Charitable Cooking at the Fourth Annual Brainfood Grill-Off

Area chefs and Brainfood grads will duke it out for charity next month at a foodie battle royale.

Brainfood’s annual Grill-Off on Thursday, June 10, promises guilt-free gastronomic indulgence. The Washington-based nonprofit youth-development organization is grilling for a good cause: to benefit its programs teaching teenagers about food, nutrition, cooking, and jobs in the food industry.

The event, now in its fourth year, pits teams of local award-winning chefs, amateur grill mavens, and graduates of Brainfood programs against each other in a Top Chef-worthy challenge. Contestants have one hour to create a gourmet masterpiece from a pantry of surprise ingredients. The results are judged by a panel of local chefs, food writers, restaurant owners, and of course, Brainfood students.

Among the notable area chefs competing for the Brainfood Skillet Award: 1789’s Daniel Giusti, Birch & Barley’s Kyle Bailey, Dean Gold of Dino, Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore’s, the Majestic’s Shannon Overmiller, and Bryan Moscatello of Zola and Potenza. WJLA anchor Leon Harris will emcee an auction with such prizes as a guided wine tasting for eight at Dino, an Italian dinner for eight with wine pairings at Potenza with Moscatello, a private cooking class for ten with 1789’s Giusti and pastry chef Travis Olson, and dinner for two with Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema.

Click here or call 301-529-2629 for tickets ($75), which include dinner and an open bar. If being in the kitchen is more your style, you can enter the competition with five people, a local chef, and a Brainfood graduate by e-mailing Paul Dahm at; team entry is $3,000.

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