South Beach Seafood Festival       |       October 19-22, 2022       |       Miami Beach, Florida

Preview: Battle Taco

Best Miami Chefs: Chef Ralph Pagano vs. Chef Bernie Matz

The rematch you’ve all been waiting for is coming October 25th at the Sobe Seafood Festival. Buy your tickets, mark your calendars, and make your way to South Beach to witness the showdown between Chef Ralph Pagano and Chef Bernie Matz.

The competition is sure to be fierce as these two experts go head to head in a long-anticipated rematch. After Chef Matz enjoyed 3 consecutive years as champion, Chef Pagano took home the gold last year in a shocking turn of events. With such a close contest, we want to be sure everyone has all of the background they need ahead of time so they can cast an informed vote. Let’s take a closer look at the competition:

The Defender: Chef Ralph Pagano – Naked Taco

Reigning champion Chef Pagano stunned in last year’s battle by taking the crown from 3-peat winner Chef Matz. This year, he has graciously accepted the proposed rematch for the 2019 Battle Taco. He hails from the restaurant Naked Taco and has been both a contestant on Hell’s Kitchen as well as hosted the show “Pressure Cook.” Naked Taco is a popular restaurant for parties and events, with a creative menu sure to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Let’s see if Ralph really is #Fireproof as this year’s competition heats up on the sand.

Follow Chef Pagano @RalphPagano and his restaurant @lovenakedtaco on Instagram for updates.

The Challenger: Chef Bernie Matz – Bodega Taqueria y Tequila

Chef Matz is back from his year-long hiatus as champ in the hopes of taking back the title. His restaurant may not appear as fancy as Naked Taco, but their menu does not disappoint. Not to mention, they feature lower prices. The difference in style of these two chefs and their restaurants certainly adds some spice to the contest, and we expect the decision to be tough. The two have already stoked the flames, though, in one of the latest videos found on South Beach Seafood Festival’s Instagram (@sobeseafoodfest). Chef Matz calls out Pagano’s authenticity for never having made tacos in Mexico. Pagano’s response? “Bring your mariachi.”

Follow Chef Matz @chefberniematz and his restaurant @bodegasobe on Instagram for the latest.

Be sure to purchase your tickets here.

The 2018 Battle Taco was said to be the most intense of the lineup, so you can be sure that this year it will be even more fiery. On one side, Chef Bernie Matz fighting to reclaim his title. On the other, Chef Ralph Pagano battling to maintain the throne. Not to mention you get to see 12 other chefs face-off in 6 more showdowns, all on the very same night. This is certainly an event you do not want to miss, both for the good eats and the entertainment. And, of course, your chance to cast your vote! Be sure to purchase your tickets for South Beach Seafood Festival, and we look forward to seeing you there on October 25th.


Stone Crabs

Our Favorite Time Of The Year – Stone Crab Season!

Photo Courtesy of South Beach Seafood FestivalBreak out your plastic bibs and heat up the butter, our favorite time of year is finally here! Florida Stone Crab season has begun ...
Read More
South Beach

Best Beach Bites On South Beach & Beyond

As the rest of the country is pulling out their sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes, Miami and South Beach, the cities of eternal summer, are known for having the most ...
Read More
lobster roll from the Lobster Shack Miami

It’s Lobster Season in Miami!

Best Place to Order + Tips for Cooking at Home Hey Seafoodies - It’s our second favorite time of year, lobster season in Miami! Sure, lobster season doesn’t hold a ...
Read More
GOYA VIP Pavillion

4th Of July Weekend South Beach Seafood Festival Style: Thanks to GOYA Foods

As we prepare for the holiday weekend, we’re taking a look back at the fun we had in the Goya Culinary Pavilion, along with some delicious 4th of July seafood ...
Read More
Chef Showdown 2020

South Beach Seafood Fest: Looking Back at 2019 – Chef Showdown

Image: Chef Showdown Winners at the South Beach Seafood Fest 2020 The 7th Annual VIP Chef Showdown at the South Beach Seafood Festival took place on October 26, 2019 brought ...
Read More
A Fish Called Avalon

Seafood In South Beach – Introducing Our New Favorites

Photo Credit: South Beach Seafood Fest 2019As social distancing and shelter-in-place orders in Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, and across the world begin to lift, we’re all wondering what a return ...
Read More
Bodega South Beach margaritas to-go, miami seafood restaurants

5 Seafood Recipes You Can Make At Home + Takeout Options from Miami Seafood Restaurants

During this time of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders in Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, and across the world right now, we hope that as you’re reading this you and your ...
Read More
Joe's Stone Crab at An Evening At Joes

Support Miami Seafood Restaurants: We’re In This Together

It’s been a month since the coronavirus started to make a huge impact on Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County and across the world. We hope everyone is staying safe and in ...
Read More


An Evening At Joe's
Wed, October 19, 2022
Crabs, Slabs, & Cabs
Thur, October 20, 2022
VIP Chef Showdown
Fri, October 21, 2022
South Beach Seafood Festival
Sat, October 22, 2022