The Gourmet Experience 2011 - Fish Taco TKO Competition
What is The Gourmet Experience? According to their website:
"The Gourmet Experience is a two-day cooking and home entertainment showcase featuring the best in culinary solutions, appliances, culinary travel, home products and specialty foods for the gourmet lifestyle. "
We had passes for Sunday Oct 9th. After looking at the schedule, our eyes were drawn toward one big thing: the Fish Taco TKO Competition!
This was the first year for the Fish Taco TKO Competition and the friendly Emcee, Josh Kopelman of Dining Out SD, introduced us to the 7 fierce competitors (left to right):
- Scott Quan of Escape Fish Bar
- Emmanuel Solimans of Blue Point Coastal Cuisine
- Larry Malone of Empirehouse Urban Palate
- Steve Floyd of The Brigantine
- Juan Munoz of The Fish Shop
- Tony Alvarez of The Fish Market
- Hector Casanova of Casanova Fish Tacos
We were also introduced to our 10 hungry (and very lucky) judges:
- Ken Loyst, Gourmet Experience producer
- Randee Stratton, Superdiner
- Dave Morgan, Superdiner
- David Salisbury, Superdiner
- Joanne Arellano, Superdiner
- Fabrice Poigin, Superdiner. chef
- Nathan Rakov, Tzaddik Farm rancher
- Andrew Spurgin, Campine - A Culinary + Cocktail Conspiracy
- Oscar Sotelo, facebook fan winner
- Ricardo Heredia, Alchemy restaurant chef
The rules were pretty simple: make 10 tacos (one for each judge) with at least one ingredient grilled and do it within the time constraints of 5 minute prep, 15 to cook, and 5 to clean up.
Since the stage could only fit 3 chefs at one time, competitors were broken into groups of 2 or 3. And the competition BEGINS!
Round 1 consisted of Scott Quan of Escape Fish Bar and Emmanuel Solimans of Blue Point Coastal Cuisine.
For Round 2, there was Larry Malone of Empirehouse Urban Palate, Steve Floyd of The Brigantine, and Juan Munoz of The Fish Shop.
In Round 3, there was Tony Alvarez of The Fish Market and Hector Casanova of Casanova Fish Tacos.
I bet the judges were in heaven feasting on those seven deliciously different fish tacos. But of course, being a competition, they had to score the tacos: - 50 points for flavor
- 20 points for presentation
- 20 points for quality
- 10 points for timeliness
After all points were tallied, the winners were declared:
Juan Munoz won the prize of a Barbeques Galore grill!
Our stomachs were still empty but at least we had pictures of the masterpieces... *sigh*
The Gourmet Experience to be continued here.
Del Mar Fairgrounds
2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard
Del Mar CA 92014