Local chef on '24 Hour Restaurant Battle'

Eric Paraskevas and Laura Sandoval

Eric Paraskevas -- no stranger to TV -- turns up Thursday, April 21 on 24 Hour Restaurant Battle (10 p.m., Food Network), working alongside his girlfriend Laura Sandoval.

As they explained, they were having a rough patch in their relationship and figured that the solution was to appear on a high-pressure reality show together.

Paraskevas, 30, is chef at Center City's Terra restaurant, where Sandoval, 27, is a server; she's also a doctoral candidate in art history.

They put their concept for an edgy international restaurant against another on-the-rocks couple's idea for a more traditional eatery. "We went into this thing almost joking that we were going to fight," says Paraskevas.

"I was surprised we're really on the same page," says Sandoval. "It showed us we could overcome adversity. It was a microcosm of our abilities to face a challenge."

They're still together.