On Sunday night, March 7, the hype finally came to an end as Tournament of Champions II made its long awaited debut. And the premiere didn’t disappoint as four chefs did battle for the coveted No. 8 seed in the West Coast bracket.
There was drama, there was some amazing food and there were surprises a plenty thanks to the Randomizer. By the end of the night one chef emerged victorious and was invited to join the varsity team in the Bracket of Sixteen and attempt to dethrone last year’s winner Brooke Williamson.
Now the question is, can the Food Ninja Nyesha Arrington go all the way and win the whole thing? Because there is every chance she could.
Arrington has the credentials to pull it off, having worked under some of the greatest chefs to ever cook on the West Coast, including legends such as Josiah Citrin and Joël Robuchon. She appeared on Season 9 of Top Chef and won Food Network’s Chef Hunter in 2011.
Arrington’s path on Tournament of Champions II could be similar to Williamson’s.
Despite winning Chef Hunter, Arrington is still an unknown to Food Network audiences. By winning the play-in tournament that will all be changing pretty quick, especially if she can pull off what could be the upset of the season.
As the No. 8 seed, she will be forced to do battle with the No. 1 seed in the West Coast bracket. And barring a huge surprise, the No. 1 seed will be last season’s winner Brooke Williamson. Which will be ironic since Arrington will be following a similar Tournament of Champions path as the current title holder.
Williamson also came into the series as a blank page to fans of Food Network. She entered the tournament as the No. 7 seed and had to fight her way through some insane competition to reach the final and then beat Amanda Freitag, which as anyone will tell you is no easy feat.
Can Arrington pull off a fairy tale underdog story of her own? There’s no question she has the talent to do it. That isn’t the issue. What it will come down to is if she can handle the rigors of a competition like Tournament of Champions and just how cruel the Randomizer will be in that first round battle.
Because if Arrington can pull of a win and send Williamson packing, there is no reason to think she can’t take home the belt for herself. She’s that good. We’ll all see for ourselves when once the East Coast bracket is filled in a couple weeks.
What do you think Guilty Eaters? Do you think Nyesha Arrington can take the title from Brooke Williamson? Leave a comment below and share your opinion or join the conversation on our Twitter page.