Round two of the annual Fill The Grill competition at Whole Foods Market in Coral Gables saw another two food truck chefs in a cook-off to see who had the superior grilling abilities. Eileen Andrade of CUBANCUBE and Alfredo Montero of Mr. Good Stuff faced off in a battle for culinary supremacy.
Each contestant had 20 minutes and $20 to
purchase ingredients needed to prepare plates for three judges. A pantry with basics like salt, pepper, oil, and seasonings was provided. After the purchase phase, each chef had 20
minutes to prepare and plate their dish. Judges scored on
taste, presentation, and originality.
As the first clock started to count down 20 minutes, both chefs rushed out to the selling floor, basket and $20 gift card in hand.
Montero and Andrade both started their shopping sprees with protein. Montero chose some spicy chorizo, while Andrade opted for some fresh mahi.
The produce section is where things got tricky for both contestants. When working on a $20 budget, an extra lime or an oversized tomato can push you over the limit.
Alfredo Molina weighed every item, keeping a running tally in his head of the cost of everything in his basket. Molina purchased chorizo, zucchini, red onions, tomatoes, eggplant, provolone, and garlic for a total of $15.11. Andrade's basket was filled with mahi, tomatoes, tortillas, avocado, habanaro and serrano peppers, cilantro, and a sweet onion, which came out to $19.03.
Back in the store's community room, the chefs prepped their meals. Chef Andrade set out to make a spicy pico de gallo, while her mahi cooked on the grill.
Chef Montero shelled the zucchini to make a "boat" for the chorizo, before placing all components on the grill.
Chef Eileen Andrade's open-faced mahi taco with pico de gallo was a bright and beautiful bite. A creamy aioli worked to balance the heat from the salsa.
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Chef Alfredo Montero's zucchini with chorizo was a colorful plate of food. The crispy freshness of the vegetables complimented a very spicy chorizo filling.
The results were counted, and Alfredo Montero won for his chorizo dish. He will face Latin Burger & Taco's Shaun Henry (substituting for Jim Heins) at the Fill The Grill finals on August 16 at 6 p.m. at the Coral Gables Whole Foods Market community room. The event is free and wine, beer, and small bites are provided.