Barbados and Haiti win top honors at 11th annual Embassy Chef Challenge


A fan enjoys food offerings from Cameroon. Image credit: Kate Michael

Embassy chefs from around the world came together in the spirit of friendly cultural competition last Tuesday for the 11th annual Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge presented by TCMA.

Guests feasted on an abundance of culinary riches and libations. Image credit: Kate Michael

Guests feasted on an abundance of culinary riches and libations presented by embassy chefs from the countries of The Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Haiti, Kenya, Morocco, Peru, Saint Lucia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda — with Barbados and Haiti taking home top prizes.

Chef Ron Johnson of The Bahamas won third place with his Lobster and Coconut Soup with a Curry Cracker and Red Pepper Gel. Image credit: Kate Michael

Chef Javon Cummings, of Barbados, won the coveted first place “Golden Pineapple” in the Judges Choice category for his Guava Brûlée Pork Belly. 

Chef Dimitri Lilavois, of Haiti, took home top honors in the People’s Choice voting for his Surf and Turf Pumpkin Soup. 

Bahamas featured a Mango Shandy as its cultural beverage. Image credit: Kate Michael

Sri Lanka and the Bahamas also placed second and third, respectively, in the Judges’ Choice category, with Morocco and Belgium receiving silver and bronze, respectively, in People’s Choice voting.

In a newer category, only awarded for the last two years,

Chef Giuseppe Lanzone at the Peruvian station. Image credit: Kate Michael

Chef Francis Otoo, of Ghana, won Best Beverage for his Ashantie Mule Cocktail.  And Tebabu Assefa was lauded with an award for Best Cultural Display.

“Every year the Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge grows bigger, better and even more delicious! Barbados and Haiti may have gone home with the Golden Pineapples, but with amazing food, drinks, music, dancing, and such celebration of diplomacy everyone can go home feeling like a winner,” said Events DC president and CEO, Gregory A O’Dell.