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Miami Chefs Gear Up For Showdown At 10th Annual South Beach Seafood Festival

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Right in time for the start of stone crab season, the South Beach Seafood Festival will be back on the sands of Miami Beach to celebrate its 10th anniversary. This four-day seafood-fueled festival will begin on October 19th featuring an exciting lineup of restaurants and chefs showcasing some of South Florida’s top culinary talent.

“We are thrilled to continually celebrate our local restaurant industry by having guests join us from near and far to honor the hard-working teams behind our favorite culinary institutions, the backbone of South Florida. It has been a long 10-year road to getting the festival to being the anticipated annual event it is today. To be able to organize such a momentous occasion, especially after 2 years of challenges, is an honor and a privilege,” says Valerie and Tod Roy, Co-Founders of South Beach Seafood Festival, on behalf of CI Management, the event management team behind the festival.

While the festival hosts its fair share of dinners and tasting events, one of the most popular events of the weekend the Chef Showdown returns featuring 20 chefs who will go head-to-head in ten competitive seafood showdowns taking place on Friday, October 21st.

This year’s participating restaurants and competitions will include:

  • Battle Ceviche: Aida Mexican SeaFood’s Mauricio Hernandez vs La CervecerĂ­a de Barrio’s Alex Medina
  • Battle Crab: 2-Time Champion, Beaker & Gray’s Brian Nasajon vs Papa’s Raw Bar’s Chad Wyrosdick
  • Battle Fusion-Sushi: Tanuki’s Gustavo Montes vs Chef Luis Gonzalez
  • Battle Salmon presented by Laguna Blanca Salmon: 2021 Champion Mercato della Pescheria’s Alex Martinez vs Ocean 234’s Nicole Fey
  • Battle Lobster: 4-Time Champion, CafĂ© Bernie’s Chef Bernie Matz vs Chef Billy G’s Andres Garcia
  • Battle Oyster: 2021 Champion, UCHI Miami’s Cristian Canencio vs Seawell Fish N Oyster’s Raymond Fiorello
  • Battle Shrimp: Latin House’s Sergio Mazuelos vs Cilantro 27’s Nilton Castillo
  • Battle Surf n’ Turf presented by Halpern’s Steak and Seafood: 2-Time Champion Rusty Pelican’s Jim Pastor vs Social Club’s Javier Carballo
  • Battle Sushi: Zuma’s Nono Shigetomi vs Paperfish Sushi’s Michael Asalie
  • Battle Taco: Tacos & Tattoos’ Jay Cruz vs Bandidos Taqueria Juan Hernandez

Every year chefs look forward to this lively event where many of them return either as competitors defending their titles or as judges. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with South Beach Seafood Festival for the eighth year (and counting!) and offer attendees the best of what Bodega has to offer – from our signature cocktails to our award winning tacos. I’m even more excited that I was asked to judge our legacy battle, Battle Taco, and pick a new winner to pass down the title to,” says chef Dariel Vasquez of Bodega.

Throughout the night, the chefs make their way to the main stage to put on a show in the form of a high energy, entertainment-filled live demo as they are watched by a panel of well known judges all in the local culinary industry who have the tough task of deciding the best in each showdown. Every battle will have one lucky champ and this year, one MVP will be selected as the overall winner to take home a grand prize of $10,000.

“VE Restaurant Group is participating this year with not one but three concepts. Last year, we brought Mercato Della Pescheria’s chef Alex Martinez who won Battle Salmon & this year, he is coming back to defend his title. Our team had a blast, the attendees were delighted with our salmon tartare, and it has now become one of the most popular items at our Espanola Way location,” says Elba Machado, director of communications for VE Restaurant Group. “We have a portfolio of restaurants in Miami Beach and Downtown including Paperfish and La Cerveceria de Barrio who are competing this year and we’re ready to win some battles!”

This year will also feature an Extraordinary Bartender Showdown where four bartenders will compete for who can make the best Tequila Herradura margarita—the winner will walk away with $500.

During the competition, guests will have access to bites and open bars that spread throughout a full block of South Beach’s Lummus Park. Those looking to snag tickets to the 10th Annual South Beach Seafood Festival can head over to sobeseafoodfest.com.

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