Chef Showdown

Friday, October 25, 2019, 7:00 PM-11:00 PM

Lummus Park

12th Street & Ocean Drive on South Beach

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Event Description

Chef Showdown

Date: Friday, October 25, 2019

VIP #ChefShowdown brought to you by Talbott Vineyards and presented by Goya Foods, Tequila Herradura, Land Rover South Dade, Celebrity Cruises, Baptist Health South Florida, Halperns, and official bank partner, City National Bank.

#CHOOSEYOURCHAMP | Results certified by Marc E. O’Connor, CPA, PA

Time: 7:00PM – 11:00PM

Entrance: 12th & Ocean Drive (Lummus Park), Miami Beach, Florida
Inside Baptist Health VIP Hospitality Village & Goya Culinary Pavilion

Chef Showdown at South Beach Seafood Week assembles Miami’s top executive chefs for an evening of competitive cook-offs where YOU are the judge. In a perfect combination of competition level cuisine, tropically fresh cocktails, and a beach bash of entertainment, the #ChefShowdown , brought to you by Talbott Vineyards, tours guests through the best of Miami’s culinary scene. Featuring 16 of Miami’s most progressive and recognized Executive Chefs, this is a CAN’T miss experience for all. We had you at fresh cocktails, right?

Selected by Travel Channel as the Top Seafood Chef Competition in the country, the Chef Showdown, hosted inside the Baptist Health VIP Hospitality Village and Goya Culinary Pavilion, pairs chefs head-to-head in a total of eight different seafood battles with the ultimate high energy night of competition (and party). Chefs from each battle will take the stage throughout the night in the showcase kitchen, where famous Miami media personalities and Celebrity Chefs will judge the best in each showdown.

2019 Judges will be: Chef Andre Bienvenu of Joe’s Stone Crab, Chef Peter Vauthy of Red, the Steakhouse, Chef Fernando Desa of GOYA, Chef Janine Booth of Stiltsville Fish Bar, Chef Jose Mendin of Pubbelly, Nelson Lazo, CEO of Doctors Hospital, and Ben McClure of Talbott Vineyards.

The gist: Ticket holders will visit each restaurant’s sampling station around the hospitality village and sample the competing Chef’s dishes. Then, guests get to vote on their favorite dishes! The chefs take the main stage throughout the night and battle it out in person with a group of executive judges helping to weigh in. Points are accumulated from all the voting areas to ultimately decide the newest CHAMPIONS of the Chef Showdown at the South Beach Seafood Week!

Chef Showdown Andre Bienvenu | South Beach Seafood Festival


Battle Fish: 2018 Champion Chef Julian Garriga of Seawell Fish N’ Oyster Bar

Julian GarrigaJulian Garriga is the executive chef of Seawell Fish N’ Oyster and Minnow Bar adjacent to Kimpton Angler’s Hotel Miami Beach. With over 10 years of experience in the culinary industry, Garriga’s career has spanned across Miami, Washington D.C., and New York City. He was the executive sous chef at Area 31, and then lead the culinary teams at other renowned restaurants in Miami including SRA. Martinez and Macchialina, to name a few before coming back to run Seawell Fish N’ Oyster Bar.

Rafael Mendez2019 Battle Fish Competitor: Chef Rafael Mendez, The Grill on the Alley


Battle Shrimp: Chef Demetrios Pyliotis of Poseidon

Demetrios PyliotisChef-owner Demetrios Pyliotis moved to South Florida to join his brother Vasilis at Zesto Pizza on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. The brothers grew up in Kalamata on the Peloponnese Peninsula near the village of Pylos where their grandfather is from (and where they got their surname). During military service in the Hellenic Army, Demetrios trained as a chef, cooking three meals a day for about 1,000 soldiers stationed around the Mediterranean. After moving here, he earned a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Miramar before opening Poseidon in April 2013 at 11th Street and Washington Avenue in South Beach, naming it after the mythological god of the sea.

Alex Olivier2019 Battle Shrimp Competitor: Chef Alex Olivier, Area 31


Battle Oyster: Chef Jordan Marano of Ella’s Oyster Bar

Jordan MaranoAs Chef/Owner of Ella’s Oyster Bar, Jordan has created a Miami oyster bar for his hometown. Jordan set out to create what he thought Miami was about: a melting pot of cultures. He didn’t want to do the run of the mill oyster bar with just shrimp cocktails and seafood platters. Jordan wanted to pay homage to Miami by doing lobster roll on medianoche bread, crab croquettes, surf and turf frita, oyster po’ boy made on Cuban bread, oysters served with house made Cuban crackers, as well as pastelito ice cream sandwich–and where’s a better place to do that than the heart of Little Havana?

