At the inaugural Kitchen Kreative last night, guests indulged in ten courses and ten cocktails.
Adrianne Calvo of Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar and Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House took over the kitchen at the Ritz-Carlton on South Beach. They kicked off the new, local cooking competition.
Organized by Productiva and benefiting Slow Food Miami, Kitchen Kreative's goal is to create a unique tasting experience.
"Chef's come here and do something totally different than anything they've ever done in their restaurant," says Oscar Ortega, managing partner of Productiva and the event's organizer. "The food, the people, the drinks -- it's only going to happen that way one night."
At the event, chefs work alongside mixologists. Rapicavoli worked with the Broken Shaker's Eddie Fuentes and Adrianne Calvo worked with the Ritz-Carlton's Ramsey Pimentel.
After every course, guests were encouraged to pick their favorites and share their choices via Twitter.
For her first dish, Calvo served a beautiful duck leg with Diplomatico rum barbecue sauce and whipped Caribbean plantain soup. The accompanying cocktail featured Diplomatico Blanco, pineapple juice, lavender syrup, and bitters.
In his first dish, Rapicavoli played up his love for tartares. He proffered an interesting beet tartare infused with rum, citrus, herbs, and Lucini olive oil. It was paired with a 'Daniel San' -- Diplomatico Blanco, yuzu, and white ginger ale.
Adrianne won the first round.
Rapicavoli followed with the reina pepiada arepa -- hamachi, avocado, and pickled garlic. It was served with a Caracas Libre drink, prepared with Diplomatico Reserva, Frescolita soda, and lime.
Adrianne went for a heartier second course. She glazed Kurobuta pork belly with rum and coke. The accompanying cocktail featured Diplomatico Reserva, lime juice, thyme syrup, and egg whites.
Adrianne won round two, too.
The third course featured two shellfish dishes.
Giorgio fused scallops with romesco. Perfectly tender on the inside and charred on the exterior, the shallots were real winners. The drink was jamon serrano-infused rum with manzanilla sherry and oranges.
Calvo poached Australian prawns in rum and butter. She paired them with a tropical roasted poblano-papaya relish and salsa verde aioli. It went along with a rum, guava juice, mango juice, and jalapeño drink.
Rapicaoli won this round.
For the fourth course, Calvo served braised oxtail with mushroom, parmesan, and truffle risotto.
Rapicavoli prepared pork cheeks with ripe plantains, burnt guava miso, and pickled onions. The meat was exceptionally tender.
Giorgio won this round.
For dessert, Calvo offered a "taste of paradise": mango, raspberry, and rum panna cotta. She accompanied the custard with hazelnut and rum chocolates and a coconut and rum popsicle.
Rapicavoli kept it simple. He spiked a pumpkin pie panna cotta with cinammon, maple syrup, and brown butter.
The people voted and selected Rapicavoli's pumpkin pie as this round's winner.
Then the judges voted. The team was comprised of Andres Meraz, executive chef of the Ritz-Carlton, Chatchow TV's Giovanny Gutierrez, and The Food-E's Nick Pena.
"It was a very close call," said Ortega.
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But ultimately, Giorgio Rapicavoli won.
Next month, the event will feature different chefs and different liquors. Chefs are yet to be disclosed, but the alcohol will be Grey Goose. "Don't expect any vodka tonics though," says Ortega.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha