The Embassy of the Philippines Wins the 2018 Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge Presented by TCMA


Attendees of the Tenth Anniversary Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge presented by TCMA gathered to travel the world with their taste buds, sampling bites and beverages from 28 participating nations. On May 17, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, embassy chefs showcased the unique flavors of their home countries in a culinary showdown. Chefs competed to win the coveted People’s Choice Award presented by Events DC, chosen by guests’ votes, as well as the Judges’ Choice presented by TCMA, selected by a panel of influential members of the diplomatic, cultural and culinary communities.


Chef Abigail “Abie” Sincioco-Mateo representing the Embassy of the Philippines was selected as the People’s Choice Champion and well as the Judges’ Choice Champion for her plate of Pork Sisig. Both second-place prizes were given to the Embassy of Ghana Chef, Francis Otoo, for his Lamb Jollof Rice. Chef Jouvens Jean from the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti took home the third-place prize in the Judges’ Choice category for his Kabrit Kreyol served with Haitian Cinnamon Water. In the People’s Choice category, third-place was awarded to the Embassy of Colombia Chef, Alex Salgado, for his Coconut Shrimp with Pancetta and Heart of Palm Ceviche.

The judging panel consisted of:

  • Andy Shallal, Busboys & Poets
  • Major Garrett & Arden Farhi, CBS News
  • Lauren Bernstein, The Culinary Diplomacy Project
  • Chef Tim Ma, Kyirisan
  • Nycci Nellis, The List Are You On It
  • Executive Chef Xavier Deshayes, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
  • Daniel Nasaw, The Wall Street Journal
  • Maura Judkis, The Washington Post
  • Chef Cynthia Verna, 2017 People’s Choice Champion representing the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti
  • Chef Moja Fedal, 2017 Judge’s Choice Champion representing the Embassy of Morocco
Two new awards were handed out this year as well. The Best Beverage presented by Pepsi was awarded to the Embassy of Barbados for their Drunken Bajan Lemonade developed by mixologist Philip Antoine and Chef Creig Greenidge. The Best Dressed Embassy presented by Macy’s was earned by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco with a colorful display that wowed guests.
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Guests ate their way through an abundant array of foods and drinks prepared by the embassy chefs representing Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Plurinational State of Bolivia, Republic of Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Republic of Haiti, Republic of Iraq, Jamaica, Republic of Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Principality of Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Republic of Moldova, Kingdom of Morocco, Nepal, Panama, Peru, the Philippines and Slovak Republic.

Events DC senior vice president and managing director of sports, entertainment and special events, Erik Moses, said of the tenth anniversary event, “This year’s challenge was bigger and better than ever before. It was great to see so many embassies turn out with such pride for their native cuisine and culture. Congratulations to all the chefs who competed. Here’s to another decade of friendly and delicious competition.”

Media ready photos of the event are available here, courtesy of Events DC

The 2018 Event DC Embassy Chef Challenge presented by TCMA sponsors include Astral Tequila, Bundaberg, Cultural Tourism DC, Cutco, Legacy Partners Distribution, Macy’s, RCN Business, Social Driver, Sombra Mezcal tequila, Teahouse/Pureleaf, TYKU Sake and Voss artesian water.
Click here for the full press release.