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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

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The Good Ones hosted their final chef battle on Sunday afternoon at Tico. Because Tico is closed on Sundays, we had the whole space – including the outdoor patio – to ourselves!

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Guests were invited to participate in the Eat. Play. Love theme and dress in red, purple and yellow. The event was a modern take on Machiavelli and raised awareness for Cape Ann Fresh Catch, a program that was created by the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association to promote local, sustainable seafood in order to benefit the local economy, the environment, and the overall health of our community.

Good Ones Tico 6Tico provided light bites while guests were waiting for the chefs to go into battle.

Good Ones Tico 7 While guests grazed on appetizers they also sipped on custom cocktails mixed up by Greg Neises. bartender at Tico.

Good Ones Tico 8Tico’s take on the corn dog.

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Good Ones Co Founder, Jennifer Brooke in an amazing hand made outfit and Good One Tau Zaman.

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Nancy Kwan sits for a caricature by Mark Penta.

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Graham Wright, Founder of Opus Affair getting his caricature.

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Eric Kramer of B&L Associates.

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The afternoon had a great turn out – lots of new faces alongside some familiar ones.

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Guests were treated to some amazing entertainment for the afternoon. Not only was Julian Sayles of Team Sayles Music and Lighting throwing down old school beats but there was also a live interactive show!

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Two hip hop hula hoopers performed for guests – amazing!

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Good One Tau Zaman getting in on some hula hoop action – there was even a hula hoop off between Tau and fellow Good One Tom Severo.

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Guests were tentative to join, but once they did, they had a great time!

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Graham Wright showing off his skills.

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Good One Kimberly Giardino having fun with the hula hoops.

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Jennifer Brooke, Co Founder of the Good Ones, showed off her natural athleticism – she was nothing short of impressive.

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(Left to right) Nancy Kwan, Melyssa Cantor, model Drea Elizabeth, Jimmy Guzman – founder of JNG Design, Elena Kollarova -Miss Bulgarka in the US and Nicole Solano – Account Executive at Trip Advisor.

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Model Drea Elizabeth wearing a dress designed by Carlos Villami of Zero Waste Fashion. Headpiece by Jimmy Guzman of JNG Design, make up and hair by Kashmir of Viselli Santoro Salon.

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Model and Miss Bulgarka in the USA, Elena Kollarova adding on accessories by Heloisa Fitzgerald. Dress by Carlos Villami of Zero Waste Fashion. Headpiece by Jimmy Guzman of JNG Design, make up and hair by Kashmir of Viselli Santoro Salon.

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The bracelet featured here is dynamic and can be worn as a brooch or as a necklace.

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Earrings, bracelet and ring by Heloisa Fitzgerald. Dress by Carlos Villami of Zero Waste Fashion. Headpiece by Jimmy Guzman of JNG Design, make up and hair by Kashmir of Viselli Santoro Salon.

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Just stunning.

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Zero-waste fashion refers to items of clothing that generate little or no textile waste in their production.

Good Ones Tico 36Elena (right) and Drea (left) with designer Carlos Villami.

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Whole Foods was a sponsor of this chef battle. Each chef was given $150 to shop for ingredients for the dishes they would prepare later that afternoon. Chefs were asked to bring the Machiavelli theme into their dishes, whether is be the original or Tupac, who was once known as “Makaveli”.

Ben Harwood, Sous Chef at Tico was the challenger for the afternoon. Following four years of service with the Air Force as an intelligence analyst, Ben worked the line at Farmshop (owned by Thomas Keller’s sous chef of 15 years, Jeff Cerciello) in Santa Monica, CA, while attending Le Cordon Blue.  Ben later  returned to the East Coast as Executive Chef of Pickity Place in Mason, NH.

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The first course from chef Harwood. The hazelnuts and figs were lovely – I dig the seasonality of this dish.

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First course from the reigning champion Brendan Burke, Sous Chef at Bastille Kitchen. I loved this dish. Stracciatella crostini, confit cherry tomatoes, shaved asparagus, pesto hollandaise, black salt. The black salt was such a nice touch and and I loved the shaved asparagus.

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Chef Burke’s sous chef for the afternoon, Tico Hunyh, Sous Chef at Bastille Kitchen.

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Second course from Chef Burke. This dish was a winner to me. The flavor of the seafood really shined – it just screamed summer to me. Blini with seared lobster- seafood sausage, apricot gastrique, chive sabayon, balsamic “caviar. The apricot gastrique was really quite lovely.

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Second course from Chef Harwood. The arancini was tasty, paired with mushrooms and pickled cherries (which were the star of the dish for me). Chef Harwood said that this dish was inspired by Tupac, the cherries were inspired by the lyrics “the darker the berry the sweeter the juice”.

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Chef Harwood preparing the third course.

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Third course from Chef Harwood. The poached egg on top of the hash was perfect.

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Chef Burke prepping his third course. Chef Burke is the reigning champion. For three years, Chef Brendan Burke lived it up, cooking and snowboarding at a Mammoth Mountain resort in his Native Cali. That is, until he split from the small town to make a name for himself in Boston. After filling the role of executive chef at Kevin Long and Big Night Entertainment Group’s Gem Restaurant and Lounge, Burke recently took his culinary accomplishments to the next level by snagging the sous chef position at Seth Greenberg’s Bastille Kitchen.

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Third course by Chef Burke. A taza chocolate and mascarpone tortollini with salted espresso whipped cream garnished with nutmeg. Heavenly. I could have eaten 5 of these.

At the end of the night, after 6 judges deliberated…Chef Burke was the winner! Congrats chef!

Good Ones events are by invite only. To request a membership, check out their website: or email Carolyn at

If you missed the event but want to try either of the chef’s delicious food, you can visit them at their respective restaurants:

Ben Harwood


222 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA

Brendan Burke

Bastille Kitchen

49 Melcher Street, Boston, MA

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