Six celebrity D.C. chefs compete for military charity, Blue Star Families

On March 22nd, six D.C. celebrity chefs teamed up with the head chef from each of the five branches of the military, and the National Guard, and went head to head in a foodie competition.  The mission?  Charity.  The 2017 Blue Star Families Celebration was hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in a fabulous star studded and patriotic themed affair aimed at raising funds and awareness for Blue Star Families, a national non-profit on a mission to bridge the gap between our military and their American neighbors.

Each team was made up of a D.C. celebrity chef and their military chef counterpart. They competed against each other for the best dish of the night.  Chefs include: Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Chris Clime, PassionFish, Todd Gray, Equinox, David Guas, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, Joe Palma, Bourbon Steak, Todd Thrasher, Bar PX, and Robert Wiedmaier, Marcel’s.

SMSgt Linda Schwartzlow (L) & Joe Palma (Bourbon Steak) (R)

Dishes were voted on by party patrons adorning the chefs of their favorite dish with a strand of patriotic beads.  Whoever has the most beads wins.  Who are these party patrons judging this competition?  Not your run of the mill D.C. wanna-be foodies.  The judges were made up of some of the most seasoned and sophisticated pallets out there, including: Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter (who received a Lifetime Achievement Award), Admiral Paul. F. Zukunft, Commandant of the Coast Guard, General Paul J. Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Daniel Dailey, 15th Sergeant Major of the Army, David Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, MajGen John Broadmeadow, Commander, Marine Corps Installations Command, Ellyn Dunford, wife of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dennis White, President and CEO of MetLife Foundation, MajGen Charles Bolden, Former Administrator of NASA, as well as hundreds of other great Americans.

Now lets get to the chow…


Diver Scallop Ceviche with Housemade Ponzu, Sea Beans, Finger Limes, and Cucumber.
SMSgt Linda Schwartzlow & Joe Palma (Bourbon Steak)


Tuna Nicoise Deviled Eggs & Caviar.
CS1 Frida Karani, Navy & Chef Chris Clime (PassionFish)


Truffled Polenta Frites with Tomato Braised Lentils, Early Spring Asparagus and Parmesan ReggianO.
SFC Ronald Bernard & Chef Todd Gray (Equinox)


Terrine of Irish Oak Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Cream and Pickled Ramp Shoots.
SSgt Hiram Carrion & Chef Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve)


Seared Louisiana Crawfish Cake with Celery Root Slaw, Creole Mustard Remoulade.
CSC Derek Johnson & Chef David Guas (Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery)


Roasted Chestnut Soup with Foie Gras and Black Truffle.
MTSgt Jennifer Medeiros & Chef Robert Wiedmaier (Marcel’s)

The results were danger close, but the winner…. COAST GUARD!  Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, and CSC Derek Johnson!  Congratulations to all of Wednesday’s participants and and supporters.  For more information on how to support Blue Star Families mission, please visit

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