DC Central Kitchen is proud to present its signature fundraising event, the Capital Food Fight™ on November 8, 2018. The event draws over 1,000 guests to taste offerings from over 80 of DC’s best restaurants while watching four local top chefs compete in a live onstage battle hosted and judged by the biggest names in the culinary world.
Hosts & Judges
Named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in both 2012 and 2018, and awarded “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, television personality, humanitarian, and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in the United States, he is also known for his groundbreaking avant-garde cuisine and his award-winning group of 31 restaurants located throughout the country and beyond, ranging in a variety of culinary experiences from a food truck to his multi-location vegetable-focused fast casual Beefsteak, to world-class tasting menus like the Michelin-starred minibar by José Andrés. Andrés is the only chef globally that has both a two-star Michelin restaurant and four Bib Gourmands.
As a naturalized citizen originally from Spain, Andrés has been a tireless advocate for immigration reform. In 2010, Andrés formed World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that provides smart solutions to end hunger and poverty by using the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies. Notably, his team served over 3.6 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Andrés’ work has earned awards and distinctions including the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the 2015 National Humanities Medal, one of twelve distinguished recipients of the award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Andrés was also named EY Master Entrepreneur of the Year in Greater Washington for his leadership and impact on the global business community and was awarded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Chair’s Medallion Award.
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.
Philadelphia-native Jennifer Carroll is the executive chef and partner at Spice Finch, a modern Mediterranean restaurant and bar located in the Rittenhouse neighborhood at 220 S 17th St. She is also the owner and executive chef of Carroll Couture Cuisine, a catering and consulting company that has traveled worldwide to create delicious experiences for almost a decade.
After attending Philadelphia’s Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in 1996, Carroll worked at Chef Derek Davis’ Sonoma and Arroyo Grill, as well as Neil Stein’s Avenue B under Chef Patrick Feury. She then spent time in the kitchens at both Julia and Café Kati, under chefs Julia McClaskey and Kirk Webber in San Francisco as sous chef. Shortly after, Carroll moved to New York City in 2003 and began training under three Michelin star chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin, where she worked for 9 years. During that time, she was tapped by Ripert to become the chef de cuisine at his 10 Arts restaurant.
In 2014, she began working with chef Marcus Samuelsson at the Red Rooster in Harlem and launched his Bermuda Samuelsson at Hamilton Princess. In September 2015 Carroll and her fiancé, chef Billy Riddle, moved to the nation’s capital, where she designed and built French-Mediterranean restaurant Requin.
Most recently, Carroll returned to Philly to fulfill her long-time dream of planting culinary roots in the town she has always called home. In July 2018, she and Riddle opened Spice Finch together where they showcase dishes inspired by the herbs and spices of the nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Tom Colicchio is the chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality, which currently includes New York’s Craft, Riverpark and Temple Court; Los Angeles’ Craft Los Angeles; and Las Vegas’ Heritage Steak and Craftsteak. 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. Outside of his fine dining restaurants, Colicchio opened ‘wichcraft – a sandwich and salad fast casual concept rooted in the same food and hospitality philosophies as Craft – in New York City in 2003.
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. This eye-opening experience led Tom on a journey to Washington DC where he has been a mainstay in our nation’s capital in the years since. 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 by serving on the boards of Children of Bellevue, City Harvest, and Wholesome Wave. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Lori Silverbush and their three sons. When he’s not in the kitchen, Tom can be found tending to his garden on the North Fork of Long Island, enjoying a day of fishing or playing guitar.
New Orleans-born TV personality and chef, David Guas, is widely familiar from his frequent appearances on “The Today Show,” “The Talk,” “Food Network,” and his role as host and co-judge of Travel Channel’s summer competition series, “American Grilled.” With no battle for attention, Guas has garnered national praise in publications like Food & Wine, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, Saveur and Bon Appétit for showcasing the soul of the South in his sinfully delicious, Louisiana-style favorites and signature desserts at his neighborhood spot in Arlington, Virginia, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery and his newest spot Lil’ B Coffee & Eatery in Washington, DC. Not with a moment to spare, Guas completed his second cookbook with Oxmoor House, Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill like a Pro, released April 2015. His first cookbook, DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style [Taunton Press 2009] was a James Beard Award finalist and was named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Dessert Cookbooks.” This hunting, fishing, Harley-riding chef, and father of two sons, is a long-term member of Southern Foodways Alliance; Slow Food USA; Share Our Strength; Chefs for Equality; Real Food for Kids; U.S. State Department and the James Beard Foundation’s Culinary Diplomacy Initiative; spokesperson for the National Honey Board; a former board member of Best Buddies in Virginia; and is a founding member of District Hogs, a group of DC-area restaurant professionals who ride motorcycles for fun, adventure, food, and charity.
Richard On is the lead guitarist for the band O.A.R. A native of Maryland, On and his childhood friends began making songs in the drummer’s basement after school, and O.A.R. became widely accepted as one of the most successful independent bands of all time.With 13 albums, a string of Madison Square Garden sellouts, USO trips to Iraq and Kuwait, millions of albums sold, and shows around the world, O.A.R. continue to cover new ground creatively. O.A.R. will be releasing a new album in Early 2019, and touring the U.S. this Fall, including a show at The Anthem on December 15th.
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 D.C.’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 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 4 books, appears monthly in Delta Sky Magazine, 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 and Taste of the NFL. His life’s work is about demonstrating and promoting cultural acceptance, tolerance and understanding through food.
