Philly foodies’ cheesesteaks fail on ‘Beat the Chefs’

Posted: September 08, 2012

If hometown spirit counted in the scoring, a trio of regular Philly folk would have won $25,000 on Beat the Chefs Thursday night.

They wore Phillies uniforms, made cheesesteaks their chowdown-showdown challenge, brought Amoroso rolls and bottles of Yards Brawler, and whooped it up appropriately, despite a not-so-laidback Los Angeles chef snarling about Philly being so angry.

Alas, at the end of the Game Show Network program, taped in L.A. in July, the judges shot down the efforts of beer-industry consultant Michael Pearlman, his fiancee, designer Stephanie Singer, and food-cart novice Joe Hardy.

The beer-batter-fried pearl-onion poppers were a little undercooked and the thinly sliced rib-eye was a little tough, a judge summed up, so the vote favored the team of three chefs, whose cheese-saturated sandwich included portabella mushrooms and was accompanied by onion rings and pickled veggies, including radishes and "haricots verts."

That's French, not South Philly, for green beans.

Sigh.

"A cheesesteak is blue collar," said Singer, adding the winning chefs intentionally targeted the judges' high-class tastes.

Officially, no sympathy points for her, either. Singer scorched a hand a with hot cheese plating a sandwich - all caught on slo-mo instant replay, of course.

"We were competitive," she said. "That's in our Philly DNA. It came down to the final seconds but we finished and were proud of our effort."

The locals got $1,000 worth of cookware and compliments. "You guys were a lot of fun," admitted lead chef Beau McMillan, a Red Sox fan from Arizona.

Three women from New Orleans did win on the second segment of Thursday's show, though, for their Pepper Jelly Glazed Pork Belly and Smoked Sweet Potato Grits.

The show promised that recipes would be online, but a morning check of www.gsn.com found its Beat the Chef pages out of date.


Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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