Coast Versus Coast

Cape Cod Life  /  July 2022 /

Writer: Christina Galt / Photographer: Rob Pryce 

Local chef and restaurateur Ben Porter takes center stage on the Food Network’s new show, Beachside Brawl.

In an East Coast versus West Coast battle, royal chefs plucked from beachside towns across the two coasts battle it out to see which coast does summer food best. The West Coast team is led by restaurateur and Top Chef alum, Brooke Williamson and includes Kaleena Bliss, Brian Madayag, Joshua Mazoukes, and Jessica Roy. The East Coast team is headed by Boston based celebrity chef and restaurateur, Tiffani Faison who appeared on very first season of Bravo’s Top Chef and recently won Food Network’s Tournament of Champions III. Representing the East Coast are Jared Brown, Edward Lordman, Jada Vidal and Cape Cod’s own Ben Porter

A born and raised Cape Codder, and owner of two local restaurants, The Lanyard Bar & Grill in Harwich Port, and Viera on Main in Chatham, Porter says he got lucky getting the call for the show, “They called here at The Lanyard in the winter and shared they were looking for chefs from beach communities.” After a long interview process, Porter was chosen. 

Photography by Rob Pryce

“The cast is full of well rounded chefs–I was amazed at how great everybody was,” shares Porter. “Between Tiffany and Brooke, that is a whole other level.” Each week Porter and his team participate in different competitions against the West Coast team. “It was kind of nerve wracking being up against these chefs that I was in awe of,” he relays, “but the East Coast chefs really took the team mentality to heart.” However in elimination challenges, team members compete against each other, as there can only be one “Best of the Beach.”

Reflecting on his time on the show he says, “It was one of the best experiences of my life. Being around the other great chefs on our team and competing against them—the whole thing was an amazing experience.” 

Catch new episodes of Beachside Brawl every Sunday at 10pm on Food Network and discovery+ to see who will be crowned “Best of the Beach.” Viewing parties will take place every Sunday at 10pm at The Lanyard in Harwich Port.

Christina Galt

Christina Galt is the Digital Editor at Cape Cod Life Publications. Born and raised on the Cape, Christina has always had a love for the ocean and everything "Cape Cod." She found herself the perfect home away from home at the University of Rhode Island and double majored in Sociology and Gender & Women’s Studies. After graduating, Christina came back to the Cape and started her journey at Cape Cod Life. She spends most of her free time with her family, especially her chocolate lab Sadie, and enjoys spending summers on her family’s boat.