Late Nite Chef Fights

Late Nite Chef Fight

Created by Jolene Mannina, the Late Nite Chef Fight was born from the local event, Back of House Brawl in Las Vegas. The Back of House Brawl (aka BOH Brawl) began in 2011 with local food trucks and strip chefs battling after hours in the parking lot of industry bar Tommy Rockers Bar and Grill. The party hosted over 40 local chefs before FYI started the TV show.


Chefs are removed from their high-end kitchens and placed on food trucks with limited equipment and pantries to create dishes made with secret ingredients. Food critics, writers and industry professionals judge the dishes and the winner leaves with bragging rights and an unusual looking trophy.

Season Two airs, Thursday October 15th

Kristina Elmido

Executive Chef & Founder, Delightful Chefs
Bout Date: June 11, 2015
Hometown: Cerritos, California.
Fighting Stance:“A deceptively cute and sweet, but roarding lion.”
Signature dish: “Lumpia! My moneymaker since I was 9 years old.”
Secret Weapon: “I become extremely focused and creative under pressure.”
Kryptonite: “Blue cheese! Don’t wanna smell it, see it or taste it, let alone cook with it!”
IF WHEN I WIN… Instead of Gatorade, please shower me with: “Malibu rum and pineapple juice.”
My competitor will then make me: “Breakfast in bed: French press coffee, flaky croissants from scratch, freshly squeezed blood orange mimosas, Dungeness crab eggs Benedict, Hollandaise (“a la minute, please”) and exotic tropical fruits.”
Victory party theme: “Hot Pink and Leopard print.”

Melvin "Boots" Johnson

Chef de cuisine, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Las Vegas
Bout Date: June 11, 2015
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fighting Stance:: “Passion over training.”
Signature dish: “Smoked ribs.”
Secret Weapon:“I moved here with a food truck. I owned one for three years, so I'm very comfortable being on one.”
IF WHEN I WIN… Instead of Gatorade, please shower me with: “Red Kool-Aid.”
My competitor will then make me:: “A hamburger. I can tell a lot about a chefs having his or her hamburger.”

Jose M. Navarro

Executive Chef, Grotto Italian Restaurant in the Golden Nugget, Las Vegas
Bout Date: June 15, 2015
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fighting Stance:“Always remain calm; keeping my cool, ensuring that the time is maximized to exemplify the product at its outmost capability.”
Signature dish: “I don’t have a go-to ingredient, but more of a style. If it’s in season, I like to highlight the ingredient from head to tail.”
Secret Weapon: “Keeping it simple! Highlight the ingredient is something I like to do, and I feel it has been a successful approach. It’s something I think is often overlooked.”
Kryptonite: “Fried stuff! Not a huge fan to begin with, so I’ve not spent a lot of time working on improving on it.”
IF WHEN I WIN… Instead of Gatorade, please shower me with: “Gatorade. Drink the fancy beer. Maybe Delirium.”
My competitor will then make me: “Steak and eggs or a really good Benedict. Why not, French toast, too. Heck, make it a breakfast platter.”
Victory party theme: “Backyard get-together, with family and a few close friends. We’d do some thick steaks over charcoal.”

Daniel LaFerriere

Sous Chef, DB Brasserie in The Venetian, Las Vegas
Bout Date: June 15, 2015
Hometown: Dracut, Massachusetts.
Fighting Stance:“You can’t spell dangerous without DAN!”
Signature dish: "Lobster Thermidor, grilled for a slight smoke flavor, the lobster meat mixed with a brandy sauce choron made using lobster butter. The lobster is finished off with a gruyere crust, served with a side of Pommes Anna and a crisp fennel salad.”
Secret Weapon:“While too much time on my hands can be my enemy, reacting quickly is a plus for me. Not over thinking and just doing what I know usually works.”
Kryptonite:“Second guessing myself. I’m can be my own worst enemy. Usually my gut feeling/reaction is the right one, but with too much time on my hands, I’ll start to tweak a dish thinking I’m making it better.”
IF WHEN I WIN… Instead of Gatorade, please shower me with: “A big keg of Samuel Adams Utopias. What better way to win than to have Utopias poured on you? And it’s from Boston.”
My competitor will then make me: “Nothing would make me happier than a big lobster roll on a New England-style hotdog bun. No celery.”
Victory party theme: “New England clam bake. I would want all my Vegas friends in food and beverage to be there, as well as my family. One big chef party, with lots of lobsters and beer, some Boston decorations, such as a Citgo sign, a Gilette lighthouse and all the championship trophies!”

Joel Miller

Executive Chef, The Wallace in Culver City, California
Bout Date: June 16, 2015
Hometown: Los Angeles, California.
Fighting Stance:“Prepare myself for the worst and have backup plans and exit strategies for everything.”
Signature dish: “Grilled octopus with salsa negra, Fresno vadouvan and mezcal pickled chiles.”
Secret Weapon:“I'll never become flustered or nervous at any point, even if the odds are stacked against me.”
Kryptonite:“Chicken of any sort. It's boring to work with, and gives no inspiration.”
IF WHEN I WIN… Instead of Gatorade, please shower me with: “Canada Dry ginger ale.”
My competitor will then make me:“Crown rack of lamb. Because I would be the king.”
Victory party theme: “Saved By the Bell '94. It would be super tight. I would have the original cast hang out with me (minus Screech; he's weird now), and invite the 1998 Dream Team, Rip Torn, a pack of wild albino wolves, Monica Lewinsky, Satan, my old hebrew school Rabbi and a few close friends to play Giant Jenga … in the center of the earth. "

