Chefs Fabio Viviani and Ray Garcia were awarded first prize at the first-ever Chase Sapphire Preferred Chef Challenge held Thursday, August 21 at the fourth-annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival. Viviani and Garcia were up against chefs Graham Elliot and Ben Ford in the live competition, which showcased their spin on street tacos and a cocktail; the winners’ mango chicharron chile relleno tacos ruled the day. The competition was held during the Ultimate Bites of L.A. walk-around tasting event, presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred.
The chefs’ designated charity, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, received a $20,000 donation, courtesy of the event’s sponsor. Graham Elliot and Ben Ford, second-place winners, were awarded $5,000 for their designated charity, Careers through Culinary Arts Program.
Culinary host Billy Harris emceed the event, while Christina Grdovic, senior vice president and publisher at Food & Wine; David Bernahl, CEO at Coastal Luxury Management and co-founder of Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival; and Justin Chapple, test kitchen senior editor at Food & Wine, served on the judging panel.
The event was part of the annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, a four-day event that showcases the finest in food and drink culture throughout Los Angeles and culinary personalities from around the country. The festivities include food and wine tastings, culinary demonstrations, live entertainment, and more.