The Black Pearl Vs. Jo’s American Bistro (Video)

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Two of Newport, RI’s best chefs go head-to-head in the first week of Battle Chefs Semifinals at The Revolving Door Restaurant.

The culinary competition that is Battle Chefs is really heating up and there’s been some real talent on display. We’ve entered the semi-finals, which means that each competitor has already won their first round. In this fight, is was The Black Pearl‘s Dan Knerr against Jo’s American Bistro‘s Brian Ruffner. Thus far, we’ve noticed a few trends.

“Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.”

Well, maybe not always, but usually. As the competition is about to start, Chef Brian Ruffner jokes that he and Chef Dan Knerr have a century of experience between them. When MC Kevin Gaudreau asks mixologist Jason Kindness what drink he’s concocting for a member of the audience, Jason tells him “An Old-Fashioned” and Kevin responds “That’s the theme of the night.”

Given the format of the competition, it kind of makes sense. While more youthful chefs may be more willing to experiment with rare or unusual ingredients, at Battle Chefs, the ingredients are ALL rare or unusual. Most of the time, the chefs are cooking stuff they’ve never tasted before, which means the guy who has cooked the most foods overall has the edge, if only because they’re dealing with a smaller unknown.

“What’s the most you ever lost on a coin toss?”

The coin toss to determine which cooking stations the chefs will use is considered by many of the chefs who have gone through the competition to be the biggest factor when it comes to winning. It helps, because if a chef takes the center station, they save themselves a lot of walking (or running), which helps when there’s only 30 minutes on the clock.

That said, winning the coin toss has a proven track record, but it’s never been enough to guarantee success.

“WTF is that?!?!”

When it comes to surprise ingredients, Albert Bouchard really has a sadistic side. We missed the first season of Battle Chefs, so we’re not sure which ingredients were used then, but like interest, the bizarreness of the ingredients has been compounding ever since. This round was no exception, as when they were revealed, we had no idea what exactly we were looking at. We actually had to look them up afterwards.

Get your tickets now!

Battle Chefs is the best show happening in Newport on a Tuesday at 8pm. There are only two rounds left.

December 15 – James “Mitch” Mitchell (Midtown Oyster Bar) vs. Marcellus Coleman (Chopped Champion)

December 29 – The Final Round!

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Battle Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?