Four local top chefs will compete in a live onstage battle hosted and judged by some of the biggest names in the culinary world.

Hosts & Judges


José Andrés
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Twice named to Time’s “100 Most Influential People” list, and awarded “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, New York Times best-selling author, educator, television personality, humanitarian, and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in America, he is known for his avant-garde cuisine and award-winning group of 31 restaurants throughout the country and beyond, including four total Michelin stars at minibar by José Andrés in Washington, DC and Somni in Beverly Hills. He is the founder of the non-profit World Central Kitchen, which has earned global respect for its chef-driven humanitarian and disaster relief operations.

Carla Hall
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Carla is best known as a former co-host of ABC’s Emmy award winning, popular lifestyle series “The Chew.” She currently appears on ABC’s Strahan and Sara. She won over audiences when she competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All Stars” and shared her philosophy to always cook with love. Carla believes food connects us all, and she strives to communicate this through her work, her cooking, and in her daily interactions with others.

Born in Nashville, TN, Carla Hall grew up surrounded by Soul Food. When the time came for her to select her career path, she first opted for a business route – she graduated from Howard University’s Business School and worked as an accountant for two years – before deciding to switch gears to work as a runway model. It was during that time, as she traveled (and ate) her way through Europe for a few years, that she truly realized her deep-rooted passion for food could be her career path. Today, she is a trained chef who has worked in several professional restaurant kitchens in and around the Washington, D.C. area and is an accomplished television personality and author.

On the literary front, Carla has combined her loves of food, people, and culture to write several cookbooks. Her latest cookbook is Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration. She has two previous cookbooks – Carla’s Comfort Food: Favorite Dishes from Around the World and Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You.

Spike Mendelsohn
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Spike’s career, spanning nearly three decades, can be described as nothing short of creatively diverse. From chef and restaurateur to television personality, product developer and consultant, Spike is a force to be reckoned with in the culinary world.

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Spike worked with some of the world’s most renowned chefs and restaurateurs such as Gerard Boyer, Thomas Keller, Sirio Maccioni and Drew Nieporent. After making his television debut on Bravo TV’s Top Chef, Spike went on to appear on several other cooking-related shows, including Life After Top Chef, Iron Chef America, Late Night Chef Fight and Beat Bobby Flay. He also hosted Midnight Feast and Food Network’s Kitchen Sink.

In 2008, Spike opened up the first restaurant in his culinary empire on Washington DC’s Capitol Hill: Good Stuff Eatery. His burger joint quickly became a favorite of political elites, including President Barack Obama. This success inspired a cookbook (The Good Stuff Cookbook) and multiple locations across the country and overseas. Following the opening of Good Stuff Eatery, Spike opened up We, The Pizza, Béarnaise and Santa Rosa Taqueria. Outside of his restaurants, Spike’s popular DC speakeasy (The Sheppard) has paved the way for a second concept called The Morris.

Applying his experience and expertise as a chef and restaurateur, Spike has worked with several brands by providing them with creative and comprehensive culinary consulting services. His consulting projects include Sunny’s and Campton Yard in Miami Beach and the highly anticipated state-of-the-art sports and active entertainment center, The St. James, in Virginia.

In an effort to put his passion for food equity and education into action, Spike began working with organizations like CARE and DC Central Kitchen as a chef ambassador and contributor. His work landed him the position as the first chairman of DC’s Food Policy Council. He has used his voice to speak out about improving the quality of school lunches, equal access to whole and healthy foods and for the protection of the SNAP program. Spike continues to partner with groups like Food Rescue US and Food Policy Action to make a positive impact on our food system.

Spike lives in the DC area with his wife, Cody, and their son. When he’s not in the kitchen or lobbying on The Hill, Spike can be found surfing any river or ocean that has a wave.


Maneet Chauhan
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Chef Maneet Chauhan is the founding partner and president of Morph Hospitality Group in Nashville, Tennessee, which includes restaurants Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Tànsuǒ, The Mockingbird and Chaatable. She is also the co-owner of Mantra Artisan Ales in Franklin, Tennessee. She is a recipient of the 2012 James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Award for her role as a permanent judge on Food Network’s “Chopped,” and sits on the panel of judges for Food Network’s “Wedding Cake Championship”. She has also written her own cookbook, Flavors of My World. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Chauhan worked in some of the finest hotels in India before the start of her professional career in the States. She has worked as executive chef in successful ventures such as Vermilion in Chicago, which received accolades from Chicago magazine, Esquire, Time Out and Wine Enthusiast under her leadership. The Nashville chef is a passionate advocate for the March of Dimes, and now lives in Franklin, Tenn., with her husband, Vivek and their daughter, Shagun and son, Karma.


