In the first annual Grand Chef Throwdown at the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival last night, Roy Villacrusis's cuisine reigned supreme.
Villacrusis, chef-owner of the new (and terrific) Kubo Asiatic Cuisine in North Palm Beach, smacked down former Top Chef contestant Howie "Bulldog" Kleinberg and local private chef Jeremy Hanlon in Battle Flank Steak.
Exemplifying the risk-taking that's his signature at Kubo, Villacrusis served a cold dish on an evening that was already colder than a witch's rack, plating thin strips of simply seasoned seared-raw beef with a salad of shredded romaine hearts, basil, scallions and mushrooms lightly smoked with a nifty hand-held smoke-shooting device called the Smoking Gun, all dressed at the table with a salty-tangy blend of soy sauce and yuzu juice.
For his efforts, Villacrusis took home $5,000 cash and another $5,000 donated in his name to the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League.
"I wish I could go to Disneyworld with it," he said of the money. "But I'll pay [the restaurant's] rent with it."
Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB