Hello Foodie Friends,

After being a sponsor of this event for a couple years now, I finally made it there in person this year. I can’t even begin to describe how super generous the organizers of this event are to their sponsors. Not only were we invited to several events leading up to the Grill-Off but following too. We also received a gorgeous box customized with our company’s logo placed on some cookies, some commemorative glasses and a lovely bottle of Cab personally signed by John Offerdahl himself. First class all the way.

The Gridiron Grill-Off in case you are not familiar with it is a Food, Wine & Tailgate Festival & Culinary Showdown that pairs up celebrity athletes (former Miami Dolphin legends) with some of the best local chefs to compete for the judges choice and the people’s votes for best recipe. Festival participants are encouraged to download the Gridiron Grill-Off app to vote for their favorite. Grill-Off proceeds benefit kids who are parentless (4Kids of South Florida) and homeless (HOPE South Florida) as well as these additional benefactors: Here’s Help, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Programs, Miami Dolphins Foundation and the “Taste of the NFL” Feeding South Florida.

Kicking off the sixth annual “John Offerdahl’s Broward Health® Gridiron Grill-Off Food & Wine Festival with a special early access from 12pm – 1pm, VIP ticket holders and media had a chance to do a Meet & Greet with this year’s national celebrity guest Adam Richman, author, actor and television personality.

Adam Richman grew up in New York and began his love affair with food early on, sampling all of the diverse culinary specialties the Big Apple has to offer. After years of travel and invaluable on-the-job experience in the various restaurants, Adam began hosting “Man v Food” for Travel Channel, which quickly became their highest rated show. Richman has returned to television to host Travel Channel’s “Man Finds Food” and NBC’s food competition show “Food Fighters.” Adam’s first book, “America the Edible” (Rodale Publishing), hit stands in 2010 and his second book, “Straight-Up Tasty” (Clarkson Potter), came out in June 2015.

Gridiron Grill-Off VIP ticket-holders received signed copies of “Straight-Up Tasty”.  In addition, Adam cooked a recipe from his new book with John Offerdahl at 4 p.m. in the Toyota Cornhole Stadium and Festival Stage.

The event was held on the grounds of the Pompano Beach Amphitheater and despite the rain ascending upon the crowd pretty much most of the afternoon, it didn’t appear to dampen the spirits of those in attendance. I would not consider myself a sports fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have a father and a brother who are fanatical. So as I made my rounds from station to station, I made a point to take a picture with as many of the football pros as possible to share with them. They were all so nice and of course so tall compared to me, lol!

Chef Chris Miracolo from S3 Restaurant at Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort was back again this year to defend his title of 2014 Judge’s Choice Winner. Chef Victor Franco from Oceans 234 was back as well to defend his title of 2014 People’s Choice Winner. Did either of them nab this year’s coveted titles? You’ll just have to wait and see. Here were this year’s teams and what they created:

Bob Baumhover (’77-’86)

NT #73

 

Chef Steve Zucker

Dauphins

Alabama Gulf Shrimp

Marco Coleman (’92-’95)

DE #90

 

Chef Andres Avayu

Piccolo Ristorante

Feta Stuffed Lamb Burger

Jeff Cross (’88-’96)

DE #91

 

Chef Nicole Rhone

The G-Bar, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina

Donut Bourbon Bacon Burger

Channing Crowder (’09-’11)

LB #52

 

 

Chef Chris Miracolo

S3 Restaurant at Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort

Grilled Lobster & Pork Belly

 

Troy Drayton (’96-’99)

TE #84

Chef Zhongbo Zhang

Mai-Kai Restaurant

Chicken Yakitori

 

AJ Duhe (’77-’84)

LB #77

 

Chef Jeff Pfeiffer

Lobster Bar Sea Grille

Miso Kebabs

Mark Duper (’82-’92)

WR #85

 

Chef Victor Franco

Oceans 234

Thai Chicken Wrap

 

