Bon Appetit Restaurant Editor Andrew Knowlton hosted a lively competition in which four renowned chefs battled in a short-order showdown to produce classic concoctions from the Waffle House portfolio.

Chris Shepherd of Houston's Underbelly took the golden frying pan, dethroning past champ Mike Lata of Charleston's FIG and beating back challenges from Kevin Gillespie of Atlanta's Gunshow and Michael Hudman of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in Memphis. Along the way, we learned:

1. Waffle House has its own lexicon and science of plating. Smothered is neither scattered nor covered. Keep the jelly off the hash browns and make sure the toast frames the eggs.

2. The 22-minute turnaround at Shepherd's restaurant is a leisurely pace compared to the 8-minute order-to-plate standard at Waffle House.

3. Competitors win no advantage by being the top seed, threatening to switch allegiances to Huddle House or showing off a Georgia Bulldog tattoo to a judge who is a Florida Gators fan.

4. No matter the celebrity or accolades, chefs stand no chance in this event against an actual Waffle House cook, even with help from a fellow competitor.

Hanna Raskin