Meet the Burger Battle V Judges


JudgewhiteFor our 5th year, we decided to bring a new judging team together headed by two dynamic sisters who own and operate their own catering company and local cafe. We then added three award winning Chefs and a food industry CEO, whose team won back to back Fan Favorite Trophy’s at this very Battle.  These six judges represent ten of South Florida’s best dining establishments.

Executive Chef Paula DaSilva states “A good burger requires the right garnishes and flavors. It’s not as simple as it seems“. Our judges look forward to trying all the different ideas our contenders come up with for the Burger Battle’s Best Burger Bite! Riverwalk Burger Battle V attendees get to sample slider size burger from all sixteen competitors, and so do our judges. The Burger Battle culminates in the awarding the coveted hand-crafted Burger Battle Trophy.

Jonny Altobell

Owner/Chef 11th Street Annex

Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University

Broward College in Catering, Supervisory Development and Human Resources

JonnyMRA_9071We offer Crab and Veggie Burgers (Oven Roasted of course) but getting to taste the great burgers available in our area will be a great honor. Co-owner of 11th Street Annex and Ala Carte Catering, Ms. Altobell has over 18 years experience in the food service industry. With her Sister, Penny Sanfilippo they also provide school lunch programs for Lutheran Schools.   Ms. Altobell spent over 20 years in the construction industry coordinating, purchasing, set-up of kitchens and kitchen equipment for industrial and private facilities. Education includes a Degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University and Broward College in Catering, Supervisory Development and Human Resources.

Penny Sanfilippo

Owner/Chef 11th Street Annex

Johnson and Wales graduate in the Culinary Arts

Lectures on culinary topics and gives cooking classes in the tri-county area

PennyMRA_9067Penny Sanfilippo, co-sister owner of 11th Street Annex is a daughter of “foodies”  (before there was such a term). Imagine Mom making egg rolls at home in 1960’s Detroit. After attending the University of Michigan life took her into business – first assuming Dad’s Orthopedic shoe practice (1976)  – then into catering in 1980. Her move to Florida in 1990 rejoined the sisters where they did private catering until 1996  after  graduation from Johnson and Wales (Culinary Arts) put them into their present  kitchen location in Fort Lauderdale. In 2002 14 SW 11th Street became vacant and the Annex began. Penny lectures on culinary topics and gives cooking classes in the tri-county area.

Paula DaSilva

3030 Ocean, Executive Chef

The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale graduate

PaulaDaSilvaK4S6470Paula demonstrates a remarkable talent for executing imaginative, farm-to-fork dishes that highlight the flavors and freshness of South Florida’s local ingredients. After beginning her culinary career at 3030 Ocean in 2000, the Brazil native has returned to where it all started—bringing with her a diverse culinary vitae and her signature soulful cooking style. She appeared on season five of the popular FOX reality cooking show Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay. She was named “Best Celebrity Chef” in the Broward/Palm Beach New Times 2009 Best Of issue. Later that year DaSilva was honored as one of Broward County’s “40 Under 40” by Gold Coast magazine. She is a Chef Liaison for the successful JA World Uncorked! Culinary event benefiting Junior Achievement of South Florida.

Chef George Patti

Owner/Chef at SALT Fusion Cuisine & Caña Lounge

Chef/Owner at Tasters Taco Emporium

Chef/Owner at MEAT Eatery and Taproom

Johnson & Whales culinary graduate

MEAT-George Patti-001Chef George Patti’s restaurants have been featured in USA Today Travel 10, Travel + Leisure, Tasting Table, Social Florida Guide and Florida Travel and Life. In the past five years he has won local awards for Best Chef (three times in the Keys)and a South Florida Burgie Award by Burger Beast). He won Best Overall Restaurant (Tasters Grille), Soups (twice),Desserts (twice), Burgers (twice) and three years in a row for his Smoked Fish Dip. Chef Patti has been written up in Bon Appetite Magazine for his grilled filet mignon with chocolate port wine sauce and tempura battered bok choy and as Executive Chef and partner at Sweet Sop Restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale, in 2003 was given glowing reviews in the Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald, and televised on the national TV show, Finer Living, preparing his signature dish, pan-seared scallops with sweet potato rum sauce and roasted scotch bonnet.

Marc Falsetto

CEO/Founder JEY Hospitality Group: Himmarshee Public House

ROK:BRGR burger bar + gastropub in South Miami & Fort Lauderdale

2x Riverwalk Burger Battle Fan Favorite trophy winner!

20140318_marc_011-001Co-Founder, Marc Falsetto is a hospitality expert with over 20 years of experience. Graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in finance with a specialization in real estate. Falsetto specializes in business operations, management and training, menu development and venue layout and design. Falsetto was recently nominated for “Entrepreneur of the Year” from the South Florida Business Journal, “Top 40 under 40” as well as “Up & Comer of the Year” in the hospitality field. His attention to detail and passion for the business truly separates him from anyone else in the industry.

Chris Miracolo

S3, Executive

CMS3Chef Chris Miracolo has been around the South Florida restaurant scene for quite some time now. His history with The Restaurant People (TRP) dates back to 1995 when he worked at Mark’s Las Olas with TRP co-founders Tim Petrillo and Chef Peter Boulukos, with whom he credits as being his mentor. Having been bitten by the culinary bug early in life, Miracolo knew by the age of 20 that he wanted to make cooking his life. After foregoing culinary school to spend time under the tutelage of South Florida premier chefs such as Mark Militello, Norman Van Aken and Boulukos, Miracolo met Dennis Max and Chef Patrick Broadhead of Max’s Grille and helped them open Max’s Place in Bal Harbour as Executive Sous Chef in 2000. He then ventured west to Dallas to work at The Mansion on Turtle Creek under Dean Fearing, and Abacus under Kent Rathbun before moving to Denver, Colorado to open Rhapsody at Clear Creek in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Upon his return to South Florida in 2005, he rejoined the Max’s family and worked at Max’s Grille as Executive Sous Chef until 2009 when he left to head up Himmarshee Bar & Grille in Fort Lauderdale. Prior to working as Executive Chef at S3, his most recent post as Executive Chef at Delray Beach’s Max’s Harvest garnered critical acclaim.