Evo Italian’s Chef Erik Pettersen Wins Guy’s Grocery Games

The local chef unanimously won over the Food Network judges.


Helming the kitchen at Evo Italian in Tequesta, Chef Erik Pettersen has won over plenty of superstars including Joe Namath, Kid Rock, and more. His latest accolades, however, have come from fellow celebrity chef Guy Fieri. Pettersen recently competed on—and won—an episode of Guy’s Grocery Games: “One-Time Aisle Games,” which aired nationally on the Food Network. Sticking to his strategy of cooking the authentic Italian plates that continually bring regulars back to Evo, he made it through two grueling rounds to cook his winning dish, a spicy Alaskan halibut served over fried gnocchi with wild forest mushrooms. The celebrity chef judges, including Rocco DiSpirito, were blown away and unanimously voted him the victor.

To celebrate this win, Pettersen is giving away autographed Guy’s Grocery Games hats a signed recipe card for his famous Sunday Gravy to those who order the dish on Monday, July 20 and Tuesday, July 21, while supplies last.

Fans can also find this recipe in Steve and Kathy Doocy’s celebrity-packed The Happy Cookbook, and shared below.

Sunday Gravy 


1 lb. all-natural pork butt (cut into 2-inch cubes)
1 lb. homemade sweet Italian sausage links
1 lb. Angus beef chuck roast or beef short ribs (cut into 2-inch cubes)
1 lb. pork belly or fat back of pork
8 whole peeled and cleaned garlic cloves (on a cutting board, place the side of knife on top and crack garlic)
2 large sweet Spanish onions (cut into large 1/2-inch pieces)
12 oz. of quality chardonnay
6 28-oz. cans of certified Italian D.O.P San Marzano tomatoes (open cans into a large bowl and crush tomatoes by hand)
1 lb. garden fresh sweet basil
3 tbsp. sea salt
3 tbsp. red crushed pepper
8 oz. extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. pecorino Romano cheese
8 oz. whipped ricotta for topping
2 lb. mezza rigatoni


In a large sauce pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil to medium–high. Add pork belly (or fat back if available) to oil. Sear pork to release the juices. Then add beef chuck or short rib to pan and sweet Italian sausage. Brown meats to seal in flavor (about 15 minutes). Add onions and cracked garlic to pan. Caramelize and brown them, but don’t burn them. Then, add 1 tablespoon of salt and pour in chardonnay to deglaze the pan. This will bring all of the flavors together. Reduce wine by half, then add the hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes. Cover pot, set stove to low and simmer for 6.5 to 8 hours. Taste a piece of pork for tenderness.

If it falls apart, it’s ready.

Then add the remaining salt and red pepper. When sauce is ready, bring salted water to boil, add the rigatoni and cook until it’s al dente. Pour pasta onto large platter, place the tender chunks of meat around the surface of the pasta then pour the sauce over the top. Dust the top with plenty of pecorino Romano. Place the whipped ricotta in the middle. Then tear the basil into pieces over the entire dish.

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