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Posted at 3:10 PM ET, 11/12/2008

A Food Fight for a Good Cause

By Julia Beizer

More than 700 hungry people packed into the Reagan Building last night for the fifth annual Capital Food Fight, a fundraising event for DC Central Kitchen. The lights were low, the drinks were flowing and there were apps aplenty. But beyond the buzz of the mingling crowd, the real show was on stage. Here, five chefs competed in a series of battles -- showing their culinary prowess by creating original dishes in 10 minutes that made use of secret ingredients like bourbon peaches, sechuan buttons and Mahjoub couscous with peppers. Barton Seaver, who was once the chef at Hook and now a development chef with DC Central Kitchen, won the competition for the second year in a row.

We've got this photo gallery -- plus the video below -- but first, a few of my favorite highlights from the night.

* Nearly 50 restaurants set up shop at the event doling out sample dishes. The tri-color beet salad from The Oval Room and the roasted squash salad from Vermilion were my personal faves.
* The event raises about $300,000 for DC Central Kitchen each year and being there last night, you could really see all the people it touched. I spoke with Bo Sims, a formerly homeless man whose life was clearly turned around by the organization. The lights went down in the middle of my video interview with Barton Seaver last night, which is why you'll only see part of it in the video below, but he also spoke passionately about DCCK.
* Mark Kessler, the stadium announcer at FedEx field, lent his booming voice to the event, acting as an announcer for the event (and sporting a fantastic pair of snakeskin boots with his suit). I sweet-talked him into saying "Campbell's pass complete to Coooooooooooley. First down, Washington!" (Fully professional as always.)

-- Julia

By Julia Beizer  | November 12, 2008; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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Comments

Does this event really raise any money or does it all just pay for expenses.

Posted by: Active_Reader | November 12, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey Active Reader...I can understand your concerns, but actually, just about EVERYTHING is donated, so we really did raise all that dough...and the best part...we really use it to combat hunger, change lives and rock this city. Stop by and see for yourself--we work everyday and all are welcome. Ask for me.

Robert

Posted by: regger1 | November 12, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

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