The name Kelvin Fernandez will not be forgotton anytime soon by the legendary Bobby Flay, who on his “Beat Bobby Flay” show on the Food Network, was bested by a Latino Chef, a first. This historical moment took place last night on the show’s fourth season, episode five. Chef Kelvin Fernandez, the youngest executive Chef in New York City’s fine dining scene is currently La Marina restaurant’s Executive Chef.
“The entire experience is definitely one I can cross off my bucket list,”
a satisfied Fernandez remarked.
Kelvin, a Harlem born Dominican, who has personally cooked for celebrities like 50 Cent, John Legend, Dascha Polanco, and Henry Santos, among others, does not scare easily. After defeating Japanese Chef Chris Kobayashi to open the episode and earn the right to a cooking brawl with Bobby Flay himself.
“This opportunity is one that you dream of.”
“I grew up watching and knowing him and dreaming to be in his shoes one day.”
The moment arrived, but he had to overcome a challenge from judges actor Alison Sweeney and Food Network’s Sunny Anderson. He was required to create a shiitake mushroom dish in twenty minutes. Kobayashi did it with tofu, cream sauce, and a poached egg, but Kelvin countered with a pasta with fried egg yolk.
Kelvin was able to choose a signature dish for the Bobby Flay challenge. His choice was his Arepa dish which has garnered quite a reputation. He went on to create his crispy dish along with steak, lime scented sour cream, creamy guacamole, pico de gallo, and Cotija cheese. This Latino food assault on the senses was way too much for Flay’s version which was a stuffed arepa with pork.
“I never thought I would be beating him in a kitchen battle with my signature dish that represents my Latin culture,”
Kelvin admitted afterwards.
Kelvin added another accolade to a career that saw him named one of “30 under 30” in food and wine Forbes Magazine this year. He also was a runner up on the Food Network’s “Chopped”, season 14, in 2011. He also was Executive Chef for STRAND Hotel in the Fashion District. So it was only befitting that he would celebrate at New York’s Suite 36, where Hennessey hed a “Privilege” Toast” for him. He was joined by friends and family as well as actor Dascha Polanco, artist Henry Santos, and plus-size model Denise Bidot.