If you're looking forward to attending New Times' all-new food festival, get ready: E.A.T! is gearing up to be bigger, better, and more action-packed than anything you've seen before.
This week, event planners announced the names of the area's two top toques who will face off during a head-to-head cooking competition slated to take place for the first time during New Times' inaugural E.A.T! event at the BB&T Center on Wednesday, September 21, in Sunrise.
"South Florida is a melting pot," said Aaron Michaels, founder of Culinary Convenience in Fort Lauderdale and curator of the chef competition, "and the best way to exemplify this is through food. We are so excited to have two global-influenced South Florida chefs competing against each other in E.A.T!"
Much more than a food-and-drink festival, E.A.T! will feature bites from more than 40 South Florida restaurants, unlimited drinks, live entertainment, and now an exciting chef battle where event-goers can watch as two Miami chefs — chef Nuno Grullon of Café Roval and chef Ryan Martin of 180° @ the DRB — compete for the right to be the first E.A.T! champion of 2016.
The culinary showdown will take place on the Monark Kitchen Stage presented by Goya, located on the BB&T Center floor, and the chefs will use cookware courtesy of Fort Lauderdale's Culinary Convenience. At-home cooks, South Florida foodies, and seasoned chefs alike will have the chance to view these culinary competitions as they prepare dishes in timed competition. The event opens to Elite ticket holders at 6 p.m., VIP ticket holders at 6:30 p.m., and general admission ticket holders at 7 p.m.
Martin, creator and owner of 180° @ the DRB in downtown Miami, joined the South Florida food scene several years ago. A Massachusetts native, his love of food and cooking began at age 13. He attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., before moving to Manhattan, where he received his formal culinary training at the former French Culinary Institute, now known as the International Culinary Center. Chef Ryan used his training under such acclaimed chefs as Todd Erikson of Haven and Sonny Oh of Nobu and Juvia.
Martin later left his executive chef position at the Clevelander in Miami Beach to open his own gastropub concept where he offers a menu that changes frequently based on what is fresh and what he wants to experiment with in his kitchen — everything from blowtorches and dehydrators to liquid nitrogen.
Grullon, an Internationally renowned chef, recently joined Mark Soyka to create Café Roval, a contemporary restaurant located in a historic building located on Miami’s Upper East side. Set to open in October, the café is Grullon's latest culinary adventure for which he has crafted an innovative menu with gastronomical masterpieces inspired by "heritage, passion, and creative freedom."
The chef has been featured on Bravo’s Best New Restaurant and has toured Central America with the culinary magazine Buen Provecho. He first hit the Miami scene at Morton’s, then Café Tabac, and later DeVito’s. After working with Michelle Bernstein, David Kolotkin, and Philippe Baguette, Grullon accepted an executive chef position at Metro Organic Bistro, where he was the culinary engine and creative force that drove Miami’s first, highly successful organic fine dining restaurant.
Restaurants recently added to the event lineup include GG’s Waterfront Bar & Grill, Ciao Cucina & Bar, Ethos Greek Bistro, Shooters Waterfront, Boatyard Restaurant, JB’s on the Beach, Ceviche by the Sea, Brazaviva Brazilian Steakhouse, 180° @ the DRB, Hyde Beach Kitchen & Cocktails, Juniper on the Water, and JWB Prime Steak & Seafood.
New Times E.A.T! will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. for general admission guests. Those who prefer a more intimate dining experience can purchase Elite tickets, which include entry to the event one hour early and access to a private VIP bar and lounge area in Club Lexus featuring exclusive entertainment and a selection of Miami’s best luxury dining establishments.
E.A.T! general admission tickets are $35 per person ($65 at the door) and get event-goers unlimited restaurant samplings and access to live entertainment starting at 7 p.m. VIP tickets are $85 per person ($100.00 at the door while supplies last), and get ticket holders early access at 6:30 p.m., exclusive access to the Chairman’s Club area, exclusive restaurant sampling not available in other areas, and complimentary access to sponsored wine and beer bars for the duration of the event. Elite ticket pricing is $135.00 per person ($150.00 at the door while supplies last) and gets ticket holders a 6 p.m. entrance into the event, exclusive access to the Club Lexus area, exclusive restaurant sampling not available in other areas, and complimentary access to sponsored spirit, wine, and beer bars for the duration of the event, as well as a commemorative item. For group ticket pricing call 954-835-7830.
E.A.T! will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. Tickets are available for purchase via the event website at newtimeseat.com.