If there’s anything that Food Network is going to give us, it’s a(nother) Food competition show. In the vein of Top Chef and Iron Chef, Tournament of Champions-the brainchild of chef/restaurateur/mogul Guy Fieri-brings some of the fiercest chefs from across the country to do what they do best.
With stakes high using a “win or go home” format, Tournament of Champions II had so many suggestions for competitors that Fieri optioned 2 wild card rounds to fit everyone in. In the West Coast wild card, Santa Monica-based chef Nyesha Arrington came out on top, beating the likes of Chris Constatino and Chris Oh.
The East Coast play-in round hasn’t taken place at the time of publication. We do however know the identity of the 14 chefs selected by virtue of fan votes. They are:
East Coast: Amanda Freitag, Bryan Voltaggio, Christian Petroni, Darnell Ferguson, Madison Cowan, Meneet Chauhan, and Marc Murphy
West Coast: Aaron May, Antonia Lofaso, Brian Malarkey, Brooke Williamson, Cat Cora, Jet Tila, and Michael Voltaggio
The reigning champ is Los Angeles-based chef/restaurateur Brooke Williamson, a 9-seed last year, who seemingly came out of nowhere to win ToC I. This year’s competition has another Iron Chef with Cat Cora joining in (season 1 boasted Alex Guarneschelli) and the brothers Voltaggio competing in different brackets.
Recognizing pandemic protocols, the live audience has been trimmed to around 10 people (a very vocal group though) and the kitchen is even more spread out to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
With multiple weeks of fantastic cooking to look forward to, Tournament of Champions II is one of the best things to tune in, Marvel at the wizardry, and dream about visiting these talented chefs’ eateries.
Tournament of Champions II airs Sundays at 8 PM on Food Network and streams the following day on the Food Network app