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.
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!)
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 DRBin 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.
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.
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!
“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.
And the winner of this year’s Taste of the Sea “Chopped” competition…
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.