Nov 15, 2018 | BOCA RATON BOWL


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More Than 25 Tailgate-Inspired Chef Originals Revealed to

Hundreds of Football and Food Fans at

Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl’s Built Ford Tough Great Chefs Tailgate Showcase

Boca Raton, FL (November 15, 2018) – Kicking off a robust wave of Palm Beach County pride for the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl, the 2018 Built Ford Tough Great Chefs Tailgate Showcase & College Football Spirit Night drew more tailgate culinary creativity than ever before. Once again hundreds of area residents and civic and business leaders donned their alma mater or favorite college team’s colors and jerseys to join in the lead-in festivities for the County’s own NCAA-sanctioned college football bowl game. All done while raising thousands in funds for Spirit of Giving’s annual holiday gift drive and boosting Bowl game ticket sales.

Held at the Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel, more than 20 of the area’s popular restaurant, country club, hotel, cooking schools and celebrity chefs brought their A-game to serve up 25 signature and traditional tailgate-inspired entries. In friendly competition, the culinary, cocktail and beer masters pleased the palates of event-goers with their signature twists on tailgate classics ranging from sides and entrees to beverages and desserts, some infused with Cheribundi Tart Cherry juice. A new favorite was the event’s first-ever “Boca Bowl Beer Garden”  with its craft “crew of brews” samplings from Barrel of Monks Brewing, Due South Brewing Co, Islamorada Beer Company, Prosperity Brewers and Robot Brewing Company & Quixotic Lounge.

Each chef presented their culinary creation to a panel of expert foodie media, personalities and bloggers while guests cast their own votes for the “People’s Choice” designation. 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, blogger Heather McMechan, Two Forks & A Cork blogger Wayne Augustin and editor/blogger Deby Goldfarb.

And the 2018 Great Chefs Tailgate Showcase 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:

  • Judges Choice: Los Bocados, Chefs Robby Bushman and Anthony Hoff, BBQ Brisket Tostadas
  • People’s Choice: Los Bocados, Chefs Robby Bushman and Anthony Hoff, BBQ Brisket Tostadas
  • MVP-Most Valuable Player (for best of food and décor): Boca Raton Resort & Club, Chef Scott Manocchio, Char Siu Smoked Duck Breast, Cheribundi Tart Cherry Glaze
  • MSP-Most Spirited Player (for spirited décor): Hijinks Sports Grill, Chef Frank Petillo, Honey Mustard BBQ Sriracha Baked Wings
  • Best “New Take” on Traditional Tailgate Fare: Blue Fire Grille at Palm Beach Gardens Marriott, Chef Jorge Lopez, Crisp Pork Belly Bánh Mì
  • Best “East Meets West” Tailgate Fare: Boca Raton Resort & Club, Chef Scott Manocchio, Char Siu Smoked Duck Breast, Cheribundi Tart Cherry Glaze
  • Best “Under the Sea”: Boca Raton Resort & Club, Chef Scott Manocchio, Ahi-Tuna Poke Bowl
  • “Best in Bowl”: Bolay, Executive Chef Patrick Jorcin, Lemon Chicken, Forbidden Black Rice, Minted Tomatoes and Cilantro Pesto Sauce​
  • “Best Comfort Food”: Ceasar’s Famous Ribs, Chef Bill Ceasar; Jerk Ribs. Ribs with Ceasar’s special sauce and Ceasar Bowl
  • “Best Savory Slider”: Publix Aprons, Resident Chef Rich Wilson South Florida Barbequed Pork Slider, Crispy Plantain, Orange Cilantro Aioli
  • “Best in Chicken”: Chartwells at FAU, Campus Executive Chef Shane Lynch, Spit-Fired Peruvian Chicken Gyro with Crisp Potato Chips and Aji Amarillo Mayo
  • “Best Dipper”: Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, Executive Chef William Ring, Butternut and Asiago Dip
  • “Worth the Extra Napkins”: Hijinks Sports Grill, Chef Frank Petillo, Honey Mustard BBQ Sriracha Baked Wings
  • “Best Traditional Crowd Pleaser”: Hooters, Chicken Wings and Sauces
  • “Best Handheld”: Los Bocados, Chefs Robby Bushman and Anthony Hoff , BBQ Brisket Tostadas
  • Best “Pork in Cheese”: E.A.T. Eatery & Taproom, Chef/Owner George Patti, Chorizo Mac and Cheese Sauce
  • “Best Take” on Tailgate Shake: E.A.T. Eatery & Taproom, Chef/Owner George Patti, Guinness & Nutella Milkshake
  • “Best in Beef”: Oceans 234, Executive Chef William Middleton, Braised Short Rib Taco
  • “Best “Spanish” Take for Tailgate”: Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel, Chef Marco Villanueva/Bob Hester, Peruvian Shrimp Ceviche Tostones
  • “Best Fall YUM”: Seasons 52, Executive Chef Brian Besaw, Mini Pumpkin Pie
  • “Most Exotic” Take for Tailgate: The Locale, Executive Chef Joshua Miranda, Grilled Octopus, Cilantro Aioli, Chimichurri with Red Skin Potatoes)
  • “Best in Bun”: Loch Bar, Chef Andrew Donovan, Shrimp Salad Sandwich/Celery Leaf/Red Onion/ Chive/Toasted Split Top Bun
  • “Best Dessert”: The Melting Pot-Boca Raton, Milk, White and Dark Swirled Chocolate Strawberries
  • The Ultimate “Cheese Pleaser”: The Melting Pot-Boca Raton, Boston Lager Cheddar Cheese Fondue
  • Best “Homestyle” Side Dish: Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, Four-Cheese Grilled Mac & Cheese with Maple Bacon
  • “Most Health-Full” Tailgate Fare: True Food Kitchen, Executive Chef Brian Stevenson, Mini Inside Out Quinoa Burgers
  • Best “British Take” on Tailgate: Tucker Duke’s, Chef Chris Cartenuto, Shepherd’s Pie Potato Skins: Traditional and Vegan

