The 2019 Chef Showdown at South Beach Seafood Week assembles Miami’s top executive chefs for an evening of competitive cook-offs where the public serve as the judges.
This year will see top chefs defending their titles against up-and-coming challengers competing in the following fields: Fish, Sushi, Surf ’N Turf, Lobster, and Tacos. And, new competitors will be coming on board in the categories of Shrimp, Oyster, and a Chef’s Choice option. Allow us to introduce you to the reigning champions.
Battle Fish: Chef Julian Garriga Of Seawell Fish N’ Oyster Bar
Julian 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.
Battle Sushi: Chef Masatomo Hamaya Of Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market
Born in Japan, Chef Masatomo Hamaya knows sushi inside and out. He’s perfected his craft at many top restaurants around the United States including at the Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market where he takes pride in his premium ingredients and artful flavors.
Chef Masatomo may be presenting some of the best sushi your foodie taste buds have ever tried, so get ready for it at South Beach Seafood Festival!
Battle Surf N’ Turf: Chef Sean Brasel Of Meat Market Miami
At 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!
Battle Lobster: Joe’s Stone Crab
Executive 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 Lobster last year and triumphantly emerged as the 2018 Battle Lobster Champion.
Battle Taco: Chef Ralph Pagano Of Naked Taco
Chef 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 is “Get Naked”.