LITTLE ROCK – A cooking challenge benefiting a local culinary school heated up over the weekend after a fight broke out between two competitors during a practice round.
The incident occurred Saturday between Chefs Daniel Capello and Marc Guizol during a practice run for the Diamond Chef competition at Pulaski Technical College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute. The practice round was their first opportunity to cook alongside each other with the final competition equipment.
“We were nearing the end of the competition and I was trying to finish off an ice cream dessert,” chef Guizol tells us. “I saw some ingredients sitting beside the one ice cream machine we had to share, but ignored it. Chef Capello came up and said he was using the machine first. Next thing I know he hit me in the head with a lobster.”
Witnesses say the two exchanged a number of heated words before Guizol being hit with the lobster, part of the surf and turf theme of the practice round. Guizol reportedly grabbed a nearby beef tenderloin and hit Capello in response. The two continued trading assaults with various kitchen ingredients before the two sous chefs from each team joined in the fight.
The competition sets six local chefs against each other to compete for the Diamond Chef award. Guizol from Capital Hotel and Capello from Chenal Country Club advanced from the preliminary competition in April. Other competitors included chefs Payne Harding, Elliot Jones, Jason Morell, Coby Smith, and Philippe Ducrot.
“Marc stole our blender during the preliminary competition after he broke his,” chef Capello tells us. “We barely made it through to the finals. I was not going to let him steal the ice cream machine when our ingredients were clearly sitting next to it. So yeah, I hit him with a lobster. If he tries that again during the final I will hit him with something a little stronger. I for one am hoping for sword fish as a secret ingredient.”
The Diamond chef final is Tuesday night at the Statehouse convention center. Tickets are available for $200. Rock City Times will run an illegal betting ring in the parking lot for the winner of the mid-competition fight.*Disclaimer. PTC gave me a ticket to the event. I warned them that I have not had a good fight story in a while.