DC Central Kitchen is proud to present its signature fundraising event, the Capital Food Fight™ on November 16, 2017. 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.
Founder & Chair
Founder & Chair
Named as one of Time’s “100” Most Influential People and awarded “Outstanding Chef” 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 restaurants that spans 21 concepts throughout the country in Washington, DC, Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. He is a committed advocate of food and hunger issues and is known for championing the role of chefs in the national debate on food policy. This work has earned him awards and distinctions such as Outstanding American by Choice, awarded by President Barack Obama and the McCall-Pierpaoli humanitarian award. In 2015, he was named EY Master Entrepreneur of the Year in Greater Washington for his leadership and impact on the global business community.
Hosts & Judges
Spike Mendelsohn is known as one of the biggest break-out stars of Bravo’s “Top Chef” series. He was also invited to participate in their follow-up show “Top Chef All-Stars” and another Bravo program called “Life After Top Chef.” He is currently the co-host of Food Network’s new weekly talk show “The Kitchen Sink.”
Chef Mendelsohn is the chef and owner of a successful burger concept, Good Stuff Eatery, that first opened in Washington DC. He’s opened several other locations of Good Stuff in the D.C. metro area as well as locations in Chicago and most recently Saudi Arabia. His other D.C. restaurants include a taqueria called Santa Rosa and a pizza concept called We, The Pizza.
Spike is committed to several community and food causes around the country including CARE and DC Central Kitchen. In 2016, Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed Spike the first chairman of D.C.’s Food Policy Council.
Hailing from Atlanta, GA, Chef Tregaye Fraser is a seasoned chef who likes to twist old-fashioned recipes with her own unique flair, who has a passion for the nontraditional. She learned the basics at Le Cordon Bleu, but she soon realized that her love for cooking came from her youthful soul and love for fusion cuisine. A successful self-employed wife and mother who relates best to a younger generation, Tregayes’ dream of having a culinary talk show has become a reality as she is the current winner of “Food Network Star” and co-host of “The Kitchen Sink” on Food Network.
Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast with a passion for storytelling and licking the plate. She won Rachael Ray’s Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014 and her cookbook, “Orange, Lavender & Figs: Deliciously Different Recipes from a Passionate Eater” is available online and anywhere books are sold.
She has appeared regularly on “The Rachael Ray Show” and has been featured several times in Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine. Her Wilmington-based company Fanfare specializes in food writing, clever product-promoting videos for recipe development partners, public speaking, blogging, and sassy social media eats. Fanny calls her cooking style “comfort foods in a tuxedo”—eclectic twists on familiar favorites. She is currently a co-host on Food Network’s new series “Kitchen Sink.” Get your Fanny in the Kitchen at www.fannyslater.com and @fannyslater on Instagram.
Ana Navarro is a well-known Republican strategist and a political analyst for CNN and CNN en Español. She is also a political contributor on ABC’s The View. The Miami New Times named her a “Republican power-consultant,” and the Tampa Bay Times called her “a sought-after voice in Republican politics and an adviser for any presidential hopeful,” saying, “with confidants Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio she is poised to play a big role in the GOP response to immigration reform and Hispanic outreach.” Respected on both sides of the aisle for her straight shooting and candor, Navarro frequently appears in the media, sought after by Meet the Press, Bill Maher’s Real Time, Anderson Cooper 360, and The View, to name a few. “Ana speaks the truth, and she is willing to speak the truth to power without reservation…She has the ear of lots of elected officials,” said Republican consultant Brett O’Donnell. She is in touch with the political issues people are talking about, and in presentations, she discusses the latest hot button issues in politics, giving audiences an insider’s view of the upcoming elections and a roadmap for where the country is headed.
Adam Richman, TV personality, culinary traveler, cook and author, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. With the diverse culinary mecca of New York City at his fingertips, Adam’s love affair with and intense interest in food and food culture developed at an early age. Though originally he was most widely known as the host of Travel Channel’s “Man V. Food,” Adam’s résumé has since expanded to include host and co-executive producer of five titles across Travel Channel (“Man V. Food Nation,” “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America,” “Fandemonium,” “Carnivore Chronicles” and “Secret Eats”) and host of NBC’s “Food Fighters.” In addition to being a frequent contributor to NBC’s “The TODAY Show,” he is also the author of two books (America the Edible, Straight Up Tasty), and his production company, County of Kings, co-created and co-executive produced “BBQ Champ,” a wildly popular competition series, for ITV in the UK. A Yale graduate, Adam speaks four languages and has traveled the globe – visiting 13 countries alone for season two of “Secret Eats with Adam Richman” – on his quest to highlight local food culture on a national stage and uncover the world’s hidden edible treasures.
