San Diego Chef To Compete On Food Network's BBQ Brawl Cooking Competition

June 14, 2023

San Diego native chef Ami Cisneros Standafer will compete on the upcoming season of Food Network's BBQ Brawl cooking competition television series. 

Since graduating from San Diego Culinary Institute in 2010, Chef Ami Cisneros Standafer has been working in San Diego's top kitchens, including JRDN, Mister A's, and Grand Ole BBQ Flynn Springs, which was featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives during Ami's tenure as Executive Chef. In summer 2020, Chef Ami partnered with her pitmaster boyfriend (now husband) Brandon Standafer to open El Barbecue in San Diego's Sherman Heights neighborhood. 

Chef Ami will be one of 12 pitmasters from across the country competing on the fourth season of Food Network's BBQ Brawl, which will premier on Monday, July 10. This season will feature celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Anne Burrell, and Sunny Anderson as coaches, with judges Rodney Scott, Chef Brooke Williamson, and Carson Kressley ultimately determining the "Master of 'Cue". Set in California, known for its Santa Maria-style BBQ and fresh ingredients, the contestants will face challenges that test their culinary skills and teamwork.
BBQ Brawl Season 3 Contestants
Chef Ami's El Barbecue restaurant is located at 549 25th Street in San Diego's Sherman Heights neighborhood. For more information, visit