Who’s the local street food king? Gardens chef crowned at Palm Beach Food & Wine Fest

Street Food winners, from left: chef Tim Lipman, chef Elizabeth Falkner, and festival director David Sabin. (Photos by Liz Balmaseda)
Street Food winners, from left: chefs Tim Lipman and Elizabeth Falkner, and festival director David Sabin. (Photos by Liz Balmaseda)

Chef Tim Lipman’s hot, crispy croquetas — or as he calls them, “Mista Tim’s Krusty Ballz” — took People’s Choice Award Saturday night at the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival‘s Street Food battle.

The battle, which took over a side lot of the Four Seasons Resort on the festival’s third day, pitted chefs representing New York City against those cooking for Palm Beach.

Lipman, chef/owner of the popular Coolinary Cafe in Palm Beach Gardens, created a trio of croquetas (Miami-inspired street fare), a shrimp and andouille sausage, an edamame falafel ball, and a lamb-accented ball.

Some may call them croquetas, but chef Tim Lipman's got another name for his winning creations.
Some may call them croquetas, but Lipman’s got another name for his winning creations.

The evening’s celebrity chef judges — food TV’s Robert Irvine, Christina Tosi, Hugh Acheson, Jeff Mauro, among others — chose New York chef Elizabeth Falkner as their winner. The pastry-chef-turned-savory-master created a delicately grilled striped bass with a creamy Meyer lemon yogurt sauce, topped with micro greens.

Celebrity chef judges hard at work, among them Hugh Acheson, Robert Irvine, Jeff Mauro and Christina Tosi.
Celebrity chef judges, among them Hugh Acheson, Robert Irvine, Jeff Mauro and Christina Tosi.

Tied for runner-up were West Palm Beach chef Lindsay Autry, who served a flavorful Brunswick stew over rice grits, and New York-Boston chef Ken Oringer, who gave the foodie crowd a giant paella pan filled with Spanish-inspired fideos (noodles), tossed with seafood.

The four-day festival continues today (Sunday) with a Daniel Boulud-hosted brunch at Cafe Boulud, and wraps up tonight with the 9th Annual Grand Tasting at The Gardens Mall. Tickets are still available for tonight’s event ($75) at the festival’s website, PBFoodWineFest.com.

To view a gallery of festival events, visit PalmBeachPost.com.

Four-chef Buccan collaboration kicks off Palm Beach food festival

Chefs Gavin Kaysen, George Mendes and Hugh Acheson joined Clay Conley at Buccan for the opening meal at the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival. (Carlos Frías/The Palm Beach Post)
Chefs Gavin Kaysen, George Mendes and Hugh Acheson joined Clay Conley at Buccan for the opening meal at the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival. (Carlos Frías/The Palm Beach Post)

Four key ingredients made for a spectacular opening night to the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival: the chefs.

Buccan, the home turf of the county’s own two-time James Beard Award nominee Clay Conley, hosted a family-style meal with star power: Southern food savant and James Beard cookbook award winner Hugh Acheson, Gavin Kaysen (two-time James Beard finalist) and Michelin-star-rated George Mendes.

Conley slow roasted wagyu short ribs for 24 hours and served it with mushroom and a spicy gochujang sauce in a lettuce wrap. (Carlos Frías/The Palm Beach Post)
Conley slow roasted wagyu short ribs for 24 hours and served it with mushroom and a spicy gochujang sauce in a lettuce wrap. (Carlos Frías/The Palm Beach Post)

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Each cooked two dishes — actually stood in Conley’s kitchen and prepared the meals — for 140 guests smart enough to snap up the tickets to this event. That intimacy is what sets this festival apart from the South Beach Wine and Food Festival which draws thousands.

“Some of the festivals are so huge, they’re over the top,” said Acheson, a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef. “Here, you can really spend time with people.”