Chef Paolo Dungca took home the top honor last night at DC Central Kitchen’s signature fundraising event, Capital Food Fight. In the first-ever virtual format of this celebrated fundraiser, local chefs Angel Barreto of Anju, Paolo Dungca of Peter Chang Restaurant Group, Peter Prime of Cane, and Shannan Troncoso of Brookland’s Finest Bar and Kitchen went head-to-head in a thrilling culinary battle hosted by Occasions Caterers and streamed virtually for guests and sponsors.
This year’s Capital Food Fight brought the same star-power and celebrity appearances fans know and love, with guest appearances from celebrities including José Andrés, Spike Mendelsohn, Tom Colicchio, Andrew Zimmern, Maneet Chauhan, Padma Lakshmi, Amanda Freitag, and Carla Hall; and this year’s judges, Top Chef contestant Eric Adjepong, Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman, and DC chef powerhouse, Ris Lacoste. Local personalities and broadcasters Kelly Collis and Tommy McFly co-emceed the event, keeping viewers engaged and energized throughout the night.
Battling chefs were asked to create dishes using secret ingredients ranging from passionfruit presented by Keany Produce and Gourmet, cultured butter with sea salt presented by Land O’Lakes Vermont Creamery, and Whole Smoked Turkey presented by Whole Foods Market. Chef Paolo Dungca won the night with his use of Whole Smoked Turkey, preparing an egg linguine with smoked turkey and corn ragu, cream, and a parmesan tuile with crispy turkey skin.
Guests were able to partake in enjoying delicious food and drink all from the comforts of home, with dinner and cocktail packages curated by this year’s battling chefs, prepared and delivered by Occasions Caterers, as well as a taco and margarita kit for takeout prepared by Spike Mendelsohn’s Santa Rosa Taqueria.
Capital Food Fight raised over $468,000 for DC Central Kitchen to continue its work fighting hunger differently in the nation’s capital. The organization has served more than 2 million emergency meals during the COVID-19 pandemic, responding to unprecedented levels of food insecurity in Washington, DC. While the organization earns half of its annual budget through social enterprise ventures that are powered and led by graduates of the organization’s acclaimed Culinary Job Training program for adults who have faced barriers to employment, the rest of DC Central Kitchen’s budget is secured through charitable fundraising efforts including the Capital Food Fight.