Capitol Hill’s own chef Spike Mendelsohn finished second in the Capital Food Fight on Thursday, while the Source’s Scott Drewno took home the top honor.
The annual event pits local chefs against each other in an “Iron Chef”-style cooking competition at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Celebrity chefs Tom Colicchio and Eric Ripert were on hand to judge each dish, while D.C. chef Jose Andres and Travel Channel star Anthony Bourdain hosted the event. Proceeds benefitted the D.C. Central Kitchen.
The event even had a Congressional twist, with Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) acting as honorary chairmen alongside Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), though HOH didn’t spot any of the lawmakers at the event.
Throughout the competition, the chefs joked with one another on stage while a crowd sampled dishes from dozens of Washington restaurants.
In fact, at one point, Andres pointed out that Colicchio was sipping several glasses of wine and a gin and tonic at the same time. “I was told we are in Washington, D.C., where everybody gets drunk and that’s why nothing gets done,” Colicchio joked.
It was a family affair for the Mendelsohns. Not only did Good Stuff Eatery chef Spike Mendelsohn make it to the finals, but his mother, Cathy, was the lucky winner of the first auction prize. She outbid the crowd to receive dinner for six at 13 different area restaurants, including Zaytinya and Cafe Atlantico.