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Things have been crazy around here and I didn't get a chance to attend the First Press Gourmet Sessions Food Fight the other night, but I got the inside dish from an acquaintance who was there to watch the drama unfold.
In an hour-long, Iron Chef-style cookoff between chefs Aaron May (Sol y Sombra) and Matt McLinn (Methode Bistro), May won by a little more than half a point. Each chef had to come up with at least three dishes from a basket of mystery ingredients (really, it was more like a whole pantry's worth of ingredients), which included halibut and duck. They were also allowed to bring three ingredients from their own kitchens. May showed up with spiny lobster, sea urchin, and vanilla bean, while McLinn brought lavender, chorizo, and saffron.
So what was on May's winning menu? Five dishes I'd be happy to eat: roasted halibut with lobster salpicon, pan-seared halibut with sea urchin and garlic veloute, mushroom fricassee with garlic, herbs and halibut fillet, "Mar y Montana" (halibut with shallot, duck, and red wine jus), and crispy duck breast with citrus confit.