On the inaugural episode of Food Network’s “Beachside Brawl” on Sunday night, some of the nation’s top chefs competed to answer the question of which coast is better summer cuisine: East versus West.
One face might have looked familiar during the show’s debut, as Grand Marlin leader Edward Lordman occupied one of the six-week series’ coveted East Coast spots. The chefs compete for a getaway to a beach house of their choice, anywhere in the world, for up to $25,000 and the title of “Best of the Beach”.
In a slow motion, Lordman was introduced by East Coast team captain and professional chef Tiffani Faison who explained why he was chosen for the series.
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“Next we have Ed: Culinary Assassin,” Faison said on Lordman’s show. “Our guy from Pensacola. So kind of like Flora-Bama. So beach vibe, but Southern soul.”
In the show’s first challenge, titled “Boardwalk Bites,” the chefs were tasked with creating next-level versions of traditional Redondo Pier live boardwalk fare in Redondo Beach, California.
The chefs were tasked with giving their take on beloved boardwalk flavors, like corn dogs, fries and ice cream, and working with their team to put together an elevated boardwalk menu. Each dish was not only tasted by the judges, but 50 random people passed by the pier.
Dishes were divided into five categories with a chef tackling each, including fried, sweet, cheese, in a bun and on a stick. Even if the tasks were divided, the chefs were instructed to bring the flavors together.
“The entire menu should be cohesive and, more importantly, should represent your coast,” said Beachside Brawl host Antonia Lofaso.
Lordman was quick to claim the “sweet” category, making his own version of Florida’s signature dessert, key lime pie. But he served it deconstructed.
“What I do is I start at the bottom with a bit of graham cracker crumbs. Then, instead of a traditional custard, I’m going to have lime mascarpone, sugar, cream thick, I’ll make a nice, quick whipped mousse,” Lordman explained as he prepared the dish.
The judges praised Lordman for his dessert, but questioned whether the dish was too sophisticated for the challenge.
“For me, it put a new spin on a really good old-fashioned classic,” said guest judge and “Carnival Eats” host Noah Cappe.
“The flavors are phenomenal. Is it a little too precious for the walk? Probably,” Lofaso added.
In the end, the west coast team won the round, leaving an east coast chef threatened with elimination and forced to cook for survival. Although Lordman was on the losing team, his flat guaranteed his safety and advancement to the next round.
Lordman explained how much winning the show would mean to him.
“I’m not leaving the east coast. Not only have I never been to the west coast, this is my first time flying,” Lordman said on the show. “So to win a dream vacation in a place I’ve always wanted to visit is just the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Tune in at 9 p.m. Sunday on the Food Network or Discovery+ to see if Lordman moves forward.