Jay Fiedler (’00-’04)

QB #9

Chef Michael Saperstein

Rebel House

BBQ Lamb Spare Ribs

Roy Foster (’82-’90)

G #61

 

Chef Oliver Saucy

Darrel & Oliver’s Cafe Maxx

Grilled Wagyu Steak Tacos

Mark Higgs (’90-’94)

RB #21

 

Chef Ralph Pagano

Naked Taco

Key West Shrimp Tacos

Jim “Crash” Jensen (’81-’92)

QB / WR / RB #11

 

Chef Rick Schwager

Grille 401

Crusted Beef Tenderloin

 

 

Larry Little (’69-’80)

RG #66

 

 

Chef Ulises Mar

15th Street Fisheries

Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas

Sam Madison (’97-’05)

DB #29

 

Chef  Heather Waid

Beauty and the Feast, The Atlantic Hotel & Spa

Dr. Pepper Pork Sliders

Don McNeal (’80-’89)

CB #28

 

Chef Kenny Velsor

The Grill, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale

Pork Tostada

Eugene “Mercury” Morris (’69-’75)

RB #22

 

Chef Gary Klinefelter

Diplomat Prime, Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood

Mojo Pulled Pork

Tony Nathan (’79-’87)

RB #22

 

Chef Dustin Gordon

Chef’s Palette Café and Grill, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

Grilled Octopus

Ed Newman (’73-’84)

G #64

Chef Peter Boulukus

YOLO

Greek Chicken

 

Louis Oliver (’89-’93)

S #25

 

Chef David Hackett

Palme d’Or / Fontana / Cascades / 19th Hole, The Biltmore

Sausage Corn Dog

Fuad Reveiz (’85-’88)

K #7

 

Chef Kareem Anguin

The Oceanaire Seafood Room

Jerked Cobia

Keith Sims (’90-’97)

G #69

 

Chef Eric Luban

JB’s on the Beach

Tenderloin Lettuce Wraps

Dave Shula (’82-’88)

Wins – #347

 

Chef Peter Farrand

Shula’s Steak House

New York Strip

Dwight Stephenson (’80-’87)

C #57

 

Chef Rey De La Osa

Publix Aprons

Chimichurri Flank Steak

Troy Stradford (’87-’90)

RB #23

 

Chef Greg McGowan

Pelican Landing, Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six

Grilled Spanish Octopus

 

 

Zach Thomas (’96-’07)

LB # 54

 

 

Chef Daniel Gerety

McCoy’s Oceanfront, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa

Wagyu Beef Tostones

Shawn Wooden (’96-’99)

S #22

 

Chef Anthony Fiorini

13 American Table

Grilled Octopus

While there were so many wonderful dishes being turned out, there were a few stand out dishes in my opinion. I really enjoyed the taste and presentation of the Grilled Octopus from Team Wooden/Chef Anthony Fiorini 13 American Table. I also enjoyed the pork belly dish created by Team Crowder/Chef Chris Miracolo S3 Restaurant. And last but not least, I thoroughly enjoyed the Thai Chicken Wrap created by Team Duper/Chef Victor Franco Oceans 234.

This year’s esteemed judges were Chefs Michelle Bernstein, Allen Susser & Mark Militello along with Burger Beast’s Sef Gonzalez and Jack Kane, the culinary academic department director at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. So….who does the 2015 judge’s choice trophy go to???? Chef Greg McGowan from Pelican Landing and #23 Troy Stradford earned it with their Grilled Spanish Octopus. And the People’s Choice???? Chef Ralph Pagano from Naked Taco and #21 Mark Higgs nailed it with their Key West Shrimp Tacos. Congrats to them and to all the participating contenders for an awesome day; one that will undoubtedly enrich the lives of many children in need. Here are some of my highlights from the day. Enjoy.

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Grilled Octopus from Table 13

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Thai Chicken Wrap from Ocean’s 234

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naked taco title Pelican Landing title

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise