Chef Francis Otoo serving special jollof at Embassy Chef Challenge 2019

Ghana jollof rises to the occasion again on April 2, 2019, when Ghanaian executive chef Francis Otoo walks into the 11th edition of the Embassy Chef Challenge (ECC) in Washington, District of Columbia (DC) at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center.

Multi-award winning Chef Otoo who is presently the Judges’ and People’s Choice Awards winner from the 2018 ECC 2018 has crossed the decade mark competing at the culinary diplomacy event. Attendees of the ECC, an annual culinary event that is co-organized by Events DC and Trade Centre Management Associates (TCMA) for the diplomatic community in Washington, DC have always been enticed by the Ghanaian Chef’s menu.

This year I want to take things a notch higher because that is what I always do every year — so yes there is going to be something extra special about the jollof that you must taste to discover for yourself. For now, all I can say is that I will be preparing the Ghana-version of Jollof, the favorite West African one-pot rice dish cooked in spicy tomato sauce that has gained global recognition,” Chef Otoo promised.

Chef Francis Otoo
Chef Otoo with double-awards in photo by Angeline Addy

The chef told that his jollof
will be accompanied by marinated lamb rack in Ghanaian herbs and spices grilled to perfection to create what he calls ‘Spice Sizzled Grilled Lamb Rack‘ with a special signature drink he is calling ‘Ashantie Mojito Mocktail‘ made from “basically pressed fresh ginger with lime juice swimming in Ghanaian spices with some simple syrup infused with fresh mint,” he explained.

Also try Chef Otoo’s ‘Ashantie Mule Cocktail‘ composed of pressed fresh ginger with lime juice in spices from Ghana, simple syrup infused with fresh mint and wait a minute, yes, this time this one has some Vodka.

Now close your eyes and imagine yourself loving all that good food and drink by Chef Otoo while your head bobs to some good music from Ghana. OK — open your eyes and stop imagining because Nathan Pryce will be there to make your dreams come true when he makes a return to the ECC with his band ‘The Dreams‘ to shake the dance floor again like he did last year with a smooth-jazz guitar rendition of classic and contemporary music.

I am happy to be back this year too and I am looking forward to seeing more diplomats not just bopping their heads, but dancing as well to our rhythm like last year. I hear besides Ghana, Botswana, Kenya, Libya, Cameroon and 2017 ECC champions Morocco will be representing Africa, so I pray the trophy returns to the continent, but till then, participants can count on quality international music from my new album and other AfroJazz and Smooth Jazz surprises” — Nathan Pryce. can confirm participating countries for this year’s ECC to include Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, and El Salvador. Georgia will be present to serve up some amazing wine as they pit their strength against Haiti, Peru, Saint Lucia, and Sri Lanka which hosted this year’s ECC media preview dinner in March.

Exclusive presenting sponsor for this year is TCMA with other partners including Cultural Tourism DC, Pepsi, Chase Bubly Sparkling Water, Macy’s LIFEWTR, Lyft, NAAAP of DC, vOSS and many others. Media partners are DC Refined, Washingtonian, Washington Diplomat, Racked, DC/BizBash, Thrillist, and which has been providing media support to the event for almost half a decade.

Tickets and other information for Embassy Chef Challenge 2019 is available at

Written by Oral Ofori

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