Chefs throw down shots, mic drops at SoBe Seafood Fest Chef Showdown preview

It was a who’s who of Miami’s Chef community at the beautiful Baptist Health’s Health & Medical Complex on Alton Road in Miami Beach during the SoBe Seafood Fest Chef Showdown preview. These guys came to play hard and drink harder as they graced the stage and traded jabs. The audience ate it up, as well as great bites provided by Bodega Taqueria and Tequila.

Noshing on crunchy chips and fresh guacamole, vegan pollo asado tacos with black bean refrito and avocado salsa verde, grilled shrimp BLT tacos and grilled mahi with charred pineapple slaw tacos was the perfect start to the fun that was to come next.

The stage was set and Jay Rokeach the voice of University of Miami Hurricanes Baseball for nearly 50 years, brought each of the chef duos up and proceeded to get the jokes flying and the alcohol flowing. The Herradura tequila shots were going down easy, and plenty of  ’em.

Battling it out this year will be:

Battle Oyster, Mendez on left and Versfelt on right

  • Battle Oyster: Champion Chef James Versfelt, Shelborne vs. Challenger Chef Reiner Mendez, Lure Fish Bar

Battle Tuna, Chef Del Pozo on left and Chef Pastor on the right

  • Battle Tuna: Champion Chef Jim Pastor, Rusty Pelican vs. Challenger Chef Raul A. Del Poz, Lightkeepers

Battle Fish, Chef Pyliotis on the left and Chef Garriga on the right

  • Battle Fish: 3-Time Champion Chef Demetrios Pyliotis, Poseidon vs. Challenger Juan Garriga, Seawell Fish N Oyster

Battle Sushi, Chef Delgado on left and Chef Hamaya on the right

  • Battle Sushi: Champion Chef Masa Hamaya, Dragonfly vs. Challenger Chef Edwin Delgado, Tanuki
  • Battle Surf n’ Turf: 2-Time Champion Chef Sean Brasel, Meat Market vs. Challenger Chef Jeffrey Williams, Social Club

Battle Lobster with Chef Higgins on left and Chef Salinas on right

  • Battle Lobster: Challenger Chef David Salinas, Joe’s Stone Crab vs. Challenger Chef Jarod Higgins, AAA

Battle Taco with Chef Pagano on the left and Chef Matz on the right

  • Main Event – Battle Taco: 3-Time Champion Chef Bernie Matz, Bodega vs. #Fireproof Challenger Chef Ralph Pagano, Naked Taco

The SoBe Seafood Fest kicks off Oct. 16 and runs through Oct. 20 with a variety of events around South Beach. The Chef Showdown is Oct. 19 on 11 St. and Ocean Dr. on the sands of South Beach. See the full schedule here.


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