The premiere of Tournament of Champions 2 is quickly approaching and foodies everywhere are placing their bets regarding how the brackets will play out. For those who love food television, this is our very own version of March Madness and we love every minute of it.
So we figured why not look at who will be competing and try to come up with our own mock bracket and see how close we can get? We’ll probably be wrong but why should fans of college basketball get to have all the fun?
First, we’ll take a shot at figuring out the East Coast bracket. We’ll look at the contestants and take into account if the chef is new or returning from Season 1. We’ll also look at how the returning chefs fared last year, what seed they went into the tournament at, and if they won as well as who they beat. For the new additions, it will all be about reputation and talent.
So we all know that the No. 8 seed will be filled by whoever wins the play-in tournament in Episode 2. That is a given. It was also announced fairly early that the last four chefs standing from Season 1 would receive an automatic invitation to compete in Season 2. That means for the East both Amanda Freitag and Maneet Chauhan got automatic bids.
Of the five remaining chefs announced, three are returning from last year with two new additions in the form of Madison Cowan, who as all foodies know was the very first Chopped Grand Champion, and Bryan Voltaggio, brother of West Coast chef Michael Voltaggio.
How the Tournament of Champions East Coast bracket might break down.
First off, it can be assumed that Freitag will be the No. 1 seed in the East given that she won the bracket last year and lost in the finals to Brooke Williamson. In addition, given Chauhan made it to the Final Four, I would say it’s even money that she will be the No. 2 seed. That’s where things stop being easy though.
Given that Ferguson beat Alex Guarnaschelli, the No.1 overall seed from last year in spectacular fashion, it’s tough not to think he will be No. 3 or 4 going into Season 2. Factor in that Cowan is Chopped royalty and it makes things even tougher.
Fortunately, the bottom of the bracket breaks down a bit easier. Murphy, while he is a New York legend, lost in the first round to Petroni, so that gives Petroni the edge in the seeding. And while Voltaggio is an amazing cook, he has come in second not once but twice on Top Chef. That means he will be looking up to the rest of the chefs on the bracket.
So for the East Coast bracket, here’s how we see it breaking down and who will be facing who in the first round:
No. 1 seed Amanda Freitag vs No. 8 seed TBA
No. 2 seed Maneet Chauhan vs No. 7 seed Bryan Voltaggio
No. 3 seed Darnell Ferguson vs No. 6 seed Marc Murphy
No. 4 seed Madison Cowan vs No. 5 seed Christian Petroni
Can Ferguson shock the foodie world and take out legendary Marc Murphy? How will Cowan deal with the Tournament of Champions format? How will Voltaggio cope with being the No. 7 seed?
Will it put a chip on his shoulder and propel him to victory like Williamson last year? Did we get any of these right? We’ll all find out starting March 7 when the Tournament of Champions 2 begins.
What do you think Guilty Eats Nation? Do you agree with where we seeded the East Coast chefs? Disagree? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think or join the conversation on our Twitter page.