Super Bowl Bites Winner Crowned

The Malibu Times Super Bowl Bites judges, Kristy’s owner Greg Bashant and “MasterChef” finalist Leslie Gilliams, begin to sample the finalists’ appetizers on Saturday afternoon.

On the eve of America’s biggest sporting event, a group of Malibu locals gathered at Kristy’s Malibu for the first annual Super Bowl Bites competition, a showdown that tested taste buds and kitchen prowess. 

And by the end of Saturday afternoon, Julie Leipzig was named the contest winner for her “Cheese, Mushroom and Onion Bites” recipe, taking home the first annual title awarded by The Malibu Times in conjunction with “Master Chef” alum Leslie Gilliams and Kristy’s Malibu restaurant. 

Gilliams and Kristy’s Malibu owner Greg Bashant served as judges for each of the four final dishes, which also included “Spinach Balls” prepared by Dorothy Reinhold, “Pacific View Guacamole” prepared by Scott Tallal and “Fantastic Fluffy Football Fries” prepared by Gio Torre. 

Bashant praised contestants’ submissions and said Malibu has always been a big hub for homemade food.

“Everybody in Malibu’s got a large amount of creativity, food being one of those creativities,” he said. “A lot of people are home cooks or home chefs.”

Before tasting began, attendees mingled on the Kristy’s patio overlooking Zuma Beach while enjoying drinks, hors d’oeuvres and flatbread pizzas. Gilliams was flanked by Master Chef fans and other locals during the event, many of whom enjoyed hearing about his time on the show, and what it was like to work with Gordon Ramsay.

Leipzig’s family and friends, including her mother Elinor, were on hand to see her win a batch of prizes, including gift certificates for Kristy’s, Duke’s Restaurant and Victory Furniture. The three runners-up also received gift baskets and gift certificates for Kristy’s. 

The Malibu Times would like to extend its gratitude to Greg and Kristy Bashant, along with the wonderful staff at Kristy’s Malibu, Leslie Gilliams, Paula Hart and everyone else who pitched in to help make the event a success. Here’s to many more years of Super Bowl Bites!