Inaugural Ommegang Hop Chef Competition heats up D.C.

Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown announces its first-ever Ommegang Hop Chef Competition. The competition invites innovative Washington, D.C.-area chefs to prepare and pair dishes with fine Ommegang ales.

Each chef creates two dishes showcasing imaginative beer and food pairing skills. The dishes, along with Ommegang ales chosen to go with them, are served to professional judges and a consumer audience. The competition will produce 14 delectably different dishes, offer at least seven different beers, and promises plenty of culinary surprises.

The Hop Chef Competition is part of the Ommegang program known as Great Beer Deserves Great Food, a national initiative dedicated to the idea that fine beer deserves its rightful place at the table with fine foods. The Hop Chef Competition brings that idea to life for 200 lucky tasters.

The Ommegang Hop Chef Competition takes place April 28, from 1-4 p.m., at the historic Atlas Theater on H Street. Seven hot D.C.-area chefs compete, eight area notables judge, and 200 lucky tasters can buy tickets to watch, taste, sip, and vote for a People’s Choice Winner.

Chefs are Jamie Leeds, Hank's Oyster Bar; Jeff Eng, Clyde's of Tower Oaks; Bradley Walker, Boundary Road; Mike Bonk, Sonoma; Nicholas Stefanelli, Bibiana; Mark Marrocco, Magnolias at the Mill; and Will Artley, Pizzeria Orso.

This Ommegang Hop Chef Competition is the first in a series of chef’s cook-offs across the U.S., culminating in a Grand Hop Chef cook-off at Ommegang’s Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival in August 2012.

The competition is put together by Brewery Ommegang and Chef Teddy Folkman, Ommegang culinary ambassador and chef/owner of D.C.’s beloved Granville Moore’s Gastropub.

The competition is co-sponsored by Saveur magazine, Shun Knives, Gel Pro Mats, Lodge Enamel Cookware, Cuisinart, and Chefware Branded Chef Coats. The Hop Chef Competition is also sponsored by Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation program. Net proceeds benefit Share our Strength and its efforts to end childhood hunger

Hop Chef Competition judges include Greg Engert; beer director, Birch and Barley/ Churchkey; John Guattery, executive director, Matchbox Food Group; Tammy Tuck, beer writer, Washington City Paper; Nycci Nellis, host of Foodie and the Beast, Talk Radio and NBC TV; Bart Vandaele, chef/owner Belga Cafe; Bonnie Benwick, deputy food editor, Washington Post; Thor Cheston, Right Proper Brew Pub; Andrew Nations, DC Beer; Simon Thorpe, president/CEO Brewery Ommegang and Duvel USA; and Saveur magazine.

Tickets are limited, so please purchase in advance at Learn more about the Ommegang Hop Chef Competition and our sponsors at

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