Geno Bernardo

Executive chef, Osteria Geno Crudo Bar Italiano, Las Vegas
Bout Date: June 12, 2015
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fighting Stance:“Cool and easygoing. Love the pressure. Like a cheetah, slowly stalking his prey.”
Signature dish: “Great Grandma’s meat ravioli.”
Secret Weapon:: “Been around the block a few times. Enjoy the pressure of cooking something quick and on the fly. I am confident in my cooking skills and make things taste great.”
Kryptonite:“I can sometime overthink things. Wow—if there is no salt and pepper. Dessert, that is something I am not so great at.”
IF WHEN I WIN… Instead of Gatorade, please shower me with: “Cherry Coke.”
My competitor will then make me:“A whole roasted pig.”
Victory party theme:: “Beach bash. Start the day by tapping the keg. Play some horseshoes. Then beer bong races. Have the fishing poles ready to catch dinner. Have all my good friends and family there. Nana making gravy for late lunch. George strait playing a solo.”

Doug Bell

Corporate Chef/Partner, Pot Liquor Contemporary American Smokehouse, Las Vegas
Bout Date: June 12, 2015
Hometown: “Las Vegas by way of Baltimore.”
Fighting Stance:“To win at any costs! I'm going in there to lay it all on the table, anything goes!”
Signature dish: “Right now I would say it’s crispy pork belly over Cabbot Grits.”
Secret Weapon:“My ability to think clearly under pressure situations.”
Kryptonite:“My background is not in pastry or baking so any kind of ingredient traditionally used for desserts might throw a wrench in my plans."
IF WHEN I WIN… Instead of Gatorade, please shower me with: “Any kind of delicious bourbon or rye.”
My competitor will then make me:“A really nice steak dinner or sushi. It’s been a while since I've had either of those.”
Victory party theme:“A giant crab feast. Growing up in Baltimore, my favorite parts of the summer were our blue crab feasts: steamed crabs, corn on the cobb, all kinds of picnic sides and lots of beer. All of my friends and family would be there, and I would invite the entire Baltimore Ravens team!”

Daniel Lee Krohmer

Owner/Executive Chef, Other Mama, Las Vegas
Bout Date: June 10, 2015
Hometown: Sacramento, California.
Fighting Stance:“I believe we all have strengths and weaknesses. The key is to mentally rise above the excitement and drama of the show and cook from the heart.”
Signature dish: “I pride myself in my overall fundamentals of handling raw fish.”
Secret Weapon:“My ability to adapt to any situation. I have cooked in the desert, snow, sand storms, tropical islands and luxury kitchens. I thrive on limitations.”
Kryptonite:“Baking, desserts and basically anything where I need to follow a recipe.”
IF WHEN I WIN… Instead of Gatorade, please shower me with: “Jameson and ginger, with a squeeze of lime.”
My competitor will then make me:“Anything, as long as I get to relax.”
Victory party theme:"Other Mama, a celebration of all of the hard work we've put into getting our restaurant going and bringing it to the community.”

Aaron J. Oster

Head Butcher, Echo & Rig, Las Vegas
Bout Date: June 10, 2015
Hometown: “Las Vegas via Martha's Vineyard and Brooklyn.”
Fighting Stance:: “Keep it simple stupid! No playful bullshit, no tweezers, no foams, just good ingredients, classic techniques and a smile. You can't compete with something that has been delicious for a thousand years. Don't kid yourself, Molecular Chef. You're cooking for yourself, not for others.”
Signature dish: : “My wife would say eggplant Parmigiana, but I'm more comfortable with porchetta, the traditional Italian street food.”
Secret Weapon:“I have tasted and/or cooked a lot of different styles of food and have an ability to remember those different experiences when I cook. Those experiences give me a chance to freestyle my food in a very natural and organic way. Nothing feels forced.”
Kryptonite: “I don't know anything about molecular gastronomy, powders, chemicals or meat glue. I wouldn't know the first thing about stabilizers.”
IF WHEN I WIN… Instead of Gatorade, please shower me with: “Salt water from the North Atlantic!”
My competitor will then make me:“Something they love, something that they would make for their grandmother. I'm a simple man, but you have to cook with love or it’s pointless. Revenge doesn't make good food.”
Victory party theme: “New England clam bake by the ocean and a chicken roast over open fires on the beach until sun sets. Then lots of whiskey, music and friends.”

Shawn Smilie

Executive Chef, Mastrioni's, Las Vegas
Bout Date: June 9, 2015
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fighting Stance::“Cool as a cucumber. I take things as they come at me.”
Signature dish: :“Don't have one. I like to cook everything.”
Secret Weapon:“Previous experience in a mystery-basket cooking show.”
Kryptonite:“The unknowns are what could sink me; knowledge is the key to success.”
IF WHEN I WIN… Instead of Gatorade, please shower me with: “2007 Camus.”

Gregg Paul Fortunato

Executive Chef, Inyo Asian Variety Restaurant, Las Vegas
Bout Date: June 9, 2015
Hometown: Mineola, New York.
Fighting Stance:: "Go in hard and fast, and come out clean and smiling. ”
Signature dish: :“Whole grilled squid with soy butter.”
Secret Weapon:“My palate. I think I'll be able to put together good flavor combos.”
Kryptonite:“Molecular gastronomy.”
IF WHEN I WIN… Instead of Gatorade, please shower me with: “New Castle.”
My competitor will then make me:"Their signature dish.”
Victory party theme:“Beers and strippers.”

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