On May 24, 2017, a sold-out crowd enjoyed authentic dishes representing the native countries of 27 embassy chefs at the ninth 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. Sip and sweets offered guests a glimpse into global beverage and snack cultures.
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, the 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.
Haiti competed against more than 30 countries and won the People’s Choice Award at DC’s prestigious global culinary event. The annual competition brings together hundreds in the Washington for an evening of cultural diplomacy. It’s an opportunity for participating Embassies to feature and promote their culture through cuisine, music, and for guests to sample flavors from around the world.
Chef Cynthia Verna of Haiti was selected as the People’s Choice Award winner. The chef curated a traditional dish with a unique twist, creole shrimp, served cold topped with deep fried plantains, paired with a rhum cocktail earned her the most votes cast via social media and paper ballots.
Verna was the chef in residence at the Embassy of Haiti’s cooking class earlier this year. The Embassy was elated to welcome her back and congratulates her on a ravishing representation of the island.
Events DC Senior Vice president and Managing Director of Sports, Entertainment and Special Events, Erik A. 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. The District is ecstatic to have them as part of our community. We look forward to continuing this great tradition in years to come.”
The Embassy’s participation at Embassy Chef Challenge is part of its larger mission to share Haiti’s dynamic culture and rich history with a diverse audience in the U.S. One key vehicle is its monthly cooking class offered to the general public. The event is free of charge, to help shift the often negative narrative of Haiti by highlighting its gastronomy.
Photo Credit: John Drew from Professional Image, LLC