Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus and two-time NFL Pro Bowler Takeo Spikes heated things up at downtown’s Conservatory Underground Beer Garden & Food Hall, where they went to head-to-head at culinary charity event, the “Kitchen Throwdown.”
Each competitor teamed up with a local top chef, Mercilus with co-founder of Cousins Maine Lobster and reality TV show Shark Tank alum chef Sabin Lomac and Spikes with Kevin Naderi of Roost, as they battled it out for first place.
The cooking duos were given a total of 45 minutes to create a dish featuring four secret ingredients: hearts of palm, Froot Loops cereal, capers, and red snapper.
Mercilus and Lomac presented an Asian-inspired dish of soy-maple-syrup marinated fish topped with crushed red pepper, capers and Froot Loops, plus hearts of palm, fresh avocado and sautéed bell peppers.
Spikes and Naderi prepared three courses, including a Greek vegetable salad with garbanzo beans, capers, truffle oil and hearts of palm, pan-seared red snapper served over a carrot and ginger puree, and a rice pudding dessert with dried apricots and golden raisins, all drizzled with Froot Loop flavored milk and topped with crushed cereal.
The final score was a close 145 to 131, with Spikes and Naderi taking home the grand prize of $15,000. Spikes donated it to the Rally Foundation,which raises awareness for childhood cancer research.
Guests also enjoyed bites provided by Cousins Maine Lobster and Nothing Bundt Cakes, and craft beer by Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
Former Houston Texans offensive lineman Chester Pitts emceed the event, and the panel of judges included The Voice season 11 winner Sundance Head, KPRC weekday morning anchor Rachel McNeill, and Juan Arellano of El Tiempo restaurant.