Taste of the Island, Wilton Manors

Posted By : dnice/ 118

Hey there Foodie Friends!

The 12th annual Taste of the Island Wilton Manors took place this past Monday, November 13 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.! For a very affordable $35, ticket holders had the opportunity to sample some of the best food and beverage options in South Florida from the more than 20 local restaurants and bars in the greater Wilton Manors and surrounding areas. This year’s event at Richardson Historic Park and Nature Preserve (1937 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305) featured local favorites such as Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, Blue Martini, Funky Buddha BreweryTrader Joe’s,  LLCCroissan’Time, Jupiter Donuts, Bravo! Gourmet Sandwich & Peruvian Cuisine and Spatch Peri-Peri Grilled Chicken!

The 12th Annual Taste of the Island is made possible by the tremendous support of the Wilton Manors Community Affairs Advisory Board, Waste Management, Sterling Accounting, and the City of Wilton Manors, among others and benefits Kiwanis Int’l, Wilton Manors Historical Society, the City of Wilton Manors and the Wilton Manors Development Alliance.

This was the first time I attended this event and the first time I had been to the Richardson Historic Park and Nature Preserve. I highly recommend a visit (to both), if you haven’t been.

Here were some of our favorite bites of the evening:

Ethos Greek Bistro: the tzatziki and the meatballs were my favorite bite of the night.
Tee-Jay: The Thai Beef was well balanced and packed lots of yummy Thai flavors.
Croissan’Time: The lines were long to get to these baked goods, and they were worth the wait!
Bravo! Gourmet Sandwich & Peruvian Cuisine : The ceviche was oh-so-good. In my top three for sure!
Blue Martini : serving up tasty martinis. So delicious I had to go back for more than one!
Jupiter Donuts : A nice display with assorted donuts; very fresh and tasty.
Chima Steak House: Steak cooked to everybody’s liking (smart)!
Fitlife Foods : Chicken Pesto Tortellini
Fitlife Foods : Miso marinated salmon with quinoa

Got a busy, sometimes hectic schedule like me? Find yourself eating at odd hours and often times ingesting less than good-for-you meals? Of course there are lots of meal option plans available on the market today. And now, here’s one more for you to consider. The pesto tortellini drew me in and after one taste of the miso glazed salmon, I had to learn more about the creator of this delicious food. The company is called Fitlife Foods. They are not a restaurant, which initially threw me, being at a Food Festival surrounded by restaurants, caterers & private chefs. The company prepares made-from-scratch meals that are deliciously prepared with local and organic ingredients whenever possible. They have locations throughout FL, including Tampa, St. Pete, Sarasota, Orlando, Winter Park, and in South FL – Plantation, Ft. Lauderdale and Boca. You can stop in and pick up a meal to go or have it delivered to you. Love it? $ave money when you become a member. To learn more about Fitlife Foods visit their website.

Trader Joe’s : Pulled pork in bbq sauce
Trader Joe’s : BBQ pulled pork sliders

Well, there you have it. A great evening for a worthy cause was had in a lovely outdoor venue. I for one, can’ wait to visit all the new places I discovered at this year’s Taste of the Island.

Until we eat again…

  I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

 

 

SLOW FOOD MIAMI’S 6th ANNUAL FRESHEST NIGHT OUT

Posted By : dnice/ 124

Hello Foodie Friends,

I’m very excited to share with you my excursion down to South Beach a few weeks ago to attend my very first Slow Food Miami event, where over 300 ravenous foodies joined an elite group of South Florida’s top chefs for the recent 6th Annual Slow Food Miami “Snail of Approval” Tasting Party.

What is Slow Food Miami you ask? Slow Food Miami supports our local community from the ground up – from the Edible School & Community Gardens that are planted to encourage the enjoyment of foods that are local, seasonal and sustainably grown; to the local growers and artisan food makers they support for their use of sustainable methods. Planting a fresher future for our children.

All proceeds from events such as The Slow Food Miami “Snail of Approval” along with donor contributions support local school and community gardens and points South Floridians and visitors to food that is good, clean and fair by identifying and honoring producers, purveyors and artisans who contribute to food and beverage quality, authenticity and sustainability. In its inaugural year (2010), nominations were solicited among Miami-Dade county farmers. Now nominations come from the general public and all nominations are vetted by the Slow Food Miami Snail of Approval Committee and donor contributions support local school and community gardens.

