The Capital Food Fight is a live cooking battle-meets food show that raises money for DC Central Kitchen. Amazing food from D.C.’s best restaurants all in the Ronald Reagan building? Check. Fundraising for an organization that provides both food and jobs to people in need? Check. Co-hosts José Andrés and Anthony Bourdain, plus judges Eric Ripert, Tom Colicchio and Bill Yosses? Check. A foodie intern whose restaurant internship allowed her to attend this almost-impossible to get into event? Major check.
When I wasn’t doling out Ping Pong Dim Sum’s sweet and savory chicken puffs to my fellow food-lovers at the food fight, I had a little bit of time to walk around and taste the night’s offerings. Outstanding dishes included a melt-in-your-mouth tuna tartare from Wolfgang Puck’s The Source:
A creamy and festive eggnog and cranberry shooter from the Ronald Reagan building’s catering team:
And two beautifully salty, D.C.-area oysters from two very enthusiastic gentlemen:
I also got to watch some of Spike Mendelsohn’s food battle against Scott Drewno:
From the live food battling to the wide array of samples, I thought that this event could not possibly get any better. Just as this notion entered my mind, a representative from Central Kitchen informed the Ping Pong team that all of the restaurant’s hosts were invited to José André’s Oyamel for an after party. Once there, I grabbed a signature foamy margarita and then nearly spilled it over when I realized that the evening’s co-hosts and judges were amongst us.
After a bit of stalling conversation ensued, Ping Pong’s Kitchen Supervisor and Marketing Manager joined me to snap this epic, albeit clumsily sorted, photo (note to self to always duck when taking pictures like these):
I had a great evening mingling with foodies and tasting the culinary works of restaurants that I would like to visit in-house someday. Oh, and yes, that is Tom Colicchio’s hand on my shoulder. I don’t think that I’ll ever be getting rid of that jacket.