Ryan Zimmerman
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The first draft selection in the history of the Washington Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman is a two-time “Silver Slugger Award” winner, a “Gold Glover,” and a two-time “All-Star.” Already the Nationals’ all-time leader in virtually every offensive category, Zimmerman spent much of the 2017 season re-writing the Nationals/Expos franchise record books to take over the lead in home runs, doubles, and RBI. On July 30, Zimmerman became Washington DC’s all-time home run king, passing Washington Senators slugger Frank Howard.

Ryan is also the acting President of The ziMS Foundation, which he and his family formed in 2006. The charitable organization raises money for multiple sclerosis research and therapy. To date, The ziMS Foundation has raised over $3 million.

Andrew Zimmern
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Andrew Zimmern is a four-time James Beard award-winning TV personality, chef, writer, teacher and social justice advocate. As the creator, executive producer and host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods franchise, Andrew Zimmern’s Driven by Food, The Zimmern List, and Food Network’s Big Food Truck Tip, he has explored cultures in more than 170 countries, promoting impactful ways to think about, create and live with food. He has written four books, is a contributor at Food & Wine Magazine and an entrepreneur-in-residence at Babson College. Andrew is the founder and CEO of both Intuitive Content, a full-service television and digital production company, and Passport Hospitality, a restaurant and food service development company. He is devoted to his charitable endeavors and sits on the board of directors for Services for the UnderServed, Soigne Hospitality and Taste of the NFL. His life’s work is exploring and promoting cultural acceptance, tolerance and understanding through food. More at

Tom Colicchio
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Tom Colicchio is the chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality, which currently includes restaurants in New York, Long Island, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Tom made his New York cooking debut at prominent New York restaurants including The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill and Gramercy Tavern before opening Craft in 2001.

In an effort to broaden his long-standing activism around food issues, Tom served as an executive producer to the 2013 documentary “A Place at the Table” about the underlying causes of hunger in the United States. From holding members of Congress accountable on their voting records around food to working with former FLOTUS Michelle Obama on the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, Tom has established himself as the leading “Citizen Chef” advocating for a food system that values access, affordability and nutrition over corporate interests.

Tom and his restaurants give back to the community through their impact partnership with FEAST and by serving on the boards of Children of Bellevue, City Harvest, and Wholesome Wave.

Battling Chefs

Johanna Hellrigl
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Hellrigl was raised in kitchens in Italy and the US, including New York City where her family owned an upscale Italian restaurant. At Doi Moi, Hellrigl’s dishes draw inspiration from the women of Southeast Asia she met during her time working for a democracy building organization. Hellrigl expanded Doi Moi’s Vietnamese and Thai roots to encompass new flavors from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Under Hellrigl’s leadership, Doi Moi has received critical acclaim including a Michelin “Bib Gourmand” rating and inclusion in Washingtonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurants of 2019. Hellrigl was previously Executive Chef of former Proof Restaurant and Head Chef of Via Umbria and Boulangerie Christophe in DC. Hellrigl has appeared at a Dinner at the Beard House in November 2018 and at ChefsFeed Indie Week in April 2019. In March 2019, she was named one of “32 Restaurant Stars on the Rise” by FSR Magazine.


Marcelle Afram
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From Silver Spring, MD, Marcelle Afram grew up immersed in the restaurant industry, assisting her parents in the kitchens of their mom & pop pizza shops and Middle Eastern restaurants. Later in life, Marcelle trained in 2 Michelin star restaurants in Spain, worked at fisheries in Puerto Rico, and on a farm cooperative in Wisconsin. All before coming back to the D.C. area, receiving a formal training in classic Italian cuisine, and opening restaurants with Stir Food Group, ultimately operating her own consulting business.

She landed at Bluejacket before the opening in October 2013. At Bluejacket, Marcelle draws on her Italian and Middle Eastern culinary training which instilled in her the approach to use only the best ingredients of the season, by building close relationships to local farmers and purveyors. Bluejacket serves a seasonal menu with beer garden flare and proudly sources nearly 100% of its produce and meat locally.


