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Chef Xu Jinxue from the Embassy of the Peoples Rebublic of China made barbeque chicken and sauteed prawn. Xu has worked in the Chinese Embassy in Mexico, Angola, Venezuela and Azerbaijan. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef Xu Jinxue from the Embassy of the People's Rebublic of China made barbeque chicken and sauteed prawn. Xu has worked in the Chinese Embassy in Mexico, Angola, Venezuela and Azerbaijan. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Event attendees got to sample Chef Xus shrimp. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Event attendees got to sample Chef Xu's shrimp. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
An assistant of chef Kwang Kenneth Yang of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea prepares a plate of pan-fried dangun legend roll with vegetable garnish and rice balls. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
An assistant of chef Kwang Kenneth Yang of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea prepares a plate of pan-fried dangun legend roll with vegetable garnish and rice balls. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Chef Yang studied advanced culinary arts at Stratford University and has worked at Adour Restaurant, Zaytinya, Gaylord Hotel and Mandarin Oriental Hotel. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef Yang studied advanced culinary arts at Stratford University and has worked at Adour Restaurant, Zaytinya, Gaylord Hotel and Mandarin Oriental Hotel. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
The Embassy Chef Challenge took place at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on 14th Street in NW D.C. (WTOPRachel Nania)
The Embassy Chef Challenge took place at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on 14th Street in NW D.C. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
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Chef Simon Liestol Idso of the Royal Norwegian Embassy served a potato leek soup with cured Norwegian cod at the event. (WTOPRachel Nania)
Chef Simon Liestol Idso of the Royal Norwegian Embassy served a potato leek soup with cured Norwegian cod at the event. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Several chefs paired their dishes with signature liquors, like this linie aquavit from Norway. (WTOPRachel Nania)
Several chefs paired their dishes with signature liquors, like this linie aquavit from Norway. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Chef Sherene James has been the chef for the Embassy of Jamaica since 2008. She competed in the Embassy Chef Challenge last year, but did not place. Im back this year to take the championship, she says. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef Sherene James has been the chef for the Embassy of Jamaica since 2008. She competed in the Embassy Chef Challenge last year, but did not place. "I'm back this year to take the championship," she says. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Chef James served tropical jerked chicken kabob with pineapple and spicy jerk sauce. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef James served tropical jerked chicken kabob with pineapple and spicy jerk sauce. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Chef Ismar Reyes of the Embassy of El Salvador won the 2010 chef of the year award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Mid Atlantic and is the owner of Restaurant El Nopalito Grill in Silver Spring, Md. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef Ismar Reyes of the Embassy of El Salvador won the 2010 chef of the year award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Mid Atlantic and is the owner of Restaurant El Nopalito Grill in Silver Spring, Md. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
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Chef Reyes served a fillet of sea bass with mango and fresh coconut ceviche with a drizzle of chipilin cream. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef Reyes served a fillet of sea bass with mango and fresh coconut ceviche with a drizzle of chipilin cream. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Chef Mukesh Ramniarine of the Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has worked in The Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto, Grill 23 and Bar in Boston as well as the World Trade Center of Boston. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef Mukesh Ramniarine of the Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has worked in The Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto, Grill 23 and Bar in Boston as well as the World Trade Center of Boston. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Chef Mukesh Ramniarine of the Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago served corvine nugget in coconut curry nage and congo pepper. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef Mukesh Ramniarine of the Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago served corvine nugget in coconut curry nage and congo pepper. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Assistants of Chef Zodwa Sikakane, of the South African Embassy, prepare chakalaka. The dish includes peppers, beans, spices, curry powder and chili. You can have it as a condiment, you can have it as main dish, you can either have it spicy or non-spicy, but today its spicy, Sikakane says. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Assistants of Chef Zodwa Sikakane, of the South African Embassy, prepare chakalaka. The dish includes peppers, beans, spices, curry powder and chili. "You can have it as a condiment, you can have it as main dish, you can either have it spicy or non-spicy, but today it's spicy," Sikakane says. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Chef Roman Shchadrin of the Embassy of the Russian Federation cooked duck julien in tartlets. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef Roman Shchadrin of the Embassy of the Russian Federation cooked duck "julien" in tartlets. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
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Chef Roman Shchadrin worked as a chef in Moscow at the restaurant Prague and also cooked at the Russian Embassy in Argentina. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef Roman Shchadrin worked as a chef in Moscow at the restaurant Prague and also cooked at the Russian Embassy in Argentina. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Chef Viktor Merenyi of the Embassy of Hungary talks to guests as he samples the duck tartlets. Merenyi won the Embassy Chef Challenge in 2012 and returned this year as a judge. Being on the other side isnt so bad, he joked. I need to eat all night long. Merenyi says he judged based on style, decoration, taste and how the chef promoted his or her nation through the food presented. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef Viktor Merenyi of the Embassy of Hungary talks to guests as he samples the duck tartlets. Merenyi won the Embassy Chef Challenge in 2012 and returned this year as a judge. Being on the other side isn't so bad, he joked. "I need to eat all night long." Merenyi says he judged based on style, decoration, taste and how the chef promoted his or her nation through the food presented. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Lisa Vasciannie, wife of the ambassador of Jamaica (left), opts for some dessert. Her favorite dish of the night Clearly I have to say the Jamaica jerk chicken, she says. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Lisa Vasciannie, wife of the ambassador of Jamaica (left), opts for some dessert. Her favorite dish of the night? "Clearly I have to say the Jamaica jerk chicken," she says. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray attended the event and boasted that Washington has some of the hottest chefs in America. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray attended the event and boasted that Washington has some of the "hottest" chefs in America. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Carla Hall, a Top Chef season 5 finalist and co-host of The Chew, judged the previous Embassy Chef challenges. This year, she headed the auction, but she still sampled every dish. This is the cheapest way to travel, she says. To come here, go around the world, to have a bite and get all of the feel for these different cultures, it is amazing. She wouldnt say which dish she liked the best, but she said El Salvadors ceviche and Koreas dangun rolls won her over with their presentation. The judges have their work cut out for them, she said.
Carla Hall, a "Top Chef" season 5 finalist and co-host of "The Chew," judged the previous Embassy Chef challenges. This year, she headed the auction, but she still sampled every dish.

