GULFPORT, Miss. – Five local chefs battled for the Top Culinary Gladiator position at the 37th annual Chefs of the Coast Food & Wine Gala on October 20th at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center in Biloxi. Milton Joachim, chef at Charred: A Steak & Oyster Bar in Ocean Springs, took home the title from the inaugural Culinary Gladiator Battle, pictured right.
Island View Casino Resort’s Charley Bowers placed second, and Shaggy’s Chef Scott Duplantis placed third. The Culinary Gladiator Battle is a mystery basket competition, requiring competitors to prepare judges’ plates from the items in the basket along with produce and seasonings of choice from a shared pantry. The chefs had less than an hour to prepare the dishes. Other competition chefs included Selene Puga of Sophi’s Mediterranean in Biloxi, and Trey Cowan, Island View Casino Resort.
“The Culinary Gladiator Battle is similar to the national competitions that test the chefs’ skills under pressure,” said Demetrio Marquez, Mississippi Coast Restaurant & Beverage Association Board member and competition coordinator. “We plan to make the Gladiator Battle an ongoing competition to be held throughout the year with the final battle taking place at the 2020 Chefs of the Coast.”
This year’s Top Culinary Gladiator took home a gladiator helmet trophy and red chef coat. Second and third place winners were presented with medals.
The Mississippi Coast Restaurant & Beverage Association has been the voice of the local restaurant industry for more than 35 years, supporting the industry through government representation, education, and mentorship. The Coast Restaurant Association aims to provide assistance to local high school culinary programs and scholarships to culinary students attending Mississippi colleges and community outreach programs. We are a 501(C)(6) organization.