Friday, January 27, 2023

Food from the sea

Stone crab cuisine: Chef Malatesta wins Feast of the Sea challenge

It was a gorgeous, breezy night Oct. 23 for the final showdown of the 2015 Maestro del Mar Chef Challenge Series, with a Dinner on the Dock in downtown West Palm Beach.

On hand were the four chefs who won their individual semi-finals plus the 2014 winner, Chef Eugenio Santucci (pictured plating his entry).  All five were competing and were given one hour to use the surprise ingredient: stone crabs! As expected, the resulting dishes were beautiful, and the judges said they tasted just as good as they looked.

The 2015 Maestro del Mar champion was Chef Blake Malatesta (pictured) from 50 Ocean (50 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach).

The other competing chefs were: Chef Fritz Cassel from Hullabaloo (517 Clematis, West Palm Beach), Chef Clay Carnes from The Grille in Wellington(12300 S. Shore Blvd., Wellington) and Chef Eric Grutka of Ian’s Tropical Grill(2875 SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart). Congratulations to all the chefs—it was a delicious, inspiring challenge series. And the competition series benefitted Future 6 Helping Hand non-profit that hosts free action sports camps for children who have special needs or are in at-risk situations.


Beer and bites: Spoto’s Oyster Bar hosts special dinner

Take a Barrel of Monks and some surf and turf ingredients, put them together in a popular restaurant, and the result is a craft beer and paired dishes dinner Oct. 28 at Spoto’s Oyster Bar (4560 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561/776-9448).

Sit down for a three-course meal, as well as an amuse-bouche and dessert, of course, and try five Barrel of Monks’ handcrafted Belgian beers: Tartan Monk, Three Fates Tripel, Nuance Saison, Abbey Terno Dubbel and Raspberry Wizard. On the plates, you’ll find smoked paprika shrimp with risotto, scallops and an herb-crusted filet mignon with cheddar polenta, among other mouthwatering bites. Dinner is $65, excluding tax and gratuity, and reservations are necessary.

About the Author

Lynn Kalber wasn’t born in Boca Raton, but she attended elementary through high school there, so she might as well have been. She’s a graduate of the University of Florida and has been in journalism most of her life, including 26 years at The Palm Beach Post. She’s written feature and food stories, and edited food copy among other jobs, including blogging about wine (The Swirl Girls). Her husband is writer and author Scott Eyman. They live in West Palm Beach with an assortment of cats and dogs.

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