They are a non-profit, 100% volunteer organization. Their local members are passionate about good food, supporting local growers and celebrating Miami’s diversity. By acting locally, we are helping to build a world where the food we eat is good for us, good for farmers and workers, and good for the planet. Slow Food Miami is the local chapter of Slow Food USA and the International Slow Food Association.

Left square: The beautiful Eden Roc Hotel, Miami Beach Top left to right: Papaya confit by Chef Matthew from Plant Food & Wine, Mushroom Duxelle from Chef Brian of Beaker & Gray, Mini Lobster roll from Chef Ben of Luke’s Lobster Bottom row: Cauliflower pizzette by Chef Helene of Malibu Farms, Vegetarian Black Bean Tacos by H Kitchen in collaboration with French Farms, Vegan pulled BBQ mushroom slider from Artichoke Foods

Celebrity Chef/Owner of Malibu Farm and author of Malibu Farm Cookbook: Recipes from the California Coast, Helene Henderson hosted this year’s Slow Food Miamis “Snail of Approval” Tasting Party. Regarded as Miami’s “Freshest Night Out”, the 6th Annual celebration was held Friday, March 24, 2017, at the Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort. This year, the unforgettable evening under the stars was made possible thanks to a partnership with Eden Roc, The Miami Scout Guide, Just Ask Boo, Vero Water, JetSet Sounds, FOH, J Wakefield Brewery, Menu Men, Inc., and wines sponsored by Twenty-One Wine & Spirits. The tasting party united dozens of the city’s top chefs, and local growers and producers for a night of tasting and honoring Miami’s food scene.

The soirée took place at the spectacular newly renovated Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort with ambient tunes by Michael Casola from JetSet Sounds. The first 100 tickets sold were priced at $75. After that, general admission tickets went to $85 per person with sales ending at noon on March 23. Tickets at the door were $100 per person. All event proceeds benefitted the Slow Food Miami’s Edible Garden Program. VIP Garden Sponsor tickets were available for $750 and included a garden box for a school, free entry to Freshest Night Out with early bird admission at 6:30PM and a signed copy of Helene Henderson’s Malibu Farm Cookbook: Recipes from the California Coast.

 

The Eden Roc’s fusion of fun and luxury was the perfect setting for this festive and sophisticated event where the “who’s who” in the South Florida culinary scene mingled about the lovely ocean front property. Guests indulged in tastes from Miami’s best farm-to-table, including a mix of current 2016-2017 “Snail of Approval” honorees and past “Snail of Approval” winners. This year’s chefs and food artisans included:

 

Helene Henderson (Malibu Farm)

Adrienne Grenier (3030 Ocean)

Paula DaSilva (Artisan Beach House)

Sean Brasel (Meat Market)

Jessica Weiss Levinson (Serendipity Creamery)

Frederic Joulin (Semilla)

Zak Stern (Zak the Baker)

Blair Wilson (Social Club @ The Surfcomber Hotel) * “2017 People’s Choice” Award Winner

Brian Nasajon (Beaker & Gray)

Corey Bousquet and Evan Boomer (The Brick) – *2017 “Judges Choice” Winner

Andres Barrientos and James Bowers (Miami Smokers)

Allen Susser (Books & Books, Coral Gables)

Ray and Shannon Allen (Grown)

Carolina Quijano (exquisito chocolates)

Buster Brown (Counter Culture Kombucha)

Giorgio Rapicavoli (Glass and Vine)

Maria Laura Aleman (Artichoke Foods)

Della Heiman (della test kitchen)

Rene Reyes and John Gallo (Pinch Kitchen)

Isabel and Susana Garcia (Cacao Art Chocolates)

Matthew Kenney (Plant Food & Wine)

Julie Frans (Essensia Restaurant & Lounge)

Muriel Olivares and Tiffany Noe (Little River Cooperative)

Freddy and Danielle Kaufman (Proper Sausage)

Gabe Bernal (Seasons Farm Fresh)

