Danilo Santos/Contributing Writer
Friday marked the very first FIU Master Chef competition. The competition kicked off with 13 amateur chefs composed of FIU students, staff, faculty, and alumni. A panel of judges from four local restaurants and one guest judge decided the winner.
Eileen Andrade owner of Finka Table & Tap, Gus Montes chef at Panther Premier, Benjamin Murray chef at Azul, and Albert Diaz chef at Zuma.
The competition was composed of three rounds, the first round saw seven contestants get eliminated, the second round saw three contestants get eliminated, and in the final round the champion was announced Elias Bardawil, director of wellness and recreation.
The final round was close almost ending in a tie, but do to scoring in the previous round Elias was announced champion and Master Chef.
He described the whole competition as “exhausting,” each round every competitor was required to use three mystery objects straining their creativity and forcing the competitors to cook unique dishes.
Elias gave FIUSM a brief interview describing his experience, “If I could defend [Master Chef] I would defend.”
Elias’ advice for future chefs and culinary enthusiasts alike “in life just believe and it’ll come true, and have confidence in yourself, in whatever your dreams are, and know that no matter what hurdles you may have you’ll always overcome, and never stop. Never stop cooking in anything you do; in the kitchen, in the classroom, in your professional career always put your best foot forward everything good will happen after that.”
Elias looks excitedly towards next year and another Master Chef FIU in hopes that me may defend his title.
FIU’s Master Chef was a success with a good turnout and support from the FIU community.
El Mago de las Fritas and Misha’s Cupcakes provided food for the audience.Head chef and owner of Finka Table & Tap Eileen Andrade had nothing but praise for the event, “I thought it was awesome, I hope they do it again next year.”
Chef Eileen was surprised by the dishes the amateur chefs cooked up and hopes to return next year as a judge for FIU Master Chef.
Following Master Chef was Brew Miami, an outdoor event held between parking garages Blue and Gold.
Local breweries and restaurants were invited to promote their brand of food and beer. Guest were treated to unlimited drinks and food throughout the night.
J Wakefield Brewing, Miami Brewing were among the breweries providing guests with beer. J Wakefield teamed up with El Mago de las Fritas to bring a new Pan con Beersteak Frita brewed in J Wakefield’s amber ale.
All proceeds raised by the events went to the United Way Miami campaign.
All Photos by Vincent Rives/External Relations