The Back of House Brawl returns, bigger than ever - Las Vegas Weekly


The Back of House Brawl returns, bigger than ever

Mannina has revived the late-night battle.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

The always-interesting food journey of Jolene Mannina continues. The steakhouse server-turned-food trucker-turned-kickass event planner has been spending all her time helping build Urban Seed, the revolutionary urban farming project that could turn our crazy desert into a sustainable food leader. But she still loves to throw a party.

Mannina has revived the Back of House Brawl, the rowdy and ridiculously fun afterhours chef battle that began six years ago at Tommy Rocker’s Bar & Grill and evolved into Late Nite Chef Fight, which ran for two seasons on the FYI network. But the new brawls are not made for TV. “It’s just a straight-up community event,” she says. “But we’ll live-stream it.”

The first of six events takes place Saturday at Sparrow + Wolf, pitting Momofuku’s Shaun King against China Poblano’s Ricardo Heredia in a battle of Cosmopolitan chefs. As in the good old days, there’ll be food trucks serving at 10 p.m. until the competition starts around 1 a.m. October’s event moves to Urban Seed, November’s will be at the Sand Dollar Lounge and the brawl will pick up again in March, April and May.

“It’s just fun,” Mannina says. “I’m still very engaged with chefs through Urban Seed, and it just makes sense. What’s really cool this time around is there are so many local chefs participating, where before it was all Strip chefs.” Naked City Pizza’s Chris Palmeri, Carson Kitchen’s John Courtney, Goodwich’s Josh Clark and Evel Pie’s Vincent Rotolo are all set to duke it out. “It’s fun to intertwine the different communities. And people were asking for it.” Give the people what they want.

Back of House Brawl September 16, 10 p.m., Sparrow + Wolf at 4480 Spring Mountain Road #100,

Tags: Dining, Food
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Brock Radke

Brock Radke has been writing about Las Vegas for more than 18 years. He currently serves as editor-at-large covering the ...

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