Home News Local news Girls Rock the 'Food Fight' at [email protected] Bay

Girls Rock the 'Food Fight' at [email protected] Bay

Girls Rock the 'Food Fight' at Eat@Cane Bay

Chefs Michael Ferarro, Leslie Gumbs, Robert Trevino, Tiffany Derry, Liza Shaw, and Jennifer Litwin (from left) sample the meals they prepared in the competition.Laughter and chaos filled [email protected] Bay’s restaurant Wednesday evening as renowned chefs from all over the world competed in its “Food Fight! On the Beach” competition as part of The St. Croix Food & Wine Experience.

The third annual competition decided to do things differently this year and pitted three men against three women in a hilarious event where competitors raced against the clock in an effort to win.

The “boys vs. girls” competition started off with excitement as hostess Danielle Kyrillos, who served as a judge on Bravo’s "Top Chef Just Desserts," introduced the six celebrity chefs who would be competing, including V.I. chefs Leslie Gumbs and Jennifer Litwin.

A V.I. native living on St. Thomas, Gumbs currently serves as Culinary Ambassador for the territory, creating signature dishes of the islands and also operates Theo’s Personal Chef and Catering Services.

Meanwhile, Litwin is the chef de cuisine at Oceana Restaurant in St. Thomas and has been featured in “Condé Nast Caribbean Travel” and “Gourmet Girl” magazine as well.

Quickly after introductions, the entire group raced down to the beach where the bulk of the competition took place. Contestants were given about 45 minutes to race through the fresh ingredients to come up with a Caribbean-style soup or stew using the ingredients provided, which included an array of delicious fresh fish.

But just as the chefs began their task of sorting ingredients, Kyrillos jumped in with last-minute instructions that they were to use all of the fish ingredients in their stew, which included conch, lobster, shrimp, mussels and snapper.

To make the competition even tougher, the guys and gals were forced to use tables outside on the beach, with limited ingredients and then were to use a beach fire pit that they had to fuel and start themselves.

While it seemed like the men gathered more of a crowd and would smash the competition because of Gumbs’ personal experience with island cooking and outdoor pits, the women were quietly hopeful that theirs would taste best.

In the restaurant, Litwin and chef Michael Ferraro from New York City had to quickly leave to compete in the “knife skills” competition, where they were to use their talents to smash a coconut and create four cocktails with the juice. Ferraro was the first done, but the real test would be up to the judges to figure out which passed the taste test.

Next, Gumbs and chef Tiffany Derry from Texas competed in a tough Q & A trivia session that seemed comprised of nearly impossible questions, but which finally resulted in a winning answer by Derry, bringing the girls to the head of the contest.

Down at the beach, the male chefs created the appearance of a gourmet meal – lobster which was grilled on the fire pit and covered with coconut milk, and a delicious looking ceviche that was comprised of corn, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and shrimp and conch.

While the women struggled with the fire pit and getting the coals to light up, eventually they succeeded and came up with a mouth-watering mix of their own with the same ingredients and a whole different preparation.

Finally, the competitors were given three minutes to finish and the chefs raced to have their beautiful creations ready for the judges who were chosen after winning a raffle ticket.

Rocky Deguarda, Shad Mehra and Dr. Robert Centeno told the chefs how tasty their meals were and then went back to tally the results as jabs were thrown by each chef about “girl/boy power”; then each chef tasted the others for comparison and gave "cordial" responses.

When it was announced the ladies had triumphed 66–56, the crowd cheered wildly. Although Ferraro had beaten Litwin in the coconut competition, apparently her drinks got extra points for taste, and the ladies’ Caribbean-style soup was the tastiest of the two.

The event benefits the St. Croix Foundation, a nonprofit community foundation that has developed a number of initiatives that address community revitalization, economic development, youth progr

For more information, visit www.stxfoundation.org.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here