Chef/Partner, The Salt Line
Long Shot Hospitality’s Chef/Partner Kyle Bailey oversees culinary programs at The Salt Line and its sister concepts. Dedicated to DC Central Kitchen and DC’s founding member of Dock to Dish, Bailey has refined his talents between fine-dining luxury resorts and New York’s Cru. In 2007, he started at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where he absorbed Dan Barber’s sustainability philosophies, and later took the helm at Allen & Delancey, where his creativity blossomed. In Washington, Bailey led kitchens at Birch & Barley and ChurchKey, earning him three stars from The Washington Post and Food & Wine’s “The People’s Best New Chef.”
Executive Chef, Rappahannock Oyster Company
Chef Autumn Cline cut her teeth in the high-pressure kitchens in the capitol of our nation. After a stint at the ever-popular Rose’s Luxury in Washington, DC she came on board with Rappahannock Oyster Bar to channel her southern Virginia roots while tapping into the bounty of the Chesapeake.
Chef and Founder, Lucky Buns
Alex McCoy is a 17-year veteran of the restaurant industry. In 2002, at the age of 19, Alex helmed his first kitchen at a small sandwich shop in Bethesda, MD. In 2007 He became head chef of Ralph Lauren & Lincoln Pilcher’s (Kingswood, Eveleigh, Ruby’s) Georgetown, DC cafe, Rugby Food & Spirits. In 2013, inspired by his family’s London upbringing, Alex founded & opened Duke’s Grocery in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of DC which quickly became a local household name garnering such accolades as “33 Best Burgers in America” by Thrillist & “Best Burgers in DC” by Washingtonian Magazine. A lifelong traveller, Alex spent many years traveling back and forth between the US & SE Asia culminating with his opening of Alfie’s in 2015.
Alfie’s classic representation of Eastern Thai cuisine earned immediate acclaim by both local and international press being featured by Vogue Magazine & Bon Appetit Magazine a few short months after opening. In the summer of 2015, via a story in the Washington Post, Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appetit proclaimed Alfie’s as one his 5 favorite restaurants in Washington DC.
In 2017 Alex opened two permanent locations of his longtime Sunday, burger-centric pop-up, Lucky Buns. One on the bustling Adams Morgan neighborhood of NW Dc and the other in the Capital One Arena. Lucky Buns is already garnering much attention in DC, as one of the most anticipated openings in the District as well as its Irish / Se Asian / UK and Aussie inspired dishes being written up by newspapers around the globe.
Alex’s TV credits include appearances on NBC’s “Chopping Block” hosted by Marco Pierre White in 2008 and on Food Networks “Food Network Star” Season 11 where he finished 4th. In addition to his TV appearances, Alex has contributed to several cookbooks and is active in the DC philanthropic culinary scene, having participated in dinners for Cochon555 as well as Alice Waters & Joan Nathans “Sips & Suppers”. Additionally, Alex has had the honor of hosting dinners at the James Beard House twice (2017, 2018)
A die-hard DC sports fan, Alex splits his time between his hometown of Washington, D.C. & locations abroad where he and his amazing team host pop-up dinners in cities from London to Bangkok.
Chef and Co-Founder, Himitsu
Kevin got his start in the kitchen as a teen, working in his parents’ restaurant. While his beginnings may be humble, he found his passion for cooking and went on to work with some of the best chefs in the country, including James Beard Award-winning Tyson Cole, Aaron Silverman, and Jose Andres. In November 2016, Himitsu opened and within just two months was nominated for a James Beard Award. His cuisine is Japanese-inspired, as well as infused with his Vietnamese heritage, creating loud, exciting flavors with expert technique. His accolades include 2017 & 2018 James Beard Foundation “Rising Star Chef” semi-finalist, 2017 Bon Appetit “Best Restaurants in America” Top 50 Finalist and 2017 Eater “12 Best New Restaurants in America”, Eater DC Restaurant of the Year 2017, and most recently Food and Wine’s Best New Chef 2018.
Master of Ceremonies
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, McFly is always on the move around Maryland, Virginia, and Washington.
McFly’s unique blend of social responsibility and community engagement – and effortless ability to connect with people – even received the notice of the Obama White House.
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.
Kelly Collis is a native Washingtonian and has been working in the DC area for over 20 years. In 2011, she decided to take a turn in her career after working over a decade in public relations and marketing, when one of her best friends, Tommy McFly, told her about an opportunity to host a morning radio show. She served as the morning co-host of the “Tommy Show” on 94.7 Fresh FM for 8 years. Prior to her radio job, she 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 in 2010.
Washington Life named her one of the top 200 influencers under 40 in DC for the 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 nationwide 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 several members of Congress.
Recently re-married, she loves spending time with her husband and children, her 2 dogs, shopping, yoga, following Washington sports teams, especially the Washington Nationals and drinking wine at sporting events or any other time.
Jen Richer is the thrill-seeking, NoVa-loving, accident-prone, former co-host and executive producer of The Tommy Show on 94.7 Fresh FM. When she’s not racking up frequent flier miles for that next big adventure, she and her best friends are diving into the Beltway Scene.
She’s the proud momma of two rescue pups: Mr. Grant and Puppy Bruce who are just as obsessed with reality tv as she is. She may be a hopeless romantic, but even the Washington Post calls her love life “dismal.”
D.C. has been her playground for 15 years, but hails from San Diego where she knows how to surf (kinda), and she claims to be a die hard Chargers fan.
Making her way to DC to study International Affairs and Art History at The George Washington University, she quickly found a home with her Sigma Kappa Sisters, and her passion for radio at the college radio station WRGW.
Jen started her radio career in news at WMAL where she met Tommy McFly who was working across the hall at their sister station.
When she’s not hanging with Tommy and Kelly, or crashing your wedding, she dedicates her time to empowering women, Ovarian Cancer awareness and Alzheimer’s research. As an Army sister, she’s also passionate about supporting military families.