Leading up to the main event is Challenge Sweden, that was held last Sunday, when 7 embassy chefs cooked head-to-head, Top Chef-style. The cook-off took place in the kitchens of Occasions Caterers in Northeast Washington. Chefs from Belgium, Ghana, Hungary, Korea, Panama,Qatar, and defending champion Morocco, each received salmon and a basket of surprise ingredients, drawn from Swedish cuisine. They had two hours to prepare a main course. You think that sounds like a lot of time. But judging by the sweat, and mad rushing around at their stations, the chefs said the time went by faster than expected.
The judging panel, at this year's event included Martin Johansson, Embassy of Sweden, Chef Joe Yonan, Food and Travel Editor for the Washington Post, and Chef Sina Molavi, Executive Chef, of Occasions Caterers. The competition was fierce and the food looked amazing but only one chef can take home the prize of Embassy Chef 2010.
I asked Washington Post judge Joe Yonan if he could give me a small hint as to which chef came out on top and he coyly replied "I can only tell you, and it's a secret (long pause) that the winner of the competition, is standing in this room ." Ha ha thanks a lot Joe!
Now on the 18th , all 12 chefs, including two ambassadors, prepare hors d’oeuvre for Embassy Chef Challenge guests and the judging panel, including Joe Yonan, The Washington Post food and travel editor; Michel Richard of Citronelle; Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora; and Chef Carla Hall of Alchemy Caterers and a Top Chef finalist. Event patrons vote for the People’s Choice Award, while the judges nominate their favorite.
Finally, chefs competing in both Challenge Sweden and the Embassy Chef Challenge are eligible to win the evening’s grand prize, Embassy Chef 2010. Will just have to wait to find out as the winner will be announced at the main event on March 18th. So don't forget to buy your tickets!!