A panel of celebrity judges and more than 400 guests will judge cuisines from around the world and present the coveted Judge's Choice and People's Choice Awards.

The annual benefit supports the free programs and events provided by Cultural Tourism DC, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the arts and culture of Washington, DC.

Embassy Chef Challenge 2012 will be held Thursday, March 8, 7:30 10 pm, in the atrium of co-host Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. The Embassy Chef Challenge is DC's only such competition and one of the only opportunities for the public to sample the artistry of these private chefs.

The 2012 judges are Tim Carman, Food Reporter, The Washington Post; Chef Lars Beese, Chef at Embassy of Denmark and Winner of Embassy Chef Challenge 2011; Chef Carla Hall, Co-host The Chew, Top Chef All-Stars Finalist; Warren Brown, Founder, CakeLove; Chef Xavier Deshayes, Executive Chef, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center; Chef Sina Molavi, Executive Chef, Occasions Caterers; Chef Maziar Farivar, Executive Chef and Co-owner, Peacock Cafe; and Missy Frederick, Columnist, "Top Shelf" Washington Business Journal.

Embassy Chef Challenge 2012 chefs:

  • Chef Devin E. Johnson, Embassy of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
  • Chef Sen Sun, Embassy of the People's Republic of China
  • Chef Malknaz Maisashvili, Embassy of Georgia
  • Chef Viktor Merenyi, Embassy of Hungary
  • Chef Djamel Amroune, Embassy of the Republic of Iraq
  • Chef Sherene N. James, Embassy of Jamaica
  • Chef Shogo Shimodaira, Embassy of Japan
  • Chef Yerlan Abdrakhmanov, Embassy of Kazakhstan
  • Chef Young A. Byeon Lee, Embassy of the Republic of Korea
  • Chef Nazha Kasraoui, Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco
  • Chef Sondre Bruvik Ellingstad, Royal Norwegian Embassy
  • Chef Vincent Muia, Embassy of Switzerland

Embassy Chef Challenge began at a private preliminary competition, Challenge Denmark.

The scores from the Challenge Denmark cook-off and the hors d'oeuvres battle determine the Judge's Choice Award winner. Guests at the benefit vote for the People's Choice Award. Tickets are on sale at www.CulturalTourismDC.org.

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