Signature fundraising event raises $694,000 for DC Central Kitchen’s culinary training and anti-hunger programs
Chef Samuel Kim of 1789 took home the top honor last night at DC Central Kitchen’s signature fundraising event, the Capital Food Fight. Chefs Samuel Kim, Andrew Markert (Beuchert’s Saloon), George Rodrigues (Tico DC), and Theary So (Hank’s Oyster Bar) created dishes judged by some of the biggest names in the culinary world: Michael Voltaggio (Chef/Owner, ink. and Sack Sandwiches), Duff Goldman (Chef and TV Personality), and Rusty Hamlin (Chef and TV Personality). Event founder José Andrés (Chef/Owner, ThinkFoodGroup) and Spike Mendelsohn (Chef and Restaurateur) co-hosted the annual event.
Presented by Tyson, the Capital Food Fight brought together over 1,200 guests, 75 tasting restaurants, as well as cocktail mixologists and live on-stage entertainment. Battling chefs were asked to create dishes using secret ingredients ranging from sweet Italian rope sausage, presented by Tyson, to green beans, presented by Mann’s and Keany Produce. Chef Kim won the final battle over Theary So for his creative use of Brainfood Homegrown’s Vadouvan Curry Popcorn, presented by Whole Foods.
The event raised $694,000 for DC Central Kitchen, which earns 60 percent of its $13 million annual budget through social enterprise ventures that employ at-risk adults to serve healthy food in DC. The remaining 40 percent is secured through charitable fundraising like the Capital Food Fight. DC Central Kitchen knows a thing or two about culinary creations, winning national recognition for its scratch-cooked, locally sourced meals for DC schools. In all, the organization serves more than 3 million meals to schools, homeless shelters, and partner nonprofits each year, and helps nearly 100 culinary students trade incarceration, addiction, and homelessness for culinary careers annually.
Mayor Muriel Bowser was also in attendance at the annual fundraising event. Mayor Bowser and other VIPs could be found in the event’s exclusive Chairman’s Overlook room, tasting special dishes prepared by alumni of the popular Bravo TV series ‘Top Chef’, including chefs Mike Isabella, Jen Carroll, George Pagonis, Marjorie Meek-Bradley, and brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio.
DC Central Kitchen addresses hunger and poverty by preparing unemployed adults for culinary careers, transforming wasted food into nutritious meals for homeless shelters and nonprofits, serving award-winning farm-to-school menus to low-income schoolchildren, and delivering fresh produce and healthy snacks to corner stores in DC’s food deserts.
For a full listing of all Capital Food Fight tasting restaurants, competitors, hosts and judges, please visit www.dccentralkitchen.org.