There are several annual events during the year you don’t want to miss,  the VIP Chef Showdown during South Beach’s Seafood Festival is one of them. Deejaying now for two consecutive years, I’m still surprised and blown away by the level of talent and energy from the crowd this particular event brings. The VIP Showdown kicks-off a weekend full of seafood & cocktails, but the main event consists of  Miami’s top executive chefs going one on one in competitive cook-offs on stage. I happen to be right behind them supplying the battle-worthy music and making sure all 2,000 guests are having the best time.

The main match-up, Taco Battle, featured three-time champion chef Bernie Matz of Bodega & chef Ralph Pagano of Naked Taco. Chef Pagano made a comeback on Miami’s culinary stage as host of the event after a kitchen accident in Bimini resulted in burns over most of his body. This year, chef returned to compete sporting squad shirts with the hashtag #fireproof — a testimony to his unbroken spirit.

Special thanks to CI Management for the invite back, I absolutely loved supporting some of my favorite hometown chefs and sharing the stage with my beautiful friend and event host Kelly Blanco. See you all next  year!

– Photos courtesy of World Red Eye –