Eating & Drinking

Embassy Chef Challenge Takes Guests Around the World in 11 Plates

By Emma Fischer

Get the royal treatment — or at least the food prepared by the chefs who cook for ambassadors and diplomats — at the third annual Embassy Chef Challenge on November 3. Hosted by the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Foundation (IBDF), the gala event sees chefs representing various embassies come together to whip up dishes in hopes of winning the hearts of both the guests and the judges.

Last year’s event, which raised $100,000 for CHEO, saw Chef Resa Solomon-St. Lewis of the High Commission of Trinidad and Tobago take home the top prize with a coconut-infused goat curry served with paratha roti and fresh cucumber chow. Chef Solomon-St. Lewis will compete again this year, as will 2014 winner Chef Mathieu Desjardins of the British High Commission.

2015-11-04 IBD Foundation Embassy Chef Challenge
Last year’s gala saw chefs from seven embassies or diplomatic missions take part. $100,000 was raised for CHEO

This year, there will be 11 embassy chefs competing, up from seven in 2015.

However, unlike in previous years, people in attendance will have the opportunity to taste the world less travelled, as chefs new to the event come from Guatemala, Kazakhstan, and Honduras. 

Karen Zarrouki, a representative with the event, says dishes that have stood out in the past are those that saw uncommon ingredients plated in unique ways.

“One of the previous dishes was served from a pumpkin and onto a wooden platter. Another was the intricate fruit and vegetable carvings on the chef’s station and in the dish itself,” says Zarrouki.

Dishes at the Embassy Chef Challenge shine a light on ingredients from around the world
Dishes at the Embassy Chef Challenge shine a light on ingredients from around the world

Each chef will be preparing one dish according to set guidelines. To make the gala even more enjoyable for guests, the ticket includes premium wine and beer pairings specifically chosen to complement each dish.

Proceeds from the event will go towards the purchase of specialized paediatric equipment for an IBD procedure room at CHEO. Zarrouki says in addition to this, it will also go to helping other areas at CHEO.

“Money raised will help fund important programs, education and research to advance the care of children living with inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s disease and colitis,” she says.

In 2015, the gala sold out and they expect this year’s event to be just as popular.

The Embassy Chef Challenge will be held on November 3rd from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Horticulture Building in Lansdowne Park. Only 300 tickets are available for $125 each and can be purchased on the IBD Foundation website.