RESTAURANT CHEFS around town compete for our dining dollars every day of the week. But there’s another group of unbelievably talented cooks whose food we civilians cannot buy with any amount of money.
They are the chefs who simmer and sauté behind the gates of their countries’ embassies here in Washington.
My Little Bird is joining Cultural Tourism DC in its 6th annual cook-off for embassy chefs. On Thursday, May 15, from 6 to 9:30 pm, I’ll be prowling around behind the scenes, watching as the chefs and their teams assemble hundreds of samples of their kitchens’, and their countries’, best hors d’oeuvres. I’ll take pictures and chat with willing participants so I can record the scene.
And I’d like to take two of you with me as we watch the chefs work, then join the gala festivities on the main floor of the Ronald Reagan Building downtown (1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW).
We’ll eat hors d’oeuvres and drink custom cocktails and bid on auction items (lots of exciting food and adventure packages, most offered by the embassies and the cultural institutions that are members of CTDC). And we’ll vote on our favorite among the culinary treats, prepared by chefs from Italy, Venezuela, Thailand, Jamaica and 10 other nations. A panel of judges–the Washington Post’s Tim Carman, cookbook author Joan Nathan and Top Chef contestant Bart Vandaele of Belga Cafe among them–will pick the winning Judges’ Choice, but we’ll get to join the diplomats and foodies among the gala guests in voting for the People’s Choice Award.
To win a pair of Embassy Chef Challenge tickets, just send My Little Bird an email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Embassy Chef Challenge” in the subject line. We will choose a winner at random from the emails on Monday, May 12. Be sure to include your phone number in your email so we can get in touch quickly.
Cultural Tourism DC is a nonprofit organization that has embassies and the area’s museums, theaters and other cultural institutions as members. In addition to the Embassy Chef Challenge, CTDC sponsors Passport DC, an annual tour of more than 50 embassies citywide; Neighborhood Heritage Trails, and an African American Heritage Trail covering more than 200 sites in D.C. neighborhoods.
Don’t want to pin all your hopes on winning the Chef Challenge tickets? You can still buy tickets to the event; they’re $250 per person and available by credit card on the CTDC site, www.culturaltourismdc.org.