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Winners Revealed at Chilean Chef Challenge

November 3, 2016

ProChile, Foods From Chile and the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) held their third annual Chilean Chef Challenge last night at the National Restaurant Association building in Washington, DC. Guests had the opportunity to eat, drink and experience Chile with seven chefs and six mixologists creating dishes and cocktails using Chilean products and the inspiration of Chilean culture.

Patrons had the night to taste all dishes and cocktails and cast their votes for their favorites. Among the crowd were our esteemed judges below:

Juan Gabriel Valdés – Ambassador to the US
Rodrigo Andres Contreras – Trade Commissioner
Laura Hayes – Food Editor, Washington City Paper
Tierney Plumb – Associate Editor, Eater DC
Monica Bhide – Writer and Blogger

There were four winners; judges votes for favorite dish and cocktail, and the people’s choice for the same two categories. The winners were:

Chef Victor Albisu
of Del Campo created an Olive Oil Merquen Salmon. The salt baked Chilean salmon with merquen-spiced bagna cauda was a nod to the great seafood that Chile has to offer.

Tim Russell
at Kyirisan created a masterpiece cocktail using Waqar Pisco named Winter Is Coming, made with apricot brandy, peppercorn syrup, lemon juice and topped with crushed black pepper for a spicy finish.

Steve Mason
from the Grilled Oyster Company took the people’s choice for favorite dish of the night with his Olive Oil Chanar Syrup Merquen topped Mussels. The Merquen smoked Patagonian mussels with chanar syrup smoked mussel cream made for an amazing bite.

Amin Seddiq
of Del Campo gave guests something to truly enjoy with The Bad Hombre, with cucumber infused Alto Del Carmen Pisco, fresh lime, Blanc De Blanc and a beet reduction.

Other Chefs who participated included Chef Rob Rubba of Hazel, Chef George Rodrigues of TICO, Chef Nathan Beauchamp of The Fainting Goat, Chef Theary So of Hank’s Oyster Bar and Chef Rodney Scruggs of Occidental Grill & Seafood. Mixologists who shook up the event with pisco cocktails were Nick Farrell of Iron Gate, AJ Johnson of Macon Bistro, Adrian Cane of TICO and James Nelson of BLT Steak. Kristy MacDonald of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House was the guest Sommelier who poured a variety of Chilean wines.

The geographic isolation of Chile, which is positioned between the Pacific Ocean, Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert and the Patagonian glaciers, provides a pristine environment for healthy and beneficial growth and production of agriculture, ensuring food quality beyond compare.


The culinary competition was sponsored by Foods from Chile, RAMW, National Restaurant Association, Wines of Chile, Belair Produce, Watermark Foods, Pisco Waqar, Kappa Pisco, Pisco Alto del Carmen, Acme Paper & Supply, Inc, Lap Imports, Chile Olive Oil, Armidita, Capel, Bou Barroeta, CohnReznick and Congressional Seafood.


For more information, please contact Shayreen Lum at or at 202-888-3568.


Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW)

The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is the regional trade association representing restaurants and the foodservice industry in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. Established in 1920, RAMW is an advocate, resource and community for its members. The Association works to promote and sustain the growth and development of the industry while providing its members legislative and regulatory representation, marketing and small business support, programming and events. RAMW strives to serve its members with professionalism and integrity, and provide them the training, education and support they need to grow a successful business.

Foods from Chile
Born from fjords, grown amid glaciers and harvested from exotic rainforests, the fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat and spirits represented by Foods from Chile are the unique and toothsome result of that country’s diverse terrain and rich natural resources. The Foods from Chile seeks to share this story, inviting to discover how Chile’s fertile mix of coastline, arid terrain, glacial mountains and rainforests produce an abundant and varied range of healthy natural foods.