Joseph “JJ” Johnson is the James Beard-nominated chef best known for cooking food of the African diaspora at the beloved Harlem restaurants, The Cecil and Minton’s, where he most recently served as Executive Chef. Chef JJ’s signature style of transforming simple cuisine with bold flavors and unexpected ingredients was inspired by the Caribbean flavors he grew up with, combined with African and Asian tastes acquired from his travels around the world. Now, Chef JJ has created a new restaurant group, InGrained Hospitality Concepts, and has teamed up with Will Sears on two new restaurant projects, including an upcoming grain and rice concept, ingredients that JJ has spent the last several years studying alongside Glen Roberts of Anson Mills. He is also working on the debut of a new cookbook, “Between Harlem and Heaven,” to be released in February 2018.
This fall, Chef JJ is thrilled to preview new dishes and flavors from his latest culinary ventures at Chefs Club, a restaurant located in New York City’s NoLiTa neighborhood, where he serves as the first chef in residence. Having cooked a completely sold-out three-night dinner series at Chefs Club’s fast casual concept, Chefs Club Counter, this past summer, JJ continues to preview dishes from his forthcoming solo venture to New Yorkers. At Chefs Club, JJ is cooking a menu of “Afro-Asian” cuisine, something he feels is tangible evidence of the migration of people, and the creativity that it begets. Dish highlights, inspired by a melting pot borne of the diaspora, include Con’Con – Jollof sticky rice with eggplant curry, coconut and basil, and Short Rib for Two with Carolina gold rice, hoisin and house-made roti.
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.
Art and Soul
Executive Chef Douglas Alexander is French-trained and loves international ingredients and techniques.
Prior to joining Art and Soul in 2011, Alexander began cooking in high school in rural northeast Oregon where his family foraged for mushrooms, hunted and fished giving him a deep appreciation about where food comes from. After high school he moved to northern California to continue learning before returning to Oregon to cook at a number of kitchens in Portland Oregon, including Southpark Seafood & Wine Bar as sous chef and Fivespice Seafood & Wine Bar, where he was executive chef.
When not in the kitchen he can be found enjoying his other passions of heavy metal music, soccer and craft beer.
A 2003 graduate of Johnson and Wales University, Chef Hamilton earned his stripes as a rising star in the Southeast working for acclaimed Chef Frank Lee at Maverick Southern Kitchens in Charleston. Upon arrival in the District, he took a position at Vidalia under the direction of James Beard Award-winning Chef Jeffrey Buben. Over the course of nearly a decade, Johnson honed his culinary talents and worked his way up to Executive Chef of the Southern-inspired restaurant.
Under Chef Hamilton’s watch, Vidalia received a raving, three-star review from The Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema, cementing its reputation as one of the most beloved and acclaimed restaurants in Washington, D.C. Hamilton attributes his ascendence and skill-building to Chef Buben’s mentoring and thoughtful guidance.
After setting off to begin his own venture, with a successful stint premiering Honeysuckle at the Prequel pop-up location in downtown Washington, D.C., Chef Hamilton returned to his longtime home in Dupont Circle, taking over the location that was previously Vidalia.
Chef Hamilton regularly participates in international culinary competitions, last year placing second in the Food & Fun Festival held in Finland. Time spent abroad continues to inform his direction at Honeysuckle, as he melds Nordic flavors and techniques with the rich traditions of Southern cookery.
Bobby graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in New York with a BA in Culinary Arts Management. He is constantly driven to understand his family’s heritage/culture through food while learning under his mother, Chef Seng and his grandmother. His fascination with Lao culture exposed a wide range of historical content, which inspires him to continue to tell our food story and hone his craft. His past work experiences includes Minibar by Jose Andres, Toki Underground, and Buddakan in New York City.
Sally’s Middle Name
Chef Miranda Rosenfelt graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York City in 2012 and has refined her culinary career around the world ever since. From working at The Breslin in New York, to The Whelk in Westport, Connecticut, all the way to Thailand, Australia, and Vietnam, she’s found her home here in Washington, DC. Miranda is passionate about making the ingredients she uses speak for themselves. With access to some of the freshest ingredients in the mid-Atlantic, Miranda showcases the best flavors, textures and techniques to truly showcase the bounty of our region. She’s been the Chef de Cuisine at Sally’s Middle Name since 2015 and was recently nominated for a Rising Culinary Star of the 2017 RAMMY Awards.