Aaron Dreilinger (Chef David’s Catering)

Chuck Lyons (Verde Community Gardens)

Paul Massard and Chris Nolte (Per’La Specialty Roasters)

Chris French (French Farms)

Carlos Cararas (MIA Beer Company)

Kevin Rusk- Titanic Brewery

Johnathan Wakefield (J Wakefield Brewing)

Ben Conniff (Lukes Lobster)

Cristina Ivory (Angry Booch)

Nick Paton (Kelvin Slushies)

The coveted “People’s Choice” Award, judged and selected by popular vote was awarded to Chef Blair Wilson from Social Club at The Surfcomber Hotel for his amazing sweet and savory pecan-smoked St. Louis ribs with sesame-sorghum barbecue sauce, toasted sesame seeds, and pickled local veggies, while the “Chef’s Choice” Award for the “Best Bite of the Night”, judged by Slow Food Miami’s Chef Host Committee, went to Restaurateur Corey Bousquet and Chef Chris Huff of The Brick for the ultimate comfort food of shrimp ‘n’ grits made with Key West pink shrimp and War Eager Mill grits.. This year the event also featured a live auction including a weekend at Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort and including dinner for two at Malibu Farm, among other surprises. Guests had the opportunity to purchase school garden grants at the event.

Top row, left to right: Judge’s choice award winner Shrimp & Grits from The Brick, Chef Paula DaSilva, Cobia Crudo from Chef Adrienne at 3030 Ocean Middle row, left to right: Blue Pointe Oysters from Semilla, People’s Choice award recipient Pecan smoked St. Louis ribs from Chef Blair Wilson at the Social Club @The Surfcomber Hotel, Cacao Art Chocolates Bottom row, left to right: “Canned” fruit cocktail from MIA, Jugofresh with Wicked Dolphin Rum, A chocolate truffle flight by Exquisite Chocolates

 

Find the “Snail of Approval” list on the Slow Food Miami website, as well as on the upcoming mobile app. The Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort is located at 4525 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140. Discounted valet tickets were available for $20.

 

Follow #SnailMIA and #SFMFreshestNightOut on Twitter and Facebook for additional 2016-2017 participating honorees and the latest updates.

 

About Slow Food Miami

Slow Food Miami is a local 100% volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to “planting a fresher future for our children.” It’s the local chapter of Slow Food USA, a national non-profit dedicated to supporting good, clean and fair food for all that supports our local communities from the ground up – from the Edible School & Community Gardens that encourage the enjoyment of local, seasonal and sustainably grown food, to the local growers and artisan food makers who use sustainable methods.
Slow Food Miami supports its Edible School & Community Garden Program through culinary educational events and fundraising, and aims to raise awareness for good, clean and fair food as a cornerstone of pleasure, culture and community. For more information, visitwww.slowfoodmiami.org.

About Malibu Farm

“Fresh, organic, local” is the motto at Malibu Farm, the soon to open Miami Beach outpost located at the Eden Roc of the hugely popular California farm to table restaurant and magnet for A-listers. Owner, cookbook author and farmer Helene Henderson will bring her signature style of local, sustainable, fresh-off-the-farm fare along with an extensive wine and cocktail menu. With spectacular ocean views, Malibu Farm is set to premier Spring 2017.

 

About Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort

With an oceanfront location in the heart of Miami’s Mid-Beach and just minutes from Lincoln Road, Ocean Drive and the Wynwood arts district, Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort offers travelers a beachfront retreat synonymous with contemporary Miami luxury. Following a multi-million-dollar renovation that revitalized and re-launched the Eden Roc, this property boasts 418 spacious guest rooms and suites, three stunning pools, 22,000 square feet of spa and fitness facility, the world’s largest Nobu Restaurant & Bar, and will soon be home to the farm-to-fork restaurant, Malibu Farm in Spring 2017. Inspired by the beauty and splendor of the ocean below, Eden Roc rooms and suites offer savvy travelers unique in-room dining offerings and spectacular ocean views, while light and airy furnishings set the perfect seaside scene. For more information and reservations, please call (305) 531-0000 or visit www.edenrocmiami.com.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

The 3rd Annual Taste of the Sea – A “sea”riously Good Time!

