It wasn’t the upcoming presediantial election that had the Nation’s Capital all heated up with dukes out Monday night. Our very own Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern joined fellow celebrity chef José Andrés, Top Chef judge Padma Lakshmi and The Chew host Carla Hall for the 9th Annual Capital Food Fight, a star-studded foodie bash and fundraiser for DC Central Kitchen.
The final food fight was a “surprise” iguana cookoff between our hosts Bourdain and Zimmern. No stranger to tasting and cooking the “taste-like-chicken” meats, Zimmern said, “The fact that they could even get iguana stateside is a tribute to the global pantry here in Washington, DC. And as someone who has cooked this and eaten it before, I don’t want to say I think we have an advantage, but I’m going to say we may have a little advantage.”
Trash-talking is part of any chef battle, especially when it includes never-hold-back Bourdain, but most of the night was shop jokes versus zings. Some of the best lines of the night came from the Travel Channel hosts:
When Bourdain asked whether Zimmern would rather have a Cinnabon or lamb testicle, Zimmern responds: “Lamb testicles every day of the week because at least I know where they’re from.” To further support this, Zimmern later showed the audience a photo of squirrel testicles stored in his phone.
And all to support a good cause, Bourdain sells the Aspen Food and Wine Classic auction: “You get Mario Batali to sing Tiny Dancer to you in a falsetto while wearing a speedo.” Who wouldn’t put a bid on that?
Top Chef All-Star and Washington, DC, chef and restaurateur, Mike Isabella, joined Andrew Zimmern on stage as his sous chef in the final food fight between Zimmern and Bourdain.
Isabella, certainly not shy of going to battle with other chefs, loved the rivalry: “Everyone gets so excited leading up to the battles and there is always a lot of trash talking among the chefs, but it’s all in good fun and for a great cause.”
Zings, roasts, slams – it was all in the giving spirit: $600,000 was raised for DC Central Kitchen, a driving force in combating hunger in the District.
For more of Mike Isabella’s chef-side report of the event (and how much he wanted to kick Bourdain’s but), check out his Postcard from Capital Food Fight.