Sunday Night at the Chef Fights

When the desert’s top chefs battle in Rancho Mirage, foodies win the bounty



PHOTOGRAPHY BY JON EDWARDS

Popular desert chefs duke it out in an exciting culinary competition that debuted in January. The inaugural Sunday Night Chef Fights event at Standards of Excellence Kitchen and Bath Showroom in Rancho Mirage pitted Andrew Copley, owner and executive chef of Copley’s on Palm Canyon, against Matt Smith, executive chef of 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro in Palm Desert.

The brainchild of Chris Kern, creator and founder of Forgotten Grapes, Sunday Night Chef Fights features a fun series of live chef competitions here and elsewhere in Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Orange counties. As master of ceremonies, he interacts with the chefs as they work, adding color commentary and impromptu interviews with questions from the audience.

“[Chefs Copley and Smith] did an outstanding job; and we enjoyed all of the food and the multiple wines provided by host Chris Kern, who brought professionalism and humor to the event,” says John Glenn, a Copley’s customer since the restaurant’s inception who attended the first chef fight. “We were so delighted that we have invited 14 friends to join us in the first row at the April 10 event.”

The fights test the chefs’ creativity and ability to cook against the clock and to present tasty, beautiful creations for an audience of  food lovers and even a few critics. One week before the fight date, the two chefs meet to draw three mandatory ingredients — one protein/meat, one vegetable, and one grain/starch, plus a mystery ingredient they must include in their presentation as they are video-taped for www.sundaynightcheffights.com.

Each chef receives $350 to buy the ingredients and one week to plan and prep ingredients for the fight. They may prepare a single dish or multiple dishes, as long as all base ingredients are represented; but they must prepare enough of each dish to feed approximately 60 attendees. On the night of the event, each chef and a sous chef of his or her choosing have only 30 minutes to cook, finish, and plate their dishes while Kern’s play-by-play reveals the chefs’ style and technique.

Each bout includes an undercard, Vini Vidi Vici, a blind testing of three wines. Audience jurors receive 2-ounce pourings and learn a little about each wine as the night progresses, but not the varietal or producer until the results are tallied for the chefs. Jurors may purchase their favorite wine at the venue to take home.

Copley, who won the first-round trophy in a split decision, will defend his title on April 10 against challenger Aaron Kiefer of East Meets West Catering. A winning chef must triumph three consecutive fights to retain the trophy and gain the title of Top Chef in the Coachella Valley.

If you’re a food lover, burgeoning or experienced gourmet, or looking for fun on a Sunday night, this event serves up great food, chefs’ tips you cantry at home, and culinary rivalry. For information or reservations, visit www.sundaynightcheffights.com and www.forgottengrapes.com

Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do not use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at tmay@palmspringslife.com and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Palm Springs Life
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Babe's Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse Earns National Ranking

Babe's Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse in Rancho Mirage serves one of the top-10 ranked Belgium pale ales in the country, according to Beerinfo.com.

10 Places to Dine on New Year's Eve in Greater Palm Springs

If you are still looking for a place to usher in 2015, whether it's simply a nice meal out or a complete package of food, drinks and entertainment, check out these options in the Greater Palm Springs area.

Cheers to the Holidays at TRIO Palm Springs

Spend the holidays with family and friends at TRIO and leave the cooking to someone else. TRIO will be open regular hours both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, plus offering celebratory specials for New Year’s Eve.

Warm Up With A Taste of Summer

If your lips pucker at the thought of sipping traditionally bitter grapefruit juice, fear not: This Ruth’s Chris Steak House recipe calls for a delicate, semisweet surprise of ruby red that will lure you over to the pink side.

The Purple Palm Takes "Pride" in Crafted Cocktails

Palm Springs takes pride in many things, and with the approach of Pride Weekend, cocktails will be at the heart of the many parties and events.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2015.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Enter for a Chance to Win a Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert 2015 Grand Experience
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.