Heart of a Chef: Joshua Wahler vs. Giorgio Rapicavoli in Heartfelt Battle

Rapicavoli and Wahler battle for the Heart of a Chef title.
Two of Miami's hottest chefs will compete in a head-to-head cooking competition at Heart of a Chef this Sunday, April 29 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, from 4 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults. Two children are admitted free with each paid adult ticket.

The family-friendly food festival, which benefits the Florida Heart Research institute differs from many food-centric festivals in one important way - guests will partake in heart-healthy food and wine, designed to bring home the event's message of preventing childhood obesity, which has been known to lead to heart disease.

In addition to interactive demonstrations for both kids and adults, wine and food tastings, the highlight of the event is the Heart of a Chef culinary battle, which features local chefs Joshua Wahler, executive chef at CRAVE Restaurant and Hell's Kitchen alumnus, and Giorgio Rapicavoli, owner/executive chef of Eating House and Chopped winner.

The chefs will be challenged to created a delicious, heart-healthy meal using a basket of mystery ingredients. Short Order asked both chefs about the competition and what their strategies were for winning.

Giorgio Rapicavoli said he's confident his Chopped win will help him win the Heart of a Chef contest. "During Chopped, we were given a basket of mystery items to work with," he told Short Order.

When asked about any strategies, he said that even though he won't know what he's preparing until the competition. "I have recipes in my head that I can always change to fit the ingredients."

In the end, Rapicavoli said the main purpose of the afternoon is the message, "I'm just glad to be asked to be a part of such an amazing organization, and to promote the Florida Heart Research Institute."

Chef Joshua Wahler's game plan is to "focus on fresh and light dishes I've cooked in the past past and try to 'wow' the judges with amazing, bold flavors," regardless of what's in his mystery basket.

The executive chef at CRAVE is looking forward to "educating people on making heart healthy choices, while having a great time doing it."

When asked if he's got any secret strategies, Wahler said, "if I had any secrets and shared them then they wouldn't be secrets... but I always have tricks up my sleeve."

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Location Info


Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL

Category: General


4250 Salzedo St., Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant

Eating House

804 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, FL

Category: Restaurant

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