The entire dining room of the Adria Hotel in Bayside cheered as three Long Island hotel chefs and their staff ran into the kitchen as they raced the clock to serve their first dish a three-course competition.
The battle of the kitchens Sept. 20 was a three-way face-off between Super’s Cafe at the Sheraton Four Points Plainview, the Giraffe Room Lounge and Restaurant at the Inn at Great Neck and Marco Polo’s at the Viana Hotel and Spa—all three of which are run by Samar Hospitality.
“You see this stuff on TV,” said Alan Mindel, operating partner of Samar Hospitality. “I really thought there was a lot we could do that no one really realized and I thought why not a competition?”
The 170 guests doubled as judges and ultimately decided the winner by rating each of the dishes with a score from one to five on scorecards. Each kitchen served a small portion of an appetizer, entrée and desert.
Highlights of the evenings dishes were Marco Polo’s shrimp ball appetizer with pineapple and mango stuffing glaze and sriracha mayonnaise, the Chilean sea bass with mango salsa and confetti quinoa from Super’s Café and the poached pear dessert from the Giraffe Room.
“My favorite dish had to be the rib eye,” Molly Dryman, one of the guest judges, said of Marco Polo’s entrée. “It was full of flavor, it was cooked well and all the flavors went together very well. Some of the other stuff didn’t kind of wow me, but [the rib eye] was really good.”
A time limit was set for each kitchen to get each dish plated and served in less than 20 minutes—a challenge that all three chiefs said was no problem meeting.
“At first I didn’t know what to expect,” said Moira Goldberg, executive chief of the Giraffe Room. “I had some anxiety, but once we got into it I loved it.”
Goldberg and her staff walked away the winners, earning them the $3,000 top prize.
Mindel said he is looking to make the event an annual tradition and hopes it will bring in more patrons.
“I would absolutely think of trying one of these restaurants after this event,” said Robert Rovello, one of the guests. “There’s one right around the block from where I work and I think I’ll probably try that one.”