San Diego Chef Heats up the Competition!

Written by Guest Blogger: William Lopez-

When Chef Kevin Templeton first heard of the idea I cooked up to have him go against one of the world’s best chefs on “Beat Bobby Flay”, he wasn’t too sure. He is a humble sort of celebrity chef; happy to go about his business behind the scenes at barleymash. I was pretty sure that I wanted this for Kevin more than he did.

So I pursued. Several rounds of phone calls, emails, questionnaires, photo and video submissions followed, and the result of this grueling process ended with a “yes.” Yet, still in the back of my mind, I knew that this was pushing it for Chef Kevin, who does not like any fame or attention.

Having worked with Chef Kevin for nearly five years and witnessed the commitment and passion he dedicates to his craft was the driving force behind Alternative Strategies being persistent to get Chef Kevin on the national stage. He had a really good chance of defeating Bobby.

We flew up to New York in November of last year to be there with him. What a privilege it was to be by his side! An early pick-up the next morning was the beginning of our nine-hour day at the studio, but we were in the zone and lost track of the time. Chef Kevin was calm, cool and collected. He did mention watching several episodes of “Beat Bobby Flay” the night before, which to me seemed a little bit like cramming for a test, but I didn’t want to feed into anything that might make him nervous. While waiting for our driver that morning, we met his competitor, Chef Jeff Williams. We learned that Jeff previously worked in San Diego as the Chef de Cuisine at W Hotel. It was incredibly refreshing to see that his competitor was very similar in demeanor to Chef Kevin.

After makeup (for Kevin- not me) and prep time, they did some tease video tapings. That process took about 2 hours (see my behind-the-scene photos).

Then it was time for Chef Kevin and Chef Jeff to compete. The winner would go against Bobby Flay. The star ingredient for their competition was Yukon potatoes. Chef Kevin made homemade potato chips and a heavenly bleu cheese dipping sauce. Chef Jeff made vichyssoise. I am happy to report that Chef Kevin prevailed.

Next, Chef Kevin unveiled the signature dish he chose to prepare when he went up against Bobby Flay. He selected chilaquiles. I won’t be a total spoiler alert. Find out how it all went down by watching the episode, which you can Google (Bobby Flay vs. Kevin Templeton) and see online, since the episode aired on August 25th.

As you all may know, the show is 30 minutes long (minus commercials, about 21 minutes). It took Kevin about eight hours in the studio to come up with that 21-minute episode. But every second was time well spent!

About: Guest Blogger/Writer- William Lopez is the agency principal for Alternative Strategies , a full-service marketing communications firm. Alternative Strategies represents over 40 restaurants and bars in San Diego, including several in the Gaslamp (barleymash, 1919, Brian’s 24, The New Yorker and Union Kitchen + Tap).