Chef Throwdown 2: Portillo vs. Tzorin

July 2016 - Chef Throwdown is a high-energy live cooking competition showcasing the hottest culinary talents in Southern California. Founded by David Fuerte, CEO of Made For Chefs and former chef of University of Southern California, Fuerte’s dream was to create an environment that celebrated his and his colleagues’ artistic visions without limitations.  As a result, Chef Throwdown was born and has become the ultimate culinary playground for chefs – encouraging chefs to push the boundaries and experiment with out-of-box, unconventional cooking methods.

Last month in Whittier, a suburb of Los Angeles, Made For Chefs hosted their second Chef Throwdown at The Knotted Apron. Chefs Denise Portillo of Forkin Good Cafe and Chris Tzorin (who recently appeared on the Food Network), were the featured competitors. Chef Aaron Williams of US FoodsFood Fanatics was the event emcee.

The chefs were tasked with cooking for a live audience and preparing two courses each from start to finish.  The winner was determined by whoever had the most votes cast by the audience.  Portillo and Tzorin had a pantry full of fresh ingredients and kitchen tools, generously provided by US Foods, Solo Foods Inc., PolyScience, and Additional food and beverages were supplied byWhittier Coffee RoastersAunties BakeryRobert Hall Winery, and Michebomb. After over 3 hours of cooking and tasting, Chef Denise Portillo was named champion of Made For Chefs’ Chef Throwdown. Her menu listed below:

First Course:

Parmesan Cream Risotto, grilled prime rib, spicy butter compound
& grilled tricolored carrots with a spiced balsamic reduction

Second Course:

Agua Chile, citrus marinade with shrimp and avocado

To reserve tickets for the next Chef Throwdown scheduled for Sunday, July 17, 2016, visit our events page.  Rahm Fama of the Food Network will be the event emcee and Chef Mikery Hatfield and Chef Ben Diaz are confirmed as contestants.

Special thanks to Tilit Chef GoodsAura Knifeworks, and Chef Spoons for sponsoring the uniforms and prizes for Chef Throwdown. Photography by Rob Forsythe and Rick Caldera.

Chef Throwdown 1: Lessin vs. Que

December 6, 2015 – Made For Chefs, a Los Angeles based company, hosted their inaugural Chef Throwdown culinary battle at The Knotted Apron in Whittier, Calif. earlier this month.  The evening kicked off at 5pm with Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games alum, Chef Chris Tzorin as emcee.  Tzorin introduced the competing chefs Saul Que of Estrella Sunset in West Hollywood and David Lessin of Four Bricks Restaurant in Whittier to a live audience.  Chef Throwdown champions are determined by majority votes cast by the audience who are able to taste and watch the chefs prepare the food from start to finish.  Ticket prices started at $65 (includes food and adult beverages) and sold online at

Executive Chef David Lessin, formerly of Jose Andre’s The Bazaar in Beverly Hills, promised a good fight against TrueCooks star ambassador Saul Que.  The two chefs were given fresh octopus, whole pigs, and sea urchins to name a few of the exciting ingredients from the secret basket.  Ingredients were provided by Solo Foods Inc, Urban Produce, Espices de la Vie, and O Olive Oil.  In the end, chef Saul Que of Estrella Sunset was named champion of Chef Throwdown by majority votes.  Que took home the coveted Chakra knife, handcrafted by Los Angeles based cutlery company Aura Knifeworks.  Following after the competition, Chef Throwdown guests were invited over to Chef Lessin's restaurant, Four Bricks, for an after-party from 9-11pm.  Lessin offered even more food - preparing complimentary bites as well as cocktails for the guests.

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