ICI’s fourth annual Capital Chef Classic, featured Mike Isabella, former Top Chef contestant, facing off against Pati Jinich, host of the hit series Pati’s Mexican Table, to determine who could create the best new tasty treat. Renowned local chef Geoff Tracy hosted the lighthearted cooking competition, which was narrowly won by Chef Isabella. Following the competition, the three chefs participated in a book signing.


Chef Biographies

Geoff Tracy

Geoff Tracy graduated from Georgetown University in 1995 with a degree in theology. He then graduated first in his class at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Before he reached the age of 30, Tracy opened Chef Geoff’s and Chef Geoff’s Downtown. Subsequently, Tracy opened LIA’s, Chef Geoff’s Tysons Corner, and Chef Geoff’s Rockville.

Tracy oversees restaurant operations as well as managing the concept, menu development, marketing, finances, and growth at each of the restaurants. In 2009, Tracy was awarded the Albert Uster Chef of the Year Award. In 2011, Chef Geoff’s Tysons Corner won “hottest restaurant bar scene” from the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), and in 2012, the readers of Washingtonian magazine elected him “Best Local Chef.”

Mike Isabella

Mike Isabella is the chef and owner of Graffiato in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, DC. The 130-seat Italian-inspired spot features small plates, locally cured meats, artisanal pizzas, and pastas with seasonal ingredients. The menu is influenced by the food that he grew up eating in New Jersey, prepared by Isabella’s Italian American grandmother.

Before opening Graffiato, Isabella was the executive chef of Jose Andres’s Zaytinya. During his three-year tenure, Isabella generated accolades and national attention for Washington, DC’s powerhouse Mediterranean restaurant. Isabella competed on season six of Top Chef, and was the runner-up on Top Chef All-Stars. In 2013, he opened Kapnos, a Greek concept restaurant, and G, an Italian sandwich shop.

Pati Jinich

Pati Jinich is a cookbook author, food writer, cooking teacher, and chef of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, DC. She was born and raised in Mexico City and comes from a family of accomplished cooks. She hosts the hit national public television series Pati’s Mexican Table, which is now in its third season. It was nominated for a 2013 “Best Informational Program” Imagen Award and a 2014 IACP “Best Series” award.

Jinich is a regular guest on ABC’s The Chew, NBC’s Today Show, and CBS’s The Talk, as well as NPR’s All Things Considered and The Splendid Table. She has appeared as a guest on the Food Network, CNN en Español, Fox News, and CBS This Morning. She also has been featured in many leading newspapers, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune.

Thank you to our Capital Chef Classic sponsor:

Compliance Science


Million Dollar Quartet

Million Dollar Quartet touring cast. Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Entertainment at ICI’s 56th Annual GMM Dinner was provided by Million Dollar Quartet, the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical inspired by the true story of the famed recording session that brought together rock ’n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Attendees enjoyed a lively show featuring such classic hits as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “Walk the Line.”

Thank you to the sponsors of the GMM Dinner Event:

Dinner Sponsors

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