master chef showdown

Attendees enjoy samples from competing chefs at the Master Chef Throw Down I in May. The second competition will be held Monday at the Tuck Shop.

By LORI ABBOTTS

Daily News Staff

Five chefs will battle at the Master Chefs of St. Thomas Throw Down II on Monday at The Tuck Shop in Bovoni Center starting at 6:30 p.m.

The open-air event allows the participating chefs to vie for the People’s Choice trophy while giving attendees an opportunity to sample their best creations.

Master Chefs of St. Thomas is the brainchild of Adeline Alexander, the owner of The Tuck Shop. The idea came from being invited to a “Friends Giving Day” event after Thanksgiving, with each person bringing a dish. She thought she could do something similar to promote the restaurant and invite their customers. Four chefs from different restaurants participated in the December event. It was the chefs themselves that suggested a competition.

The first competitive event was held in May. Attendees voted electronically by phone for their favorite (one vote per person). Chef Shamoi of Margaritaville emerged as the winner, with more than 60 percent of the votes, followed by Chef Angelo of The Italians and Chef Benny of Mirador.

Monday’s competition will feature five different chefs/chef teams: Chef Carlos of Brix Wine, Chef Brady of Prime, Chef Matt of PlantTastic, Chef Deven of 88 Bottles and the Chef Life team of Chef Baker and Chef Albert. The PlantTastic team will feature all vegetarian dishes. Most competitors will offer two savory samplings and one dessert.

Along with the food, there will be ample wines from CC1 and Caribbean Food Service to pair the food with. The venue grounds will be transformed with tents to accommodate the chefs and attendees. Approximately 150 people attended May’s event and the same number or more are expected on Monday.

A grand finale is planned for Dec. 6, when the top three winners from each event, a total of six chefs, will compete for the Ultimate Master Chef Belt..

Alexander plans to continue the competitions next year as well, and particularly urges vegan chefs and female chefs to participate.

“We want to continue, because it’s a nice event for people to attend, not just something that’s thrown together,” she said. “I think that’s what really got people’s attention. When they came to it, they realized it was a really nice, thought out event.”

Admission is $40 in advance, more at the door, and includes food samples and wine. Call 340-725-8686 for tickets.