Champion Chef of Orange County


With a victory at the August Orange County Sunday Night Chef Fight, James Harris claimed the coveted title of “Champion Chef of Orange County.” Now the executive chef of The Royal Hawaiian in Laguna Beach is ready for his first title defense against Challenger Chefs Paul Cao and Phi Nguyen of The Burnt Truck at the next Orange County Sunday Night Chef Fight cooking competition, happening Sunday, November 6, at 6:00 p.m. at the Standards of Excellence showroom in Huntington Beach.

Chef Harris has quite the culinary task before him as he sets out to defeat this popular duo on the OC food truck scene. The two sides will battle it out in this high-stakes live cooking competition where the local audience gets to serve as judge, jury, and taste-cutioner. Harris has combined his fine dining style with the off-the-wall personality of the Royal Hawaiian restaurant to create an outstanding island-inspired menu there. Chefs Cao and Nguyen are both UCLA grads and co-owners of the iconic Burnt Truck, where they serve gourmet sliders along with other interesting small plates to keep things new for their devoted foodie followers.

Each Sunday Night Chef Fight is a fast-paced, no-holds-barred culinary showdown similar to popular cooking competition shows on TV, but with a few extra twists thrown in. Before each event, both chefs are given three base ingredients – a protein, vegetable, and grain/starch/dairy item – that must be somehow included in their creations, a shopping allowance, and a week to plan and prep their dishes for the sixty members of the audience jury. Then, during the Sunday Night Chef Fight itself, each chef and his or her sous-chef will have only 30 minutes to cook and finish samples of each dish for the entire audience as well as incorporate a “mystery ingredient” into the mix while host Chris Kern peppers him or her with questions.

The audience then gets to sample each dish, rate each chef’s creations in three categories, and determine who will receive the Sunday Night Chef Fight trophy, the title of “Champion Chef of Orange County,” and the opportunity to defend his or her title against a new local chef challenger at the next Orange County Sunday Night Chef Fight at the Standards of Excellence showroom on March 11, 2012.

Each Sunday Night Chef Fight also includes as an “undercard” bout our Vino Vidi Vici blind wine tasting challenge, in which all audience members taste three themed but unlabeled wines, select a favorite, and then vote on the winner before the name and varietal of each bottle are revealed at the end of the Chef Fight.

Tickets for this exciting Orange County Sunday Night Chef Fight can be purchased exclusively online at The bout starts promptly at 6:00 p.m at the Standards of Excellence showroom, located at 16001 Gothard Street in Huntington Beach. General Seating tickets are $55 per person, which includes the two-hour cooking competition, samples of both chef’s creations, and one pour of each of the three Vino Vidi Vici wines.

A limited number of VIP Front Row seating are also available for $80 per person, which includes priority service, larger portions of each chef’s creations, two pours of each Vino Vidi Vici wine, and the best seats in the house. For more information on Sunday Night Chef Fights, visit or e-mail [email protected]

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