Adam Greenberg
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Adam Greenberg is the Chef/Owner of Coconut Club in the Union Market district of Washington, D.C. In addition to running restaurants and cooking for the last twenty years in places such as NYC, Providence, and Ct, Adam is the Food Networks all-time winningest competitor with a 5-0 record. He is the four-time, Grand Chopped Champion, as well as taking down Bobby Flay, on Beat Bobby Flay. He has also recently appeared as a judge on Beat Bobby Flay.


Kyoo Eom
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Kyoo Eom began his formal culinary training at Yeosu University in South Korea. He studied food science and technology, learning food preparation and preserving techniques, before moving to New York to attend culinary school in America. Eom graduated from Le Cordon Bleu at Brown College in 2003 and returned to Manhattan to work at Chef Daniel Boulud’s signature DB Bistro Moderne and Cafe Boulud, where he trained under Chef Andrew Carmellini and mentored with chefs Olivier Muller and Bertrand Chemel.

Eom then moved to the Washington, D.C. area to be the chef de cuisine at 2941 Restaurant for five years. In 2014, Eom became executive chef at Poste Moderne Brasserie, where his training transcended in the French-inspired, farm-to-table dishes. In 2016, Eom helped open Dirty Habit, a luxe restaurant and bar in Washington, D.C.’s Penn Quarter/Theatre District. As executive chef, Eom’s globally influenced, seasonal cuisine includes dishes inspired by his family recipes.

An active member of Washington, D.C.’s diverse restaurant community, Eom has participated in a number of chef collaborations throughout the city. In 2019, he participated in a Chinese New Year celebration with The Source by Wolfgang Puck’s Executive Chef Russell Smith, and hosted one of DC Central Kitchen’s ‘Suppers’ at Dirty Habit with 2941 Restaurant’s Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel. In his spare time, Eom enjoys fishing and camping in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and two children.

Master of Ceremonies


Tommy McFly
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If the Washington Post is right – and Tommy McFly is the “local Ryan Seacrest” – then he’s the multi-platform voice, anchor, and host for the world’s most powerful city and its media ambassador to the rest of the nation. An only child Gemini, rescue dog-loving millennial, originally from Scranton, PA, Tommy is always on the move around Maryland, Virginia, and Washington.

Tommy McFLY’s unique blend of social responsibility and community engagement – and peerless ability to connect with people – has even received the notice of the Obama White House. Aside from daily morning broadcast on “The Tommy Show” and NBC4 TV duties McFLY is the only person in history to emcee the White House Easter Egg Roll.

He is, as Cathy Alter of The Washington Post Magazine called him, “a prince of DC media.” But the better title might just be DC’s most sought after, trusted friend.

Download The Tommy Show App at or just say “Alexa, Enable The Tommy Show.”

Field Reporter


Kelly Collis
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Kelly Collis is a native Washingtonian and has been working in the DC area for over 20 years. Today, she is a broadcaster and entrepreneur. She co-founded a one of a kind broadcast company with her long time colleague and now business partner, Tommy McFly.  Additionally, she and Tommy broadcast live each weekday morning show via an app, Alexa and Google Home discussing all things DC and playing great music – Real. Fun DC.  Prior, she and Tommy hosted a morning show on terrestrial radio, 94.7 Fresh FM in Washington, DC for 8 years. She also founded CityShopGirl, a subscription email publication delivering updates on lifestyle in the D.C. area, and was nominated for one of the best blogs by the Washingtonian Magazine.

Washington Life named her one of the top 200 influencers under 40 in DC for 3 years in a row and was on the cover of Washington Family Magazine and most recently named one of the “Women of Style” by DC Modern Luxury Magazine.

Prior to launching CityShopGirl, Kelly worked as Director of Marketing for National Jean Company, a nation wide women’s retailer. Kelly was also a partner at DBC Public Relations for five years where she counseled both private and public companies in the consumer and media sectors. She graduated with a BA in economics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and began her career to work on Capitol Hill for a few members of Congress.

She loves spending time with her husband and children, her 2 dogs, shopping, spin classes, following Washington sports teams, especially the Washington Nationals and drinking wine at sporting events or any other time.

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