A packed house was in attendance for the 2012 Fill the Grill Competition finals at Whole Foods Market Coral Gables last evening, with many attendees having watched the previous two elimination rounds. As people took their seats with their complimentary wine and beer, the evening's host, chef Michael Jacobs, introduced the two finalists.
Alfredo Montero of Mr. Good Stuff and Shawn Henry of Latin Burger & Taco were about to face off for the championship. Each contestant received $20 and 20 minutes in which to shop for groceries to cook a meal for each of the three judges.
After the shopping round was complete, the chefs had 20 minutes to cook and plate their items. The final score was to be based on presentation, taste, and originality of each dish.
With 20 minutes on the clock, both chefs made a beeline for the meat counter. Chef Henry bought lamb rib chops, while chef Montero purchased chicken, pork, and beef.
Chef Montero checks out some lemons, while chef Henry weighs Crimini mushrooms.
Chef Shawn spent $19.22 on his purchase of lamb, mushrooms,and Yukon potatoes. Chef Alfredo's total came out for $19.11 for watermelon and pineapple salad, feta cheese, chicken thigh, sirloin beef, zucchini, Roma tomatoes, mango puree, ginger, and pork loin.
Back in the community room, chef Shawn demonstrated some fancy knife skills.
Chef Montero showed advanced grill techniques.
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Chef Shawn Henry's lamb with Yukon potatoes was an artful plate of food with a lot of depth.
Chef Alfredo Montero's trio of skewers each represented a different flavor profile -- and region of the world.
After a brief tally of the judge's scores, Latin Burger & Taco's Shawn Henry was declared the winner. Chef Henry was presented with a special cutting board and each chef received a Whole Foods Market gift card and kudos from judges for their beautiful food.