Chefs Cindy Hutson and Ana Rodriguez Have a Little Friendly Rivalry Over Lunch
Chefs Cindy Hutson and Ana Rodriguez
Each chef prepared a dish to be paired with a wine from the Santa Julia Winery. What ensued was a friendly rivalry (with diners keeping score) over which chef won each course.
Round 1: Pâté of trout over confited mushrooms (Chef Rodriguez) vs. Jamaican oysters Rockefeller (Chef Hutson), paired with Santa Julia Organica Chardonnay
Diners quickly scarfed down the oyster, but most left the trout on the plate.
Winner: Chef Hutson.
Grapes and raisin bread with goat ricotta cheese
Blue Mountain coffee and cocoa encrusted wild salmon
Round 2: Grapes and raisin bread with goat ricotta cheese, arugula and dressing of Frantoio olive oil and black olives (Chef Rodriguez) vs. Blue Mountain coffee- and cocoa-encrusted wild salmon with creamy polenta and chipolte agave glaze (Chef Hutson), paired with Santa Julia Reserve Malbec.
The goat ricotta dish was creamy and boasted the right balance of sweet and savory. The salmon had great flavor, but diners agreed it was a tad overcooked.
Winner: Chef Rodriguez
Beef steak with crunchy potatoes
Roasted venison chop with mushroom risotto
Round 3: Beef steak with crunchy potatoes and chimichurri (Chef Rodriguez) vs. roasted venison chop with Amarena cherry demi-glace, mushroom risotto, and Brussels sprout petals (Chef Hutson), paired with Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet.
Diners were split over the meat course. The beef was tender and the chimichurri spicy, while the venison's demi-glace was amazing.
Winner: Chef Hutson
Round 4: Vigilante over Santa Julia syrup (Chef Rodriguez) vs. artisan cheese trio with homemade fig jam and artisan crostini, paired with Santa Julia "Tardio" Late Harvest Torrontes.
The Vigilante hands down ruled the dessert course.
Winner: Chef Rodriguez
After the lunch was over, the chefs were tied, and we agreed the real winners were the diners in attendance.
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