As promised, it was a great battle at the Hyatt Regency Miami last evening when two of Miami's most talented chefs competed at Miami New Times' Iron Fork.
Benjamin Goldman of Planta and Jorge Ramos of Barley: An American Brasserie were the two culinary gladiators. This year, the showdown had a twist: Goldman would create plant-based dishes, and Ramos would prepare plates using animal-based protein. Naked Taco's Ralph Pagano was the MC, providing color commentary during the competition.
Veggies proved to be the most delicious to the judges, who awarded Goldman the top prize. Backstage, the chef, surrounded by family, said it felt good to snag the win for the vegan community. "I proved some people wrong," he quipped.
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Goldman said his cooking and the food at Planta have opened the plant-based world to mainstream diners. "Anything you can do with meat, we can do. It's a bit of an underground revolution."
Danielle Serret won the JWU Student Showdown in a close race against Ariel "Chico" Pallares. The contest was hosted by WSVN's Belkys Nerey. Serret will receive a $4,000 scholarship in memory of one of Miami's most innovative chefs, Michael Shikany. Pallares will take away $1,500 in scholarship funds.