Celebrity chefs Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern, Jose Andrés, Padma Lakshmi, and Carla Hall came together last night to host and judge DC Central Kitchen’s annual Capital Food Fight. The event raised $600,000 for the meal distribution and job training nonprofit, while giving everyone the chance to see their favorite chefs uncensored. If you missed it, here are some of the highlights:
Piece of Meat: Lakshmi auctioned off the chance to eat a piece of Iberico ham from her collarbone for $1,000. (Watch a video of the winner claiming his prize below.) The rest of the judges also went a little H.A.M. “This is what I want the inside of my coffin to smell like when I die,” Zimmern said. Bourdain one-upped him: “I would slit my best friend’s throat with a rusty butter knife for this ham.” So… maybe $1,000 is a bargain?
Bizarre Foods: In a surprise cook-off between Zimmern and Bourdain, the secret ingredient was iguana. Both chefs served their lizard with a side of over-easy eggs. “What are the odds that two 50-year-old New York City bozos like us would both make stoner breakfast?” Zimmern said. “That looks like something a donkey shit off a cliff,” added Bourdain, who won the competition.
Birthday Boy: The main event was a cooking throw-down between Elisir‘s Enzo Fargione, Bourbon Steak‘s Adam Sobel, Cuba Libre‘s Guillermo Pernot, and Bistro Bis/Vidalia‘s Jeff Buben. The winner: Buben! To top it off, it was his birthday, and so Andrés asked the very awkward question: “If you win, what’s going to happen with your wife tonight?”
Goodbyes: DC Central Kitchen founder and president Robert Egger announced that he’s leaving the organization after 25 years and moving to Los Angeles to open LA Kitchen. He’ll officially step down on Inauguration Day, and CEO Mike Curtin, who has already been running the day-to-day operations, will become the top dog.
Photo and video by Jessica Sidman