Feast of the Sea, a free general admission seafood festival to be held on Saturday, Sept.13 in West Palm Beach produced the 4 month-long Chef Challenge and crowned Executive Chef Eugenio Santucci of Ristorante Santucci in downtown West Palm Beach “MAESTRO DEL MAR” after competing against the other three semi-finalist chefs and took home $2,000 in cash and prizes courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.
Four of the Palm Beach’s finest chefs competed for the title of Maestro Del Mar at Nick & Johnnie’s on Palm Beach Island last night, including Adam Gottlieb of Atlantic Grille, Eric Grutka of Ian’s Tropical Grill and Edwin Bermudez of Nick & Johnnie’s.
Chef Eugenio’s winning dish featured Steamed and Seared mouthwatering Lobster with sage, asparagus and cherry tomatoes, drizzled with a creamy butter sauce. Chef Edwin served up a delectable Lobster and Gnocchi dish in a delicious cream sauce, while Chef Adam did his mystery dish three ways. Lobster Crudo with Raisins, a Lobster with Guacamole and Lobster with Corn. Chef Eric followed suit creating three options with a Lobster duo of Ceviche and Crudo, Lobster on a warm Corn Tortilla and Lobster in a smooth cream sauce with fresh corn.
Each chef took to the competition Iron-Chef style. Not knowing the secret ingredient, Chefs were given a tableful of ingredients to work with courtesy of Whole Foods and Sea Delight. Each chef was given 60 minutes to create their signature dish using the main ingredient, live Maine Lobsters!
Ingredients for the Chef Challenge were generously donated by Whole Foods of PBG while the Maine Lobster was provided by Sea Delight, an organization that promotes responsibly sourced seafood and marine conservation programs. Onli Beverages and Tito’s Handmade Vodka were on site greeting guest to complimentary cocktails.
Tasting judges included Virginia Phillips of Virginia Phillips Wine Shop & Academy, Palm Beach Chef Extraordinaire, Roy Villacrusis of Aah Loi Thai & Sushi in Jupiter and David Pantone, Dean of Culinary Education at Lincoln Culinary Institute.