Two Portland chefs battle on 'Knife Fight' show

Two Portland chefs battle on 'Knife Fight' show »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Two big-name chefs in town compete on one of TV's hot new cooking shows.

People who know them already refer to their work as a "friendly rivalry." Some go as far as to call it a civil war.

Ben Bettinger runs the kitchen at Imperial restaurant downtown. Patrick McKee's in charge over at Paley's Place. Both men are long-time sous-chefs for owner Vitaly Paley, and friends.

The three of them already competed on Food Network's "Iron Chef America" as a team, and won. So it was only a matter of time before another cooking show would pit them against each other.

"I was ready for anything," said Bettinger.

That's good, because Esquire Network's "Knife Fight" motto is "not your momma's cooking show".

The kitchen is more like a low-lit bar, with the crowd on top of you -- and everyone's drinking.

"People are hootin and hollerin at you and cameras in your face," Bettinger explained.

"It's pretty intense and you're working together you're sharing a stove, sharing your workspace," said McKee.

The knife skills come into play with some of the crazy things competitors have to chop -- like butchering an entire animal. Patric and Ben claim their work together in the past only helped them on the show.

"It also made it a bit easier. We knew each other, we were able to go in there, talk a little bit of trash to each other, but we had each other's backs too we supported each other looked out for each other," said Bettinger.

On Tuesday night we'll find out who got to take home that knife that says "I won."

The two say they're still friends.

"Absolutely", said Patrick. "Oh Patrick and I will always be buddies. You know, we knew one of us was gonna come out a winner one would come out a loser. We're still friends, that's all I can say," added Bettinger.

The show airs Tuesday night at 9 p.m. on Esquire Network. You're invited to watch it with the chefs at Imperial restaurant.