Chefs Phil Knoke and Don Schoenburg to Cook for Culinary Supremacy
Live Head-to-Head Cooking Competition
Sunday, September 19th at Standards of Excellence in Huntington Beach

Two esteemed local chefs will sharpen their knives and step into the culinary ring to determine just who is Orange County’s “Top Chef,” as presents the inaugural Orange County Sunday Night Chef Fight cooking competition live Sunday September 19th at 6:00 p.m. at the Standards of Excellence Kitchen Showroom in Huntington Beach.
Chef Phil Knoke, former drummer in numerous O.C. punk bands and current chef/owner of SteerCrazy International BBQ & Grill in Capistrano Beach, will face the heat and face off against his opponent, former Patina Group executive chef and current chef/owner of The Lido Deck in Newport Beach Chef Don Schoenburg, in this high-stakes live cooking competition where the live audience gets to serve as judge, jury, and taste-cutioner.
Each Sunday Night Chef Fight is a fast-paced, no-holds-barred culinary showdown similar to popular cooking competitions on TV, but with a few extra twists thrown in to entertain and switch things up. Before each event, the chefs are given three base ingredients – a protein, vegetable, and starch/grain – that must be 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 their dishes as well as incorporate a “mystery ingredient” into the mix, while host Chris Kern peppers each chef with questions and comments keeps the audience apprised and entertained as to what’s going on behind the stove. The audience rates each chef’s creations in three categories, the totals are tallied, and at the end of the night one chef will be crowned the winner, receive the coveted 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, to be held in early December.
“A Sunday Night Chef Fight is the ultimate challenge for any outstanding chef,” notes Chris Kern, founder of, creator of Sunday Night Chef Fights, and host of the event. “Not only are the chefs testing their culinary creativity and ability to work against the clock and against each other, but they’ve now got sixty local gourmets, foodies, and self-appointed food critics judging their creations.”
Each Sunday Night Chef Fight will also include as an “undercard” bout Vino Vidi Vici, a blind wine tasting competition in which all audience members taste three themed but unlabeled wines, select a favorite, and then have the opportunity to purchase either the winner or the wines they liked best. Limited information about each bottle will be revealed over the course of the Chef Fight and the winning (and losing) wines will be unveiled before the Champion Chef is crowned.
Tickets are currently on sale online at for the inaugural Orange County Sunday Night Chef Fight starting at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 19th at the Standards of Excellence Kitchen Showroom in Huntington Beach, 16001 Gothard Street on the corner of Gothard and Edinger. General Seating tickets are $50 per person, which includes the 2-hour competition, samples of both chef’s culinary creations, and one pour of each Vino Vidi Vici wine. For more information on Sunday Night Chef Fights, visit or e-mail
Check back soon for your chance to win a pair of tickets to the event!
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