And the 2018 “Best Brews” Award winners went to…

  • The “King Crafter” – Robot Brewing Company & Quixotic Lounge, My Picnic with Android: Peanut Butter and Jelly Brown Ale
  • Best “Local” Brew –Barrel of Monks, Wizard Wit-Belgian Wheat Ale, #99-Hoppy Belgian Blonde (Brewed with NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp)
  • Most “Tropical” Brew – Islamorada Beer Company
  • “Most Quenching” Tailgate Brew – Prosperity Brewers
  • Best “Take – 2 – Tailgate” Brew  – Due South Brewing Company, Category 4 Red IPA (7.7% ABV), Caramel Cream Ale (5% ABV)

“Both Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl and Spirit of Giving appreciate all the enthusiasm and culinary talent ‘cooked up’ for this fourth annual showcase,” said Doug Mosley, executive director of the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl, one of 41 postseason college bowl games in the country and the only one hosted in Palm Beach County. This year, the fifth annual bowl game set to kick off at FAU Stadium on Tuesday, December 18, will have primary tie-ins for teams from Conference USA and the American Athletic Conference with the Mid-American Athletic Conference having a secondary tie-in.

Featuring all the pomp and circumstance of traditional bowl events, the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl is a high-energy, entertaining experience for both college football fans and non-fans alike and allows the national spotlight to shine on Boca Raton and Palm Beach County. The event has become a celebrated annual holiday tradition in Boca Raton and Palm Beach County as it lives up to its other name, “Boca’s Biggest Annual Outdoor Party”. Bowl week activities will begin with the arrival of the participating teams on Friday, Dec. 14. Days, times and sites for the team welcome parties, beach parties, luncheon, pep rallies and other bowl week activities will be released at a later date.

This bowl game first ‘touched down’ in 2014 and has since aired live annually on ESPN throughout the U.S., as well as on international affiliates in South America, the Caribbean, Australia and Europe as well as on ESPN Radio. It is one of 14 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN. For more info, visit


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