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The Point DC’s Executive Chef Takes the Title at DC Central Kitchen’s 2022 Capital Food Fight

photo by Getty images



The Event, Presented by craigstable, Raised $750,000 for the Organization’s Ongoing Fight Against Hunger & Injustice 

Washington, DCFriday, April 8th – DC’s baddest night of doing good made a triumphant return to The Anthem on Thursday night with Chef Benjamin Lambert of The Point DC walking away with the coveted champion boxing gloves after a thrilling 3-round culinary bout. The event raised $750,000 to benefit DC Central Kitchen’s ongoing mission to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities in the nation’s capital. 

Lambert faced off against Executive Chef Brittanny Anderson of Leni in the final round after each won their respective opening rounds against Chef Paris “Sassy” Henry of Oohh’s & Aahh’s, who impressed while pinch hitting for colleague Chef Oji Abbott, and Cranes Executive Chef and Owner Pepe Moncayo. Each 10-minute round featured a different secret ingredient, including Bowery Farming mustard frills and King salmon from Whole Foods Market. Lambert and Anderson were tasked with creating a composed dish featuring fresh rhubarb from Keany Produce for the grand finale. While the final scores were extremely close, Lambert’s mezcal-poached rhubarb with smashed avocado, blue cheese, and aguachile broth was the knockout for our judges! 

The 2022 Capital Food Fight was a star-studded affair, with long-time friends of DC Central Kitchen Tom Colicchio, Maneet Chauhan, Andrew Zimmern, Mr. National Ryan Zimmerman, and event host Spike Mendelsohn returning to the stage. Joining them this year for the first time were Top Chef season 10 winner and star of truTV’s Fast Foodies Kristen Kish, celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, and Washington Mystics star forward Alysha Clark. Guests were treated to a surprise celebrity pop-up cook-off with Team Top Chef (Colicchio & Kish) facing off against Team Food Network (Zimmern & Chauhan) in a battle of butter, featuring Land ‘O Lakes Vermont Creamery butter. While Team Top Chef’s fried butter was an intriguing crowd favorite, the Food Network duo took home bragging rights with their butter-poached scallops. 

Between battles, DC Central Kitchen CEO Mike Curtin honored Chef Ablawa Ajavon with this year’s Marianne Ali North Star Award for her extraordinary work as the organization’s Culinary Job Training (CJT) Chef Instructor after graduating from the program herself in 2017. He also recognized the organization’s staff for their efforts to serve 6.5 million meals in response to the pandemic. He also led the crowd in a round of applause for the event’s 65 participating restaurants in tribute to the resiliency of the community over the past several years.  

The action off stage was just as thrilling as guests snacked on delicious bites from more than 60 of the DMV’s best restaurants, including highlights like seasonal phkali pates from Supra, lemongrass shrimp from Moon Rabbit, koshary from Fava Pot, and Nutella-filled cannolis from Caruso’s Grocery, and enjoyed libations from the open bars sponsored by Premium Distributors, Breakthru, Beam Suntory, and Mountain Valley Spring Water. Guests were able to snap selfies in the DoorDash activation or the Insta-worthy Chandon Garden, and learn more about DC Central Kitchen’s new headquarters, The Michael R. Klein Center for Jobs & Justice, which is set to open later this year on Buzzard Point, in a dedicated Bringing The Kitchen Home activation space on the first floor. One of DC’s most in-demand performers, DJ Neekola, kept the party going all night! 

Special thanks to the 2022 Capital Food Fight presenting sponsor craigstable (Craig Newmark Philanthropies), along with showcase sponsors CoBank, DoorDash, and Occasions Caterers. Further appreciation goes to our executive chef sponsors, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Clark Construction, CPR Multimedia Solutions, Raytheon Technologies, Wells Fargo, Appliances A Better Way (ABW), and CoStar Group, and sous chef sponsors, Bank of America, AARP Foundation, PNC, GEICO, The IDI Group Companies, Aramark, and Sean and Lisa Creamer. For a full list of 2022 sponsors, please visit capitalfoodfight.org/sponsors.   


DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) is an iconic nonprofit and social enterprise that combats hunger and poverty through job training and job creation. Our approach provides hands-on culinary job training while creating living-wage jobs and bringing nutritious, dignified food where it is most needed in our city. We serve scratch-cooked farm-to-school meals in DC schools; deliver fresh, affordable produce to corner stores in neighborhoods without supermarkets; provide delicious catering; and operate fast-casual cafes that also provide on-the-job training. DCCK has been featured in national media including The Washington Post, The Atlantic, National Geographic, PBS NewsHour, and more. To learn more, visit dccentralkitchen.org or follow @dccentralkitchen on Instagram and @dcck on Twitter. 

Media Contact 

Melissa Gold