Chad Wyrosdick2019 Battle Oyster Competitor: Chef Chad Wyrosdick, Papa’s Raw Bar


Battle Sushi: 2-Time Champion Chef Erik Melendez of Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market

This year Chef Erik Melendez, Head Sushi Chef at Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market, will be taking the reins from his colleague Chef Masatomo Hamaya. Over the past three years working under Chef Masa–who has James Beard and Michelin level experience–he has become one of the best Omakase chefs in South Florida. He also credits executive chef Chef Ray, who has worked with Iron Chef Morimoto, and the rest of his team with grounding him, allowing his work ethic to take over and his professional growth to skyrocket.

Rangel Suarez2019 Battle Sushi Competitor: Chef Rangel Suarez, Katsuya Brickell


Battle Surf N’ Turf: 3-Time Champion Chef Sean Brasel of Meat Market Miami

Chef Sean BraselAt Meat Market Miami, Chef Sean Brasel was responsible for bringing the American steakhouse into the 21st century creating a menu that modernizes the classic steakhouse. His food is known for being eclectic, sumptuous, and affordable. He is also a four-time Champion in the Surf n’ Turf category!

(Obsessed with the perfect small bite? Chef Brasel also turns taste buds alive at our Cooking and Cocktails event.)

Danny Ganem2019 Battle Surf N’ Turf Competitor: Chef Danny Ganem, LT Steak & Seafood


Battle Lobster: Chef Arturo Paz of Lobster Bar Sea Grille Miami Beach

Chef Arturo PazArturo Paz joined the Lobster Bar Sea Grille team as Executive Chef and brings a rich and diverse background and a passion for good food. For Paz, each dish is about creation and harmony, something he learned as an architect, and with each plate you see a glimpse into Paz’s broad life experiences. For Paz, cooking represents the ultimate art form and as he explains, “It’s the only form of art that you can taste, smell, see, and feel.”

Jarod Higgins2019 Battle Lobster Competitor: Chef Jarod Higgins, AmericanAirlines Arena


Battle Crab: 2-Time Champion Chef David Salinas of Joe’s Stone Crab

Chef David SalinasExecutive Sous Chef David Salinas picked up the reigns last year from Chef Andre Bienvenu, the three-time Chef Showdown Champion and the Executive Chef at Joe’s Stone Crab, a 103-year-old restaurant located in Miami Beach, FL. David took his stab at Battle Crab last year and triumphantly emerged as the 2018 Battle Crab Champion.

(Don’t miss Chefs Bienvenu and Salinas at another scrumptious and luxurious SoBe Seafood Week event: An Evening at Joe’s.)

Brian Nasajon2019 Battle Crab Competitor: Chef Brian Nasajon, Beaker & Gray


Battle Taco: 2018 Champion Chef Ralph Pagano of Naked Taco

Chef Ralph PaganoChef Ralph Pagano beat our formerly undefeated Battle Taco champion last year and he’s back in 2019 to defend his title! An American chef and television personality, #Fireproof Ralph appeared on the first season of Hell’s Kitchen and hosted the series Pressure Cook on MOJO HD. Pagano is the chef and brains behind Naked Taco in Miami Beach, Florida. His motto: “Get Naked”

Bernie Matz2019 Battle Taco Competitor (The REMATCH!): 3-Time Champion Chef Bernie Matz, Bodega


Chef Showdown You Judge | South Beach Seafood Festival

The VIP #ChefShowdown delivers a unique culinary and entertainment experience in the most beautiful high energy atmosphere on the sands of South Beach Miami.

Be sure to stop by the Papa’s Raw Bar SEAFOOD WORLD BAR for your taste of some beef with your reef.

Get ready to enjoy the ultimate beach bash with sounds by YISSEL!

The event is from 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM (on the sand) and the entrance is on 12th and Ocean Drive in Lummus Park, Miami Beach.

Chef Showdown at South Beach Seafood Week Ticket Details:

  • All-inclusive tasting of each Chef’s competition dishes available at each of the 16 restaurant battle stations
  • Full bars featuring a variety of cocktails, beer, wine, and soft drinks
  • Additional seafood bites from GOYA and Celebrity Cruises
  • Access to the PAPA’s RAW BAR SEAFOOD WORLD BARopen all night for your enjoyment
  • Samplings from Casa Herradura Experience
  • Access to the Celebrity Cruise private entertainment experience
  • Bubbles from the City National Bank Bubble Lounge featuring J Vineyards & Winery
  • Baptist Health South Florida entertainment
  • An all-night party in the Goya VIP Culinary Pavilion (where all Chefs battle on stage) featuring Miami’s hottest DJ, Sounds by YISSEL

Chef Showdown Weekend Pass Details:

(value of $300) includes:

  • ONE ticket to Friday, October 25, 2019: Chef Showdown ($150 value)
  • ONE VIP Tickets for Saturday, October 26, 2019: SoBe Seafood Fest ($150 value)


(value of $1,100) includes:

  • TWO tickets to Friday, October 25, 2019: Chef Showdown ($300 value)
  • TWO VIP Tickets for Saturday, October 26, 2019: SoBe Seafood Fest ($300 value)
  • ONE Signature Standard Room at Shore Club South Beach, checking in Friday, October 25 – checking out Sunday, October 27.