"This is the cheapest way to travel," she says. "To come here, go around the world, to have a bite and get all of the feel for these different cultures, it is amazing."

She wouldn't say which dish she liked the best, but she said El Salvador's ceviche and Korea's dangun rolls won her over with their presentation. "The judges have their work cut out for them," she said.
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Some of the judges of the event take the stage. From left Cultural Tourism DC chair Tim Cox, Washington Post food writer Tim Carman, chef Xavier Deshayes of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Duff Goldman, owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and star of Ace of Cakes, and Top Chef finalist Carla Hall. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Some of the judges of the event take the stage. From left: Cultural Tourism DC chair Tim Cox, Washington Post food writer Tim Carman, chef Xavier Deshayes of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Duff Goldman, owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and star of "Ace of Cakes," and Top Chef finalist Carla Hall. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Chef Nathan Bates of the New Zealand Embassy swept the competition by winning all three awards Judges Choice, Peoples Choice and the Embassy Chef Challenge. Im just stoked. Its a little bit overwhelming at the moment, so it might take a few hours to sink in, he said after winning. To celebrate, he said he planned to grab a few drinks with some of the chefs. Well find a local bar somewhere and celebrate together. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef Nathan Bates of the New Zealand Embassy swept the competition by winning all three awards: Judges' Choice, People's Choice and the Embassy Chef Challenge.

"I'm just stoked. It's a little bit overwhelming at the moment, so it might take a few hours to sink in," he said after winning.

To celebrate, he said he planned to grab a few drinks with some of the chefs. "We'll find a local bar somewhere and celebrate together." (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Chef Nathan Bates winning dish. Bates served roasted New Zealand lamb cutlet with zespri kiwifruit, herb and manuka honey relish. (WTOPStephanie Steinberg)
Chef Nathan Bate's winning dish. Bates served roasted New Zealand lamb cutlet with zespri kiwifruit, herb and manuka honey relish. (WTOP/Stephanie Steinberg)
Chef Nathan Bates of New Zealand holds his three awards. In 2005, he won the South Island Chef of the Year. (WTOPRachel Nania)
Chef Nathan Bates of New Zealand holds his three awards. In 2005, he won the South Island Chef of the Year. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
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Last years winner, chef Viktor Merenyi of Hungary (right), congratulates chef Bates. (WTOPRachel Nania)
Last year's winner, chef Viktor Merenyi of Hungary (right), congratulates chef Bates. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
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