Entertainment, Food and Drink, Special Events, The Features

Robert Egger Steps Down from DCCK, Jeff Buben Wins 2012 Capital Food Fight

Another Capital Food Fight came and went last night with chef Jeff Buben of Vidalia winning the competition. But the big news from last night’s event was that Robert Egger, the founder and president of DC Central Kitchen, is stepping down after nearly 25 years of overseeing the organization. The current CEO Mike Curtin will be taking Egger’s place as president.

“Not only am I leaving DC Central Kitchen, but after 40 years, I’m also leaving DC,” said Egger to a packed house at the Ronald Reagan Building. “I’m going back to the town of my roots, to Los Angeles where I’m about to open the L.A. Kitchen.” The new nonprofit on the west coast will not only seek to replicate DCCK’s success in a new city, but will also “pioneer vegetarian and vegan meals for elders in America,” according to Egger.

Egger reflected upon how people thought his idea for taking leftover food from restaurants and grocery stores to feed the homeless in DC would never work, how some even said it was illegal. Yet two decades later, the thriving nonprofit feeds thousands per day, has graduated 90 classes from its culinary job training program and has 33 campus kitchens across the country. “Thank you for helping this young man’s dream become an old man’s reality,” Egger told the crowd. “I’ll tell you, there’s very few men who have had the honor of working with so many great people, in such an amazing city, to leave such an amazing organization at such amazing heights.”
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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

DCCK’s Hosts 9th Annual Capital Food Fight

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Chef Haidar Karoum wins Capital Food Fight
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Four chefs, three judges, two hosts, 60 restaurants and three hours of a throw down, showdown all add up to one of the biggest food events of the year: DC Central Kitchen’s Capital Food Fight.

This year’s lineup of competing chefs include Jeffrey Buben of Vidalia, Enzo Fargione of Elisir, Guillermo Pernot of Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar and Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak. And they’ll all be judged by a food celebrity panel with Padma Lakshmi, Carla Hall and Andrew Zimmern. For repeat guests, you’ll recognize the hosting duo from years past: Jose Andres and Anthony Bourdain. And of course, it’s all for a great cause–raising money for DCCK’s initiatives such as their Culinary Job Training program, as well as that their meal program that prepares 5,000 meals daily for homeless shelters, transitional homes and other nonprofit organizations.

We Love DC’s food editor, yours truly, will be live-tweeting throughout this year’s Capital Food Fight, so follow along with me @bonappetitfoodi.

Tickets are $200 per person, which gets you drinks and tastings from 60 restaurants participating. The 2012 Capital Food Fight is on Monday, October 8th at 6 PM at the Ronald Reagan Building.

Food and Drink, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Haidar Karoum of Proof/Estadio Wins DCCK’s Capital Food Fight

Photo courtesy of
‘Capital Food Fight Winner, Chef Haidar Karoum’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Last night the battle between some of DC’s best chefs raged on for DC Central Kitchen’s 8th annual Capital Food Fight. In the final round, chefs Haidar Karoum of Proof and Estadio and Todd Gray of Equinox and Watershed worked with the secret ingredient: lamb. At the end, judges Ming Tsai, Joan Nathan and Ted Allen named Haidar as the champion (he’s the man with the boxing gloves in the above photo).

Chefs Brian McBride and Jeff Black also competed as featured DC chefs. One of the highlights of the night included a surprise battle round with former Top Chef contestants Mike Isabella, Carla Hall, Spike Mendelsohn and Jennifer Carroll working with Idaho russett potatoes as the secret ingredient.

The sold-out food fight raised $550,000 for DCCK’s programs, according to their website. You can check out more photos from last night’s Capital Food Fight here.

Penn Quarter, The Daily Feed

DCCK’s 2011 Capital Food Fight

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‘DCCK Capital Food Fight 2010′
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

It’s that time of year again: Capital Food Fight. On November 10th, four local chefs will battle it out on stage while raising money for DC Central Kitchen.

This year’s competing chefs include Todd Gray from Equinox/Watershed, Haidar Karoum from Proof/Estadio, Jeff Black from BlackSalt Restaurant Group/Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Brian McBride from Blue Duck Tavern. Each chef will compete in a cook-off battle featuring a secret ingredient. Chefs will be judged by a panel including Ted Allen of Food Network’s Chopped, award-winning cookbook author Joan Nathan and host of Simply Ming, Ming Tsai. Last year’s Food Fight included a bonus battle between team Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert and team Tom Colicchio and Jose Andres, which I’m betting they might do something like this again at this year’s competition. Bourdain will be returning as the host and Jose Andres will be serving as the chair of the event. In addition to the friendly chef competition, more than 60 local restaurants will be serving a variety of small bites.

The 2011 Capital Food Fight is at 6 PM on Thursday, November 10th at the Ronald Reagan Building in Penn Quarter. Tickets are $200 and all proceeds go to DCCK. You can follow the conversation about the 2011 Capital Food Fight with @DCCK’s hashtag, #FoodFight.