Posted By : dnice/ 149

Dear Foodie Friends,

I am super excited to share with you my recap of the 3rd Anual Taste of the Sea – 100 Years of Fishing History event that took place on Saturday, October 1st at the unique Gallery of Amazing Things located in Dania Beach from 6:30pm – 11pm. What an explosion of flavors being cast out by a room of very talented South Florida local celebrity Chefs. This was my first year attending this spectacularly well-organized, well laid out event and it certainly will not be my last. If you are reading this and you didn’t make it to this year’s event, I am certain you will want to buy a ticket to next year’s one just from the pics and descriptions you are about to see: warning, what you are about to see may cause your mouth to salivate and cause excess dribbles onto your laptop or mobile device, lol!)

At this year’s Taste of the Sea, I had a chance to savor the finest responsibly sourced seafood dishes created by South Florida’s all-star celebrity chefs and experience these chefs compete in a “Fish-Off” Challenge, with guests voting on their favorite chef’s seafood creation. In addition to the “Fish-Off” Challenge for the fan favorite dish which each chef competed in, this year the event organizers turned up the heat and announced a LIVE “CHOPPED” Style Competition featuring six celebrity chefs battling it out in “kitchen stadium” courtesy of Allied Kitchen and Bath, for the top prize and bragging rights!  There was plenty of delicious wine, craft beer and spirits available throughout the night along with scrumptious desserts, music, raffles and an interactive conservation village.

 

“We are very excited to host our 3rd Annual Taste of the Sea “100 Years of Fishing History” and bring to South Florida an incredible array of celebrity chefs preparing delicious seafood dishes using responsibly sourced seafood. We are working with many of the most talented chefs who support our organization’s goal of creating awareness about seafood sustainability”, boasts Adriana Sanchez, Sustainability Director of Sea Delight and President of the Sea Delight Ocean Fund. “The Sea Delight Ocean Fund is proud to count on the support of Preferred Freezer Services and Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC, who have been our sponsors these past 3 years, and also welcome Foa & Son Insurance Brokers and Robert Shapiro and Associates this year, as our main sponsors.  It is truly inspiring to work with organizations focused on the health of our oceans alongside these gifted culinary masters,” noted Adriana Sanchez,

“Preferred Freezer Services is committed to ecological sensitivity and constant innovation in the warehousing and logistics industry. Our continuous development and sustained operation of the most cutting-edge refrigerated warehouses depends upon learning from the past while always looking towards the future. On the occasion of celebrating 100 Years of Fishing History, we are reminded through our sponsorship of the Sea Delight Ocean Fund’s Taste of the Sea the importance of preserving and improving sustainable global fisheries for future generations,” said Brian Beattie, President of Preferred Freezer Services.

All-Stars chefs include All-Stars Celebrity Chefs include:

  • Chef Robyn Almodovar, “Winner” of both of the Food Network’s shows Chopped and Cut Throat Kitchen, contestant of FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen and owner of the Palate Party food truck. Chef Robyn is serving as Host of the Taste of the Sea’s Live “Chopped” competition.
  • “Winner” of Food Network’s Chopped, Chef Adrienne Grenier is Executive Chef of 3030 Ocean at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort.
  • Red Robin “Burger Winner” Chef Michell Sanchez, of Latin House Grill, winner of the 2nd Annual Taste of the Sea Fish Off Challenge and a contestant on both of Food Network’s Chopped and featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives,
  • NY Chef Barret Beyer, contestant on Fox’s, Hell’s Kitchen, Season 11, Food Network’s Kitchen Casino, Cutthroat Kitchen and known as the “palate pirate” throughout Long Island, New York.
  • Chef Alain Lemaire, contestant on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and owner of Sensory Delights Catering, a full service off premises caterer.
  • Chef Alex Rodil, contestant on both Food Network’s Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen and owner of On the Fly private catering for the yachting industry.
  • Chef Nuno Grullon, of Miami’s new Café Roval and known internationally for its innovative menu highlighting seasonal, farm-to-table ingredients and featured on BRAVO’s Best New Restaurant.
  • Chef Ryan Martin, owner of 180° at the DRB in downtown Miami is known worldwide for his global flavors and his Gastronomy Redefined.
  • Chef Aaron Dreilinger, is partner and co-owner of Chef David Catering and Event Design, one of Miami’s premier gastronomic event planning enterprises.
  • Sous Chef Rod Knight of Thursday’s, the newest French-American restaurant on Las Olas that is known for its landmark status in Montreal, Canada.
  • Executive Chef Eric Baker of Max’s Harvest is known for his innovative dishes made with locally sourced products with a global influence. Max’s Harvest, was the first farm to fork concept to open in Palm Beach County.
  • Chef Kareem Anguin, formerly of Oceanaire Seafood Room and now creating his culinary masterpieces for Open Blue raising the finest quality Cobia in the deep open ocean off the coast of Panama.
  • Chef Rolin Gordon, owner of the acclaimed Tropic Gourmet Spice & Catering and his own Tropic Gourmet Hot Sauce.
  • Chef and Gastronomy Professor Raimundo Rincon of Federacion Lationamericana Gastronomia and 3R Catering Miami.

