In case you didn’t have an opportunity to attend our 2014 Maestro del Mar Chefs Challenge dinners here is a recap of all the great chefs and restaurants that played a role in creating one of the best experiences for our guests, and also made for some really amazing culinary skill to be showcased. So take a look and remember passes to the 2015 Maestro del Mar Chef Challenge Series will go on sale very soon so stay tuned!
Maestro Del Mar // Chefs Challenge # 1
The Maestro del Mar or Chef’s Challenge’s will kickoff at E.R. Bradley’s and the 4 executive chefs at Pistache, Hullabaloo, Off the Hookah, and Nick & Johnnie’s will be competing for the title of the Feast of the Sea 2014 Maestro del Mar! This is a press event with selected guests and a ribbon cutting to officially induct the Feast of the Sea and Future 6 Helping Hand organization into the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches.
After the last dish was served, the drinks evaporated, and the dust settled the judges had a very tough decision. 3 out of the 4 executive chefs are graduates of the Lincoln Culinary Institute and the other is world renowned chefs, the judging was very close and based on 5 categories; Visual Appeal, Taste, Creativity, Execution, and Overall. When the points were added up there could be only 1 winner, Edwin Bermudez representing Nick & Johnnie’s was crowned the winner of the first chef’s challenge.
Maestro Del Mar // Chefs Challenge # 2
The 2nd Maestro del Mar Chef Challenge was held at Off the Hookah and featured Chef Dan Martin of Cucina Dell’Arte on Palm Beach. He began the night with a Seared Scallop over a bed of risotto and greens. Next was Chef Steve Polowy of Table 26 in West Palm Beach who featured a Tortilla Crusted Black Grouper over an heirloom tomato, lime ceviche and watercress salad, and adding to the mix was Chef Vincent Toscano of Le Rendez-vous in West Palm Beach who served his Yellowtail Snapper, wrapped in a Feuille de Brick, with a Ratatouille.
Finally, Chef Ryan Trinkofsky and Chef Mike Porru, both of Lincoln Culinary Institute and Ashley Porter, of THE LIST TV judged and awarded Chef Eugenio Santucci of Ristorante Santucci in West Palm Beach winner with his dish, Capesante Modo Imperiale or Scallops Imperial Style. It featured a layer of crispy risotto and scallop and was topped with a candied orange garnish and served with an orange and ginger sauce.
Maestro Del Mar // Chefs Challenge # 3
The 3rd Maestro del Mar Chef Challenge was held at Salt 7 in Delray Beach and featured Chef Bruce Feingold of Dada. He began the night with mouthwatering panko crusted Mahi with a Coco Lopez drizzle with fennel and red peppers. Next was Chef Chuck McCann of Salt 7 who featured a delicious pan seared Mahi paired with a sushi roll over cauliflower puree, and adding to the mix was Chef Philip Petullo of Vic & Angelo’s who served his amazing pan seared Mahi over a corn medley and our winner, Adam Gottlieb of Atlantic Grille took the crown with his pan seared Mahi with pearl onions and sweet pea powder and tomato confit.
Carlos Fernandez, executive chef and co-owner of Hi-Life Cafe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and contestant on the hit reality show, Top Chef was among the judges with Pam Perets, Associate Store Manager at Williams Sonoma at The Gardens Mall and rounded out the panel was Dean David Pantone of Culinary Education at Lincoln Culinary Institute.
Maestro Del Mar // Chefs Challenge #4
Four chefs competed for the title at Williams-Sonoma in The Gardens Mall, including Matt Barna of 3800 Ocean, Chris DeGweck of Bistro Ten Zero One and Charlie Soo of Talay Thai. Chef Grutka’s winning dish featured three courses of swordfish: sashimi two ways, ceviche and seared with edamame and black rice. Chef Barna served up a coriander crusted Swordfish peppernade with braised kale, while Chef DeGweck showcased Swordfish with sumac and cauliflower purée with sorrel and mustard. Chef Soo presented a Thai style fish cake with cucumber and chili paste salad.
Tasting judges included Jan Norris, freelance journalist and former Food & Dining editor for the Palm Beach Post, For the Love of Food blogger Maude Eaton, and Donna Linares, Williams-Sonoma’s East-Florida District Manager for the last twelve years.
2014: Chefs Challenge Finale
Feast of the Sea’s final Maestro del Mar Chef Challenge will feature all 4 winning chefs from the previous challenges. Chef Edwin Bermudez of Nick & Johnnie’s, Chef Eugenio Santucci of Ristorante Santucci, Adam Gottlieb of Atlantic Grille and Eric Grutka of Ian’s Tropical Grille. Each chef will present a signature dish with fish generously donated by Sea Delight under 60 minutes and judged based on visual appeal, taste, creativity, execution and overall presentation. Each chef will battle their opponent for the title of 2014 Feast of the Sea’s MAESTRO DEL MAR and be awarded over $2000 in cash & prizes by Williams-Sonoma.
Each chef took to the competition Iron-Chef style. Not knowing the secret ingredient, Chefs were
given a tableful of ingredients to work with courtesy of Whole Foods of PBG while the Maine Lobster was provided by Sea Delight, an organization that promotes responsibly sourced seafood and marine conservation programs. Onli Beverages and Tito’s Handmade Vodka were on site greeting guest to complimentary cocktails. Tasting judges included Virginia Phillips of Virginia Phillips Wine Shop & Academy, Palm Beach Chef Extraordinaire, Roy Villacrusis of Aah Loi Thai & Sushi in Jupiter and David Pantone, Dean of Culinary Education at Lincoln Culinary Institute.
Chef Eugenio’s winning dish featured Steamed and Seared mouthwatering Lobster with sage,
asparagus and cherry tomatoes, drizzled with a creamy butter sauce. Chef Edwin served up a
delectable Lobster and Gnocchi dish in a delicious cream sauce, while Chef Adam did his mystery dish three ways. Lobster Crudo with Raisins, a Lobster with Guacamole and Lobster with Corn. Chef Eric followed suit creating three options with a Lobster duo of Ceviche and Crudo, Lobster on a warm Corn Tortilla and Lobster in a smooth cream sauce with fresh corn.