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Hill Talk: Grill-Off Will Benefit Local Youth Programs

Nine teams will compete in an Iron Chef-style competition today to raise money for a nonprofit organization that provides hands-on cooking classes, lectures, field trips and community service projects for D.C. high school students.

The second annual Brainfood Grill-Off will run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Stephen Decatur House, located at 1610 H St. NW near the Farragut West Metro stop. The cooking competition will be accompanied by a wine tasting and a silent auction for a Weber Gas Grill, wine, dinners and hotel stays.

Paul Dahm, executive director of Brainfood, said inspiration for the fundraiser came from the annual student cooking competition held during the graduation ceremony for the group’s after-school program.

“Several years ago we did the [graduation] competition outdoors on grills and thought it would make a great fundraising event,” Dahm said.

Contestants in the 2008 grill-off will have one hour to create two dishes from a surprise pantry of ingredients before they present their dishes to a panel of four judges. Each team will be composed of local community members, one Brainfood student and one chef from a premier local restaurant. Participating chefs include Teddy Folkman, chef/owner of Granville Moore’s in the H Street Northeast corridor, and Bryan Moscatello, executive chef of Zola.

First-place winners will receive the Brainfood Skillet Award and iPod nanos, and second-place winners will receive iPod shuffles.

Leon Harris, anchor of ABC 7/WJLA-TV, will emcee the event, which is sponsored by Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP. Tickets cost $75, and 250 to 300 people are expected to attend.

— Melissa Attias

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