Benin’s Ambassador to the United States (US) His Excellency Hector Posset in early February 2018 promised his embassy’s participation in the tenth-anniversary edition of the Embassy Chef Challenge (ECC) event to be held 6:30pm Eastern Standard Time on May 17, 2018, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, District of Columbia (DC).
Ambassador Hector Posset made the promise during a meeting organized by Oral Ofori of TheAfricanDream.net at the Embassy of Benin in Washington (DC) as part of efforts to increase the number of African Embassies at the ECC event.
Pete Kirschner, Director of Marketing Communications, Sports & Entertainment Division for Events DC, organizers of ECC was at hand to shed some light on the event. Also present at the meeting was Benjamin Agon of the embassy’s Political and Cultural Affairs and First Counselor Gafari Dango, as well as George Kwasi Bright of the Afrikan Post newspaper.
Mr. Kirschner explained that ECC is an annual international cooking challenge and cultural event in which embassies choose a chef to create a dish from their national cuisine to celebrate cooking talents of respective chefs from Washington DC embassies.
“This event also provides a taste of the world’s foods to the diplomatic community, folks on the hill, tourists and everyday Washington DC residents in a showcase of the variety of culinary arts especially in the diplomatic corps of DC. We will be very excited to see Benin participate this year as we increase the African participation and diversity“, said Mr. Kirschner.
Some specialty Beninese foods expected to feature at the 2018 ECC in May will most likely include Acarajé which is made from peeled black-eyed peas formed into balls and then deep-fried in palm oil, the popular special fried plantain known as Aloko, Wagasi cheese made from cow milk and other delicious foods of Benin.
In 2017 Morocco won the Judge’s Choice award while Haiti won the People’s Choice award at the ECC competition. Morocco was the first nation in 2009 to win both awards in the first-ever event. New Zealand, Thailand, and Venezuela respectively in 2013, 2014 and 2015 repeated Morocco’s feat by winning Judge’s and People’s choice awards.
More than 40 participating embassies will be represented at the 2018 event expected to draw a crowd of over 2000. Find out more about the event at www.eventsdcembassychefchallenge.com.
Watch highlights of the 2017 ECC below:
Oral Ofori is Founder and Publisher at www.TheAfricanDream.net, a digital storyteller and producer, and also an information and research consultant.