Culinary Fight Club Has Gone from Industry Secret to National Sensation

The first rule of Culinary Fight Club is: You talk about Culinary Fight Club

The second rule of Culinary Fight Club is: You talk about Culinary Fight Club.

Third rule: The fight is over when it's over (race for the pantry: 45 seconds ; cook time: 60 minutes).

Fourth rule: More than two guys to a fight.

Sound kinda familiar, kinda not? Culinary Fight Club was originally hosted as a case study for research purposes. It was strictly invite only and even then, very few were in the know. In essence, it followed the same cardinal rule from the cult classic, Fight Club: You Don't Talk About Fight Club.

Two years on, Culinary Fight Club has gone from being an underground industry secret to a big deal across the country. In the last year alone, Culinary Fight Club has expanded from five cities to 17. Another big part of the draw? Anyone can come and compete. So, audiences watch live as the best of the best compete against each other as well as against home chefs. In this arena of culinary warfare, anything can happen.

Below are the details for this months face-off.


Where: The Chop Shop

When: Wednesday, March 22 at 6pm

What's cookin': PORK

Who's cookin': 

  • Chef Lance Avery, Big Fork Brands (two-time CFC champion)
  • Chef George Phelps, ChiliRocks Chili (coming to compete all the way from Cincinnati)
  • Chef Tony Balestreri, Kimski (CFC newbie, Fat Rice Alum)
  • Chef Ross Johnson, Carriage Greens Country Club (competitive chef)
  • Matthew Morin (front-of-house manager Cruz Blanca Cervecería and Leña Brava; beer director for all of Chef Rick Bayless' restaurants in Chicago)

Who's judgin':

  • Chef/Judge Michael Fiddler, Director of Culinary and Corporate Chef at Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations
  • Chef/Judge Dylan Lipe, Director of Culinary Operations at The Budlong Hot Chicken (current reigning Chicago Bacon Classic Champ)
  • Judge Alex Shebar, Yelp Chicago Community Director

 Tickets got snapped up fast - to be expected, given that the audience partakes in sampling the dishes and casting a vote. But, guess what. There are still just a couple of tickets left here. 20% of the proceeds go towards Fight2Feed.

You in?

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Filed under: Food Festivals

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