Chefs Nationwide Compete In Unprecedented Remote Cooking Tournament

Foodbeast Twitch will be hosting what might be the first-ever nationwide competitive cooking competition that viewers can control the outcome LIVE and in realtime. During this Bleed Purple tournament, each chef will be teamed up with a partner that will help them develop their recipes for the upcoming matchups.

Imagine a competitive cooking competition where any chef can compete from their home kitchens. With everyone staying in these days, getting our sports fix is limited to highlight reels or video games. What if, however, there was a real-time tournament where not only you can cheer on your favorite chef, but you can actively sabotage their competition live?!

For those unfamiliar with the Foodbeast Kitchen League, it’s a competitive cooking series on Foodbeast’s Twitch channel that pits two chefs against one another. While they cook, audience members can donate Twitch currency “BITS” to sabotage competing chefs with things like having to cook one-handed, being blindfolded, taking away their knife, or having to wear oven mitts for a period of time. Regardless of how many sabotages come their way, the chefs always manage to produce some of the coolest dishes we’ve seen and tasted.

There will be ways to support your favorite chefs during the stream too, with options such as sabotage protection, clearing sabotages, and revealing dreaded secret ingredients early in the competition.

As the chefs cook, their partners are tasked with guiding them through their sabotages as well as answering host questions to earn Swagger points that lend to the judges’ final deliberation.

For the first time, Kitchen League will be done in complete Squad Stream format, with chefs and their partners participating remotely across the country.

The winner of the entire tournament will be presented the Foodbeast Kitchen League Championship Belt on stream. Additionally, there will be a charity-based reward for all four teams, with bits contributed by your audience (to sabotage opposing teams) going to restaurants or charitable organizations that your team chooses. The overall winner will have $500 added to that cumulative total.


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Competitors for the Bleed Purple tournament include:

We’re pumped to see how this all plays out. You can learn more on our Foodbeast Kitchen League site and be sure to tune in 2pm-5pm next Monday, April 27, on Twitch.TV/Foodbeast for the first competition. The second round continues 2pm-5pm Tuesday, April 28, with the final round to determine the champion concludes 2pm-5pm Thursday April 30.

Film/Television FOODBEAST Restaurants The Katchup

Netflix’s ‘Final Table’ Winner Says Culinary School Doesn’t Matter

For those of you addicted to Netflix’s cooking competition series, The Final Table, the show pairs chefs from around the world together to take on national dishes to be judged by a panel of pop culture icons and culinary authorities. Those inspired to sign up for culinary school after binging this series, may want to give your wallet a beat first. You may not need culinary school to be a lauded chef, at least according to the winner of The Final Table.

For those of you who haven’t finished the series, maybe come back to this piece after, for spoilers on the winner are soon to come.

You’ve been warned.


Winner of the first season of The Final Table, chef Tim Hollingsworth, appeared on The Katchup Podcast and spoke about his career and participating on the competitive cooking series.

During the episode, co-host Geoffrey Kutnick asked Chef Hollingsworth his opinion on culinary school and whether or not the resumes he receives from prospective chefs list culinary school on them matter during the hiring process.

“It does not matter to me at all,” Hollingsworth states. “At all. Period.”

“Nothing against culinary school, but I think people learn differently,” he explains. “I’m not going to sit here and say people shouldn’t go to culinary school. If you need that structure and that curriculum, then you should go to culinary school.”

Years back, Hollingsworth moved to New York to taste the experience of taking culinary courses, which he abruptly left.

“Going back, would I go to culinary school again? I would not,” he divulged. “There’s no way.”

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

The award-winning chef has no regrets about leaving culinary school behind.

He began his culinary career in his teens as a dishwasher, calling chefs and restaurants nonstop until he got his foot in the door. Hollingsworth worked at The French Laundry for 13 years where he held the title of Chef de Cuisine for four years under the acclaimed Thomas Keller.

The Final Table champion is now chef and owner of Downtown Los Angeles’ all-day restaurant Otium, and The Fields LA spots C.J. Boyd’s and Free Play.

“I’m happy I didn’t go to culinary school, I’m happy I didn’t have the debt from going to culinary school, but the one thing I wish I would have done was gone to business school,” Hollingsworth reflected. “I think that would have been helpful ’cause that part of the restaurant now, is a lot of what I do. Ultimately, if I had gone to school for that, I would be a lot more prepared now.”

Hollingsworth isn’t the only chef to feel there’s utility to enrolling in business school. Prolific chef Wolfgang Puck studied at Harvard Business School at 68 years old, where he learned negotiation skills and marketing.

Chef Hollingsworth’s views on culinary school is a breath of fresh air for those trying to make a name for themselves in the culinary world, but hoping to dodge the massive debt it could amass.

You can check out his entire interview, along with what it was like starring in Netflix’s The Final Table on The Katchup Podcast.


[ADVENTURE] Judging the San Pellegrino ‘Almost Famous Chef’ Cooking Competition

If you’ve never had to judge a cooking competition in Los Angeles, here’s what you need to know: Give yourself at least three hours to get there. Remember to take pictures of each of the dishes and of each of the chefs. Above all, don’t do it when you’re sick. You can’t avoid it if your boss says you’re filling in as a last-minute replacement when you’re already on your way to the event, but trust me, it’ll be tough. The lights will be much too bright and the booze will be much too strong, and worst of all, you won’t be able to taste anything half as well as you’d like to.

At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

Last week, Geoff and I got the chance to judge the West Regional for the San Pellegrino 2013  ‘Almost Famous Chef’ cooking competition, held February 13 at the Art Institute in Hollywood. Eight aspiring chefs from culinary schools all over the western United States competed for a chance to move on to the final competition in March in Napa Valley, Calif., where they will compete for up to $22,000 in prize money, a one-year paid apprenticeship with a celebrity chef and a chance to recreate their winning dish during an extensive media tour.

The results, of course, were phenomenal. Check out just a few of our favorite photos from the night below:



To start, each chef was given a staggered time frame to prepare their signature dishes, depending on the order they would be presented to the judging panel over the course of night. Though the judging portion didn’t start until 7, some chefs set to work in the kitchen as early as 4 p.m., and by the end of the night, one chef even had the entire kitchen to herself.










Facing a panel of judges made up of top chefs and media personalities, each competitor had the chance to present his or her signature dish, which was then followed by a brief Q&A session to help judges determine the chef’s culinary acumen, confidence and personability. Here are some of our favorite dishes:

2013 West Regional Winner — Chipotle Beer Braised Pork Belly on Blue Corn Mash with Pomegranate Reduction Sauce by Airam Villegas Gonzalez, Le Cordon Bleu Los Angeles




Chicken Adobo by Hannah Cambronero – Le Cordon Bleu Seattle




People’s Choice – Seafood Dashi of Oregon by Davey Rabinowitz, Western Culinary Institute



Pacific Tuna Trio by Anita Allen, San Diego Culinary Institute




Of course, each chef was remarkably talented and undeniably driven, which showed in both their dishes and their presentations. Congratulations to Airam and good luck to everyone competing at finals in March.