With just four points out of 300 available separating the “chef-testants,” Chef Jason Goddard, Corporate Executive Chef of the Aielli Restaurant Group in Naples, won the 2021 CHEF Showdown Golden Whisk on March 22, 2021. The culinary duel of the Counties was extraordinary. Chef Jason and his challenger, Chef Gloria Jordan, owner of La Trattoria Cafe Napoli in Fort Myers, had just 30-minutes on the clock to make a WOW appetizer dish using the main Mystery Basket ingredient provided by Sails Restaurant: Moreton Bay “Bugs,” spiny, slipper lobsters from a Bay near Brisbane, Australia. Chef Jason kept it classic, preparing the farro in the Mystery Basket as risotto with a melange of wild mushrooms under his delicately poached Bug. Chef Gloria brought the heat for her “Chino-Latino” inspired dish, using bold spices, zesty lime and spicy jalapeno to create a very flavorful sauce, and Chef Gloria incorporated soy sauce to make perfectly grilled Japanese eggplant from the Mystery Basket, along with other fresh ingredients from the large Pantry provided by Luminary Hotel & Co., the site of the pre-taped Chef Showdown.

Thank you to Chef Brian Roland, Showdown competition emcee; and Judges: Chef Asif Syed, Chef Harold Balink, and Chef Tony Ridgway.

Additional proceeds are being tallied for student scholarships through the generous support of our restaurant and catering partners who prepared delicious CHEF-inspired dinners on March 22. Thanks to Crave Companies’ Crave2Go, La Trattoria Cafe Napoli, Sea Salt, and 21 Spices by Chef Asif. In fact, Crave2Go is continuing to donate a portion from each meal sold “to-go” for the remainder of this week. View Crave2Go’s delicious menu offerings here. Donations to CHEF are still being accepted at www.event.gives/chef until 5:00 p.m. ET Friday, March 26.

Special thanks to our magazine partner, Gulfshore Life and CHEF photographer Dr. Ivan Seligman.

We also want to thank our CHEF Showdown Co-host, Ms. Gina Birch for keeping the virtual show entertaining, along with professional auctioneer Scott Robertson who kept the bidding lively. View photos and videos on CHEF’s Facebook page and check out the photo gallery at www.chefswfl.org.

Thank you to the six very generous CHEF Auction winners, and all of the donors of Auction Lots: Luminary Hotel & Co. with Blanc, LYNQ, and Pure Fort Myers; Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, with Harold’s Restaurant; Bleu Provence; and Sea Salt Restaurant. Thank you to CHEF’s former President of the Board, Judy Hushon, for donating a special collection of California Sparkling Wine too. Next up, 21 fortunate CHEF supporters will enjoy a one-of a kind 21-dish tasting menu with wines, prepared by award-winning, nationally-acclaimed Chefs Asif Syed and Brian Roland at 21 Spices. These limited seats sold out quickly!