Why Hell's Kitchen Champ Rock Harper Just Challenged Tom Colicchio To A Top Chef Showdown

Let's be honest: food can be a touchy subject for many, and of course chefs are no exception. According to Screen Rant, one of the chefs that made an impression on many "Hell's Kitchen" viewers was Rock Harper, the winner from Season 3. He was a fan favorite, known for his friendly nature, culinary talent, and flair for leadership. Harper was also someone who couldn't stop himself from reacting strongly at times while competing. That intensity ultimately won the chef top honors, as Harper was declared the winner of his "Hell's Kitchen" season, getting a chance to work as executive chef at Terra Verde.

After his appearance on "Hell's Kitchen," Harper has been keeping himself busy and has worked at many restaurants. He has also been teaching at Stratford University and has written a cookbook for parents titled, "44 Parents Should Know About Healthy Cooking for Kids." An entrepreneur, executive chef, and founder of Queen Mother's Fried Chicken (per the company website), Harper is as passionate as ever about food — something the chef proved recently in a heated, though good-natured, conversation on Twitter with celebrity chef Tom Colicchio.

The debate started with fried chicken

Recently, Rock Harper and Tom Colicchio ended up exchanging a few interesting tweets with each other. The story can be tracked back to a tweet from Foodie Academy that addressed Colicchio and asked him to share his views on using buttermilk to make fried chicken. The Twitter user wrote, "How do you fry chicken in buttermilk without burned the skin?" Colicchio replied that it makes sense to remove the skin before frying the meat. He also wrote, "The flour is what crisps up, the skin will cause the flour to fall off of the chicken."

Harper wasn't too thrilled with this discussion and jumped in to share his thoughts, writing that he feels it's wrong to add sugar and cinnamon to fried chicken breading. The chef went on to say that neither the buttermilk nor skin directly contribute to burnt chicken, implying that he disagreed with the advice. Colicchio, meanwhile, simply said, "With all due respect. Years ago I lived in East Orange, NJ. Althea Gibson, the tennis pro... had a restaurant, this was her method. Have been doing it ever since."

This prompted Harper to challenge Colicchio to a "Top Chef" showdown (via Twitter). Colicchio didn't take the bait and simply bowed out of the discussion respectfully. "I surrender," he wrote before adding, "Well played." Sorry "Top Chef" fans, looks like for now there is no Harper vs. Colicchio special coming to Bravo.