Published On: Wed, Nov 15th, 2017

Annual Boca Raton Bowl Great Chefs Tailgate Showcase & College Spirit Night Served Up Tailgate-Inspired Food, Fans, Fun To Benefit Spirit of Giving

Boca Raton Bowl Tailgate Showcase Chefs

Evening Yielded More Chef Stations, Expert Judges,
Culinary Winners, Boca Raton Bowl Supporters to Kickoff Ticket Sales In Anticipation of
Palm Beach County’s Only Collegiate Bowl Game

Boasting more crowd-pleasing culinary diversity, chef stations, and “fan-fare”, the Boca Raton Bowl’s third annual Great Chefs Tailgate Showcase & College Spirit Night officially kicked off a strong wave of Palm Beach County pride for the County’s own NCAA-sanctioned college football bowl game. It did so while driving ticket sales and raising $14,000 in funds to Spirit of Giving’s annual holiday gift drive.

Held at the Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel, more than 22 of the area’s popular restaurant, country club, hotel, catering and celebrity chefs served up 30 signature and traditional tailgate-inspired entries. The panel of expert judges – made up of “foodie and family” media and bloggers, ESPN and “hometown tailgate” authorities – were certainly challenged this year. The judges were Sun Sentinel Food & Dining Critic Michael Mayo, Local Mom Scoop blogger Heather McMechan, The South Florida Sage blogger Holli Lapes, My South Florida Today blogger Justin Tompkins, Stepping Out Florida blogger Deby Goldfarb and Food & Florida and blogger Jan Norris.

Boca Raton Resort & Club: Judges’ MVP Award

With more than 450 in attendance, the casual “game on” networking and pride-rallying event included plenty of college football camaraderie. Guests came out wearing their own alma mater colors and jerseys, mingled with ESPN on-air personalities and cast their own “People’s Choice” votes for their favorite chef and cocktail entries. According to event organizers, 100% of ticket sales and winning silent auction bids benefited the Boca Raton Bowl’s charity partner Spirit of Giving.

And the winners are…

While the real winners were the children benefiting from Spirit of Giving’s annual holiday gift drive, the culinary winners who spent the last few weeks “heating up” their creative cookery to put a “new spin” on tailgate classics were:

Michael Mayo (Sun Sentinel Food & Dining Critic), Deby Goldfarb, (Stepping Out Florida), Holli Lapes (The South Florida Sage blogger), Heather McMechan, (Local Mom Scoop) blogger Justin Tompkins,(My South Florida Today) Jan Norris, (Food & Florida and )

  • Judges Choice: Bolay
  • MVP-Most Valuable Player (for food and décor): Boca Raton Resort & Club
  • MSP-Most Spirited Player: Ceasar’s Famous Ribs
  • Best Dessert: Seasons 52’s Pumpkin Pie Mini Indulgence
  • People’s Choice: Boca Raton Resort & Club’s Tuna Poke
  • “NEW TAKE” ON SURF & TURF Award: Boca Raton Resort & Club, Chef Scott Manocchio SeaGrille Tuna Poke and 24-Hour Marinated Mojo Cuban Pork with Smokin’ Black Beans and Boca Slaw
    Executive Chefs Patrick Jorcin and Pierre Vidal
    1) Ahi Tuna Poke with a Furikake-Wakame Salad, 2) Caribbean Spiced
    Steak with Forbidden Black Rice, Balsamic Mushrooms and Cilantro Pesto Sauce,
    3) Wild Berry Cobbler with a Walnut Crust
  • “BEST TRADITIONAL TAILGATE FARE” Award: Chartwells at Florida Atlantic University, Campus Executive Chef Shane Lynch: FAU Signature Talon Slider

    Seasons 52; Judges Best Dessert


  • “WORTH THE EXTRA NAPKINS” Award: Ceasar’s Famous Ribs, Bill Ceasar, Ceasar’s Famous Ribs
  • “BEST SPIRITS” Award: Citrus Distillers, LLC
  • “BEST DIY DESSERT” Award: Happylicious by Betsy, Betsy Cohen, Happylicious Blitz Balls
  • “THE HOTTEST”Award: Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, Executive Chef William Ring
    Oven Baked Wing Trio: Garlic Parmesan, Spicy Smoked Chili with Cayenne with Avocado Ranch, and BBQ with Pomegranate with Blue Cheese Ranch
  • “BEST SLIDER”Award: Hijinks Sports Grill
    Lobster Sliders
  • “BEST WINGS” Award: Hooters
    Hooter’s World Famous Chicken Wings
  • “CROWD PLEASER” Award: La Paella Chef: Chef Dana Bass
    Paella Campestre
  • “BEST IN BOWL” Award: Los Bocados: Chef Robby Bushman
    Carne Asada Bocado Bowl
  • “BEST DISH TO EAT WITH A BEER” Award: M.E.A.T. Eatery & Taproom:
    Chef/Owner George Patti
    Chorizo Sliders, Chimichurri Aioli on a Brioche Bun
  • “MOST SOPHISTICATED” TAILGATE FARE Award: Morton’s The Steakhouse
    Filet Mignon Sandwiches and Ahi Tuna Canapes
  • “BEST SEAFOOD”: Oceans 234: Executive Chef William Middleton
    Grilled Octopus and Chorizo
  • “BEST IN BEEF”: Palm Beach Gardens Marriott, Chef Mike Jimenez
    Guinness Braised Short Rib Sliders and Chocolate Dipped Mini Football Strawberries with Prosecco Infusion Shot
  • “BEST SEASONAL SAVORY”: Private Chefs Services: Chef Michael George
    Mini Turkey Burger Sliders with Fresh Cranberry Relish & Sprouts
  • “BEST SCOOP”: Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel, Executive Chef Bob Hester                                        Homemade Praline Pecan Ice Cream Cones
  • “BEST SEASONAL SWEET”: Seasons 52: Chef Scott Algeria
    Pumpkin Pie Mini Indulgence
  • “BEST DIPPER”: The Melting Pot
    Boston Lager Cheddar Cheese Fondue with Homemade Pretzel Bread; Milk, White and Dark-Swirled Chocolate Strawberries
  • “BEST COMFORT FOOD”: Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, Executive Chef Robert Thompson
    Home-style Meatballs, smothered in marinara sauce, provolone and parmigiana, reggiano cheeses.
  • “MOST CREATIVE”: Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox, Chef/Owner Brian Cartenuto
    BBQ Pork Monkey Bread, Pickled Jalapeno, Spiced Maple Syrup
  • “BEST ‘OUT OF SHELL’” DISH: Via Mizner Golf & Country Club​, Chef James Boukhalfa Signature Crab Cake
  • “THE COOLEST”: 32 Bubbles Food Truck, Chef Andrew Whiteman Chunky Monkey

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