This isn’t child's play, folks; these chefs cook for the richest people on the planet.
Guests get to sample and vote on canapés prepared by chef competitors, all of whom hail from top South Florida restaurants and lavish charter yachts. “A lot of people are intrigued through food, so that’s kind of our angle,” Shalom Weiss, administrative assistant of Bluewater USA (formerly Crew Unlimited Yacht Charters), told New Times.
Last year’s winner, Paul Kahan, prepared a hogfish avocado ceviche taco with a tequila mango gremolata and key lime caviar.
The other dishes from last year included tuna tartar in a cone with a goat cheese and foie gras cream as well as a smoked Kurobuta pork belly “buttons” with Jim Bean and Coke barbecue drizzle over pickled Gulf shrimp southern slaw with petit shoots and micro cabbage. Whew!
And did I mention the open bar? There’s an open bar to help facilitate the arduous decision-making process.
Ami Ira, CEO of Bluewater USA, came up with the idea of a competition several years back. This year, for the second time, Bluewater USA will be hosting the event with Culinary Convenience, a high-end chef and restaurant supply company.
While I'm sure it's a ton of work for the participating chefs, for guests, it’s simple: Show up, get a punch card, go to each station, sample a competing canapé, then go vote at the ballot table, where there is a box for each chef. It’s a foolproof way to purge any voting distaste that may be lingering from this year’s unpalatable presidential race.
Winners of the Surf n’ Turf Chef Competition will be announced onsite. There will be prizes for first, second, and third place winners as well as several smaller prizes. Special guests include “the Cocktail Guru” Jonathan Pogash and celeb chef Ralph Pagano, owner of Miami Beach hotspot Naked Taco.
Everyone with a ticket to the Boat Show can attend this event for free, but those who want to come must RSVP at Surf n' Turf Chef Competition.
Got an elevator pitch? It's the perfect chance to rub elbows with a bunch of one percenters. “We are aiming this event at high-end clientele who want to get a little taste of what the yacht chefs and the local gourmet restaurant food is like or what it’s like to be immersed in delicious, very high-end food," said Weiss. "Our main goal is to attract those people that say, ‘Ooh, I want to charter a yacht. I really think this is amazing,' and we say, 'This is what the chef does on a charter yacht.'”
Alona Abbady Martinez lives in Plantation, Florida. She writes about food and family on her blog, Culinary Compulsion, and is currently working on her book, My Culinary Compulsion, a global food memoir with recipes. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.