Lake Oswegos Food Fighter, Elisha Joyce, took home $60,000 from the televised culinary competition Tuesday night, beating four of the five celebrity chefs she faced with signature dishes inspired by her grandmother.
Joyce, who was born in Guam and learned to cook at her nanas side, was the first contestant on the new NBC game show, which airs Tuesday nights on KGW Channel 8. Each week, home cooks and expert chefs offer up their work to judges at a series of Dinner Parties for the chance to win increasing cash prizes, with as much as $100,000 at stake.
-Joyce knocked out the King of Cajun, Kevin Belton, in the first round by preparing egg rolls with dipping sauce. The prize: $5,000.
-In Round Two, Joyce served up her Date Night Fish Tacos the dish she served her future husband on their first date and defeated singing Italian chef Jonny Giordani. The prize: $10,000.
-Joyces mango coconut tart with a variety of dipping sauces was too much for restaurant owner Michelle Ragussis in the third round. The prize: $15,000.
-Joyce prepared her nanas stewed chicken and rice in the fourth round, but discovered with a minute to go that the chicken was undercooked. Cooking show host Marcel Vigneron took this round.
-With a chance to double her winnings so far, the woman known locally as the Quinoa Queen prepared a salmon-and-quinoa dish for the final round, where she faced celebrity chef Lorena Garcia. By a score of 4 to 1, the Dinner Party judges sided with Joyce. Total winnings for the day: $60,000.
For more on Food Fighters, including a video of Joyces final showdown with Garcia, go to www.nbc.com/food-fighters.