picmonkey-collage-1

In addition to these famous celebrity chefs, the 3rd Annual Taste of the Sea proudly collaborated and paired with companies such as P&G Fine Wines, Iceberg Vodka, Cockspur Rum, Baron Tequila, Hartfield & Company Bourbon, Biscayne Bay Brewing Company, CoffeLuxe, Pastry Chef Anthony Billisi of Mimi’s Ravioli and Dipsa Snacks, who provided incredible desserts. (There were several, but my favorite happened to be their cannoli’s).

 

After circling the venue (which was more like zig zagging throughout the gallery) a couple times, I finally was able to cast my vote for the Fan Favorite dish (which apparently was overwhelmingly unanimous)…Congrats to Chef Michell Sanchez from Latin House for taking home the win, again this year! (Check out his impressive credentials listed above. It’s no wonder he continues to emerge a winner at these competitions!)

n o m I have to give a shout out to a few other chefs whose dishes were truly outstanding as well. One is the truffle corn silk – black ash salt smoked scallops from Chef Ryan Martin of 180° at the DRB in downtown Miami. OMG, were these flavors so unique and the scallop’s texture was amazing. Add truffle to anything and you’ve already scored points in my book. This scallop was really so good, it literally was neck and neck with my first choice. Great job Chef Ryan.

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My next stand-out dish to point out was the grilled mahi-mahi wrapped in a banana leaf and served with yellow rice created by Chef Rolin Gordon. Just take a look at the color on this fish. It was so juicy, tender and flavorful and not a bit dried out. Chef Rolin is the owner of the acclaimed Tropic Gourmet Spice & Catering and his own Tropic Gourmet Hot Sauce.

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And one more honorable mention goes to Executive Chef Eric Baker from Max’s Harvest. I passed by his table and was less than excited when I saw the dish he was serving was mussels. I admitted to him in an apologetic way that I have never been a fan of mussels. At that time, someone else approached the table so I felt it was ok to safely step away. On my second time around the room, I found myself again at Chef Eric’s table and this time we got to chatting about his mussels a little more and he assured me they were prepared in a way that they didn’t taste like mussels (if that makes any sense). So, with that, I was convinced to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised at how Chef actually did transform that mollusk into an escabeche that was rather appealing. Way to go Chef Eric!

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“Everyone has a role to play in ocean conservation and this event is a unique opportunity to bring the south Florida community closer to important fishery improvement projects,” said Wendy Goyert, Senior Program Officer, World Wildlife Fund. “Sustainable seafood doesn’t just end up on the plate at a local restaurant. It starts with hard work on the ground in coastal communities from Southeast Asia to Latin America and the Caribbean. We look forward to making that connection for people attending Taste of the Sea.”

“As one of Sea Delight’s sustainability partners, FishWise is extremely proud to be involved in what promises to be a fantastic event in Miami. We’re excited to share the story of how Sea Delight has continued to strengthen its commitment to sourcing responsible seafood, and of course, try some of the amazing seafood creations on offer!” shares “Bill” William Wall, Distributor Division Director of Fishwise.

