitality Services, and International Trade Promotion. For more information, please visit