Chefs Mix It Up for Charities Tonight for ‘Dished 2018’

Chefs Mix It Up for Charities Tonight for ‘Dished 2018’

Seasoned chefs, working perhaps without their usual selection of seasonings, will face off May 10 in a Rocky-themed cooking contest sponsored by the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce at The National Conference Center in Leesburg.

The two-round charity competition, scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m., brings top chefs from Loudoun and Fairfax counties together for Dished 2018. The chefs will be asked to create an appetizer and an entree, using only a basket of mystery ingredients provided to them and other ingredients they can find in a common pantry area. In addition, the chefs will only be allowed to bring an 8-quarter saucepan and a 12-inch skillet to use in preparing their dishes.

“It’s going to be a friendly competition, and I think the chefs probably know each other,” Event Manager Susan Brooks said. “They have to use the same ingredients for both rounds, and they can only use what’s in their basket and what we have available for them in the food pantry. They only have two burners at their chef’s station and they can only bring with them one saucepan and one frying pan. There will be a winner declared after each round.”

The chefs competing in Dished 2018 are:

Frank Estremera, newly-appointed executive chef at The National Conference Center.

Justin Gudiel, executive chef at Trattoria Villagio.

Ammar Ikram, chef and owner of Flavour Food Truck.

Tony Stafford, chef and owner of Ford’s Fish Shack.

San Varith, executive chef of Hilton-Washington Dulles Airport.

Brad Weideman, executive chef at DC Prime Steaks and Lobster.

The judges will be Chris Ferrier, executive chef of Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center and Lincoln Fuge, executive chef of 701 Restaurant in Washington, D.C.’s Penn Quarter.

“Chris Ferrier was at the National Conference Center and he was the winner last year,” Brooks said. “As the former winner, I asked him if he would come back as a judge and he is all over it. He is very excited.”

With Ferrier serving as judge, newly appointed Executive Chef Frank Estremera will Represent The National Conference Center. Estremera was named executive chef effective May 14.

“We are delighted to add Frank to our award-winning culinary team,” National Conference Center Food and Beverage Director Todd Goldian said. “Frank’s culinary experiences perfectly align with the innovative food and beverage program throughout The National and West Belmont Place.”

Estremera’s love of food started at an early age working in his family’s Peruvian restaurant at the early age of 11. He has honed his culinary experience at regional venues, including Loudoun’s Lansdowne Resort and Lockheed Martin’s Center for Leadership Excellence.

Brooks said an emcee will help keep the crowd involved and Rocky-themed music will be used to build the drama. Attendees will also be able to discuss farm-to-table, locally-sourced cooking ideas and healthy eating options with local growers at an Indoor Farmers Market, and food and refreshments will be available for sale.

Proceeds will go to benefit five charities in Northern Virginia, including some that are DRCC members. Prizes for each round will be $750 for first place, $500 for second and $250 for third, and the winning chefs can choose to contribute that money to one of the following charities.

  • Autism Speaks, which is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
  • Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization that promotes self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare, and other human services.
  • Dulles South Food Pantry, a multi-faith emergency food pantry.
  • Herndon-Reston FISH, which helps Herndon and Reston residents cope with short-term financial crises by providing Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help.
  • Veterans Moving Forward, which provides service dogs to veterans of any generation that served honorably, have a physical and/or mental health challenge and can benefit from and qualify for a VMF service dog.

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Joseph Dill