This epicurean extravaganza features a Culinary CHEF Showdown between CHEF’s 2020 honoree, Chef Asif Syed of 21 Spices by Chef Asif, challenging Aielli Restaurant Group Corporate Chef, Jason Goddard, to create a delicious appetizer from mystery basket ingredients in 30-minutes. The mystery baskets are being curated by Chef Wilhelm Gahabka of Naples Lakes Country Club. Crave Culinaire/Venue Naples co-owner Chef Brian Roland is the event emcee and serves on the CHEF Board of Directors.

Culinary CHEF Showdown Judges are:

  • Chef Melissa Donohue, chef/owner of award-winning Sweet Melissa’s Café on Sanibel Island. Chef Melissa is Southwest Florida’s first chef to be recognized as a “Best Chef – South” finalist for the esteemed James Beard Awards in 2019;
  • Beirne Brown, a professional in the culinary and hospitality industries for over 40 years. Currently serves as adjunct instructor at FGCU’s School of Resort & Hospitality Management, and lead wine education instructor;
  • Guy Clark and Rafael Feliciano, co-founders of the Food Idea Group and Sizzle Restaurant Weeks in Collier and Lee Counties.

Tickets may be purchased here. Reserved seating is $225 for guests attending the Culinary CHEF Showdown, 3-course dinner paired with wine by Grey Oaks Executive Chef Chris and Sommelier Victor Valdivia, and live auction with arrival is 6:30 p.m.

Guests desiring an all-inclusive ticket for the evening will arrive at 5:00 p.m. for an exclusive VIP Wine Tasting hosted by Bleu Provence Restaurant’s co-owner and sommelier Jacques Cariot, followed by the dinner and live auction called by Scott Robertson Auctioneers. Click here to view the special French wines featured in the VIP Tasting. The all-inclusive ticket price is $700 per guest.

Live Auction Lots include epicurean adventures in Napa; Tuscany; Portugal; Fort Myers’ River District; and Tampa. Additional lots include wine and dining-around-town packages from Crave Culinaire with catered dinner, wine and professional photography for 8; resort stay for two and private dinner for 10 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa; Game Dinner paired with wine for 8 by private Chef Ruth Manchester, Brunch with Prosecco for 8 at Sails; and cooking class and champagne lunch for 10 at Sea Salt, to name a few.