2016 Embassy Chef Challenge Winners May 27, 2016 | Washington, DC 2016 Embassy Chef Challenge Winners May 27, 2016 | Washington, DC

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The Philippines and Barbados Win Top Awards at 2016 Cultural Tourism DC's Embassy Chef Challenge

Washington, DC (May 27 2016)—Chef Claude Tayag from the Embassy of the Philippines won the People's Choice Award at the 8th annual Embassy Chef Challenge — the annual culinary competition for DC embassy chefs — held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  His winning dish was Filipino-style paella won the crowd over for the People's Choice Award, paired with a ginger cocktail garnished by a lengthwise-cut slice of the fresh root for a winning combination. 

Chef Craig Greenridge, representing the Embassy of Barbados, took home the Judges' Choice Award which served to a panel of celebrity judges that included Chef Manuel "Manny" Rodriguez, who took home both the People's Choice and the Judges' Pick for best dish in the 2015 Embassy Chef Challenge .

Embassy Chef Challenge is a signature Cultural Tourism DC event, in partnership with Trade Center Management Associates. This year, Cultural Tourism partnered with Events DC to host the event. "Events DC is proud to partner with Cultural Tourism DC to bring this unique culinary competition to the District for the 8th consecutive year," said Erik A. Moses, senior vice president and managing director of Events DC, Sports, Entertainment and Special Events. The event not only encourages culinary diplomacy, but also celebrates DC's arts, culture and heritage by supporting Cultural Tourism DC's programs and events throughout the year.

As attendees were enjoying the food and beverages, they were being entertained by non-stop live performances, which included Russian violinist, Rafael Jardov, ribbon and samba dancers Fraternidad Cultural Pachamama, Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers, as well as the Fairfax Chinese Dance Troupe and Sambart. Whole Foods Market gave away two WFM Foodie gift baskets and the British Virgin Islands Tourism Board held a raffle for a 4-night stay at the Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina.



Chef Craig Greenridge, Embassy of Barbados

Chef Creig Greenidge or Chef Creig as he is known around Barbados always knew he wanted to be a Chef from around the age of twelve. On finishing school Chef Creig moved on to the Culinary Arts program at the Barbados Community College. After completing the program he moved from the South to the West then to the North Coast of the island running kitchens at some of the islands top Hotels. In 2008 Chef Creig decided to pursue his dream of having his own business, and opened CM Catering. As Executive Chef and Owner Creig also perform Cooking Demonstrations around Barbados at various events, he also did an eight episode series for a Caribbean Television Cooking show known as Living Well Caribbean.



Chef Claude Tayag representing the Embassy of the Philippines Tayag was born in Angeles City, Pampanga, touted by some as the "Culinary Capital of the Philippines." Together with his wife, he runs Bale Dutung at his own home where he serves traditional Kapampangan cuisine in a restaurant setting.


Embassy of Barbados, Chef Creig Greenidge
Embassy of the British Virgin Islands
Embassy of Czech Republic, Chef Zdenek Pecka
Embassy of Dominican Republic, Chef Raymond Compres
Embassy of Ecuador, Chef Carolos Gallardo
Embassy of El Salvador, Chef Francisco Ferrufino
Embassy of Ghana, Chef Francis K.A Otoo
Embassy of Guatemala, Chef Mario Calderon
Embassy of Haiti, Chef Stephan Berrouet-Durand
Embassy of Indonesia, Chef Galih Kuntobaskoro
Embassy of Jamaica, Chef Sherene James
Embassy of Mauritius, Chef Francois Giovanni Merle
Embassy of Nepal, Chef Lok Tiwari
Embassy of Philippines, Chef Claude Tayang

Embassy of Republic of Poland, Chef Andrzej Bielach
Embassy of Qatar, Chef Mujib Bachu
Embassy of Rwanada, Chef Samuel Bayingana
Embassy of Uzbekistan, Chef Francois Giovanni Merle



Chef Manny Rodriguez, Chef with Kapnos Taverna and Embassy Chef Challenge 2015 Winner
Monica Bhide, Food Reporter and Commentator
Chef Ris Lacoste, Executive Chef of Ris Restaurant
Chef Xavier Deshayes, Executive Chef, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Chef Cathal Armstrong, Executive Chef and co-owner of Restaurant Eve
Chef Nelson Erazo, Executive Chef at Jardenea at The Melrose Georgetown Hotel
Chef Benjamin Nola, Whole Foods Market Prepared Foods Coordinator


Sponsors of the 2016 Events DC presents Embassy Chef Challenge include Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, RCN, Trade Center Management Association, the British Virgin Islands Tourism Board and Dulles International Airport, the international gateway to the world.


Cultural Tourism DC (CTDC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, develops and delivers authentic Washington DC experiences that provide people with opportunities to learn about the District's neighborhoods by walking along the DC Neighborhood Heritage Trails, the international diplomatic community via Passport DC. Through these programs, CTDC encourages residents and visitors to explore the city, propel the community's economic prosperity, and to become civically engaged.


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