(For the record, the NCAA bracket-style cooking competition is being held every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. until Sept. 23 by and at Max’s Harvest in downtown Delray. Each week two local chefs get three mystery ingredients, which they have to fashion into two or three dishes in an hour, the results judged by a panel of food experts. Anyone can attend for a $10 donation, with the proceeds benefiting the Delray Boys & Girls Club.)

With that out of the way, here’s what’s happened so far. . .

Week 1. Adam Brown of The Cooper and Ben Burger of Neiman Marcus had their way with wild king salmon, sea beans and heirloom eggplants, with Brown taking top honors bym cooking shrimp with sorghum, eggplant and sea bean “caponata,” roasted fingerling potatoes and seared salmon filet.

Week 2. James Strine of Cafe Boulud took on Paul Niedermann of Hudson over a basket of Kissimmee River oyster mushrooms, fava beans and veal sweetbreads, with Strine cooking an impressive four dishes. Among them were heirloom tomato, fava bean and oyster mushroom salad with togarashi vinaigrette and smoked fried sweetbreads on coconut-sweet potato puree with baby bok choy and oyster mushrooms.

Week 3. Victor Meneses of El Camino battled Victor Franco of Oceans 234, preparing beef cheeks, Asian noodles and malanga. Meneses emerged Victor-ious with a winning dish of malanga dumpling with shredded beef cheek, granny smith apples and pancetta, served with a salad of shaved fennel, ginger and herbs.


There are 12 more battles to come so stay tuned for further results.