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The mystery ingredients: octopus, marshmallows, plums & canned chipotle 

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And the winner of this year’s Taste of the Sea “Chopped” competition…

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Congrats to Chef Adrienne Grenier of 3030 Ocean on the win!

The Sea Delight Ocean Fund, is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2012 to create and support global fishery improvement projects and better fishing practices initiatives that protect marine resources and promote conservation efforts globally. All proceeds from this event will help further marine conservation programs led by the Sea Delight Ocean Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of our oceans.

For more info on the organizations involved in this amazing event, please visit the links below.

http://www.seadelightoceanfund.org/

https://www.facebook.com/sdoftasteofthesea?fref=ts

@TasteOfTheSeaFl

http://www.sea-delight.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SeaDelight?fref=ts

@seadelightmiami

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Boynton Beach Food, Wine & Brew Festival

Posted By : dnice/ 115

Hello Foodie Friends,

As many of you know, I spend a lot of my time in Boca and Delray and on occasion, I am known to travel down to Miami/Miami Beach or up to West Palm Beach when invited to cover a food & wine festival or restaurant opening. But today’s post is about Boynton Beach and this marvelous festival put on by their Chamber of Commerce, held at Benvenuto Restaurant & Banquet Facility. With a plethora of excellent restaurants located within 10 miles of my home in Boca, Boynton Beach really hadn’t been on my food radar…until now! It was just recently that I started hearing about a couple new restaurants that opened up in Boynton that piqued my curiosity and when I received an invite to attend this Food, Wine & Brew Festival featuring some of these restaurants that I jumped at the chance.

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The Boynton Beach Food, Wine & Brew Festival, formerly known as the Taste of Boynton, is an exclusive showcase of Boynton Beach cuisines. This annual event features 20+ of Boynton’s finest restaurants and lounges along with wine and craft beer tastings.  The festival touts itself as a paradise for all foodies and winos who strive to eat and drink local.  The event was well organized and upon entering the lovely Benvenuto estate, I found my way easily to the will call, picked up my media pass, program and wine glass and was on my way. The program offered a nice layout of the facility and where to find each of the participating restaurants, businesses, wine & beer tasting rooms, live demonstrations, silent auction, photo opportunity and more.  I caught the tail end of Potions in Motion’s culinary demo but was able to nab the last remaining tasting, a perfectly prepared bite-sized scallop presented artfully in a small spoon by Chef Danny. Immediately following the culinary demo, Potions in Motion’s Mixologist Christian demonstrates how to make a Bacardi Torched Cherry cocktail using liquid nitrogen. Was quite the show!

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Mixologist Christian & Chef Danny of Potions in Motion Photo credit: Carol Porter

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Although the food was quite good all around, there were some definite stand outs worth mentioning: Potions in Motion’s scallop packed a whole lot of flavor into a little bite; the tuna poke from Prime Catch was off the charts. Another fave of the evening came from Agliolio. Their ravioli was to die for as was the small piece of chicken francaise served with it. All the pastas are made in house. This one was loaded with garlic and olive oil and cooked to perfection, yummo! Their chocolate lasagna was homemade using fresh chocolate pasta layered with whipped chocolate mascarpone cheese & a rich chocolate ganache sauce; The final two note worthy tastings were the Media Luna pastry from Don Che Bistro, honey glazed mini croissants with ham & cheese filling. Very sweet. Could not actually detect either the ham or cheese. Could have sworn it was guava inside. Fooled me. And last but certainly not least of my fave bites tasted on this evening came from Applebees. It was their Chicken Wonton Tacos that won me over. A perfect balance of flavorful grilled chicken stuffed into a crispy wonton shell and topped with a tangy slaw and cilantro. Loved it!

tuna poke from Prime Catch
Tuna poke Photo credit: Prime Catch

 

 

Agliolio
Ravioli & Chicken Francaise from Agliolio
Chocolate Lasagna from Agliolio
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Chicken Wonton Taco from Applebees

For more info on this festival, participating restaurants, businesses and sponsors, visit their website or facebook page.

Until we eat again…

I send you delicious wishes, xo

Denise

Gridiron Grill-Off 2015

Posted By : dnice/ 113

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