The Tournament of Champions III brackets revealed

Host Guy Fieri, as seen on Tournament of Champions, Season 3.
Host Guy Fieri, as seen on Tournament of Champions, Season 3. /

With Tournament of Champions III set to arrive on Food Network on February 27, many were wondering how long foodies would have to wait to find out who was competing and how the seeding and brackets would shake out.

Turns out we wouldn’t have to wait long at all. Not only have all 32 chefs taking part been revealed but Food Network has also dropped the seeding and bracket breakdown on their website.

On a side note, someone should really explain to the cabler that revealing the seeding and brackets could be a show all unto itself. For foodies everywhere, this is our own version of March Madness. There’s no reason whatsoever not to hype the hell out of this. Of all the food competitions, Tournament of Champions, despite it’s faults, is still one of the most exciting culinary shows out there.

But back to the brackets and seeding. As everyone knows, the number of chefs has been doubled from 16 to 32. That means this season we get four brackets, two for the East and two for the West, an A bracket and a B bracket.

How do the brackets break down on Tournament of Champions III?

As everyone also knows, the Final Four from Tournament of Champions II get automatic bids the following year and this season, that means each is a No. 1 seed in their own bracket. Season 1 winner Brooke Williamson is the No. 1 seed in the West Coast A bracket while Jet Tila is the No. 1 seed in the West Coast B. Likewise, Tournament of Champions II winner Maneet Chauhan is the No. 1 seed in the East Coast A bracket and Darnell Ferguson is the No. 1 seed in East B.

After that, you see a solid mix of returning chefs from both Season 1 and 2 as well as a lot of fresh faces, some of which are completely new to Food Network. The battles in the first round are going to break down like this:

West Coast A
No. 1 seed Brooke Williamson vs No. 8 seed Crista Luedtke
No. 2 seed Michael Voltaggio vs No. 7 seed Phillip Frankland Lee
No. 3 seed Tim Hollingsworth vs No. 6 seed Tiffany Derry
No. 4 seed Aaron May vs No. 5 seed Brian Malarkey

West Coast B
No. 1 seed Jet Tila vs No. 8 seed Carlos Anthony
No. 2 seed Antonia Lofaso vs No. 7 seed Joe Sasto
No. 3 seed Shirley Chung vs No. 6 seed Marcel Vigneron
No. 4 seed Chris Cosentino vs No. 5 seed Elizabeth Falkner

East Coast A
No. 1 seed Maneet Chauhan vs No. 8 seed Richard Hales
No. 2 seed Amanda Freitag vs No. 7 seed Madison Cowan
No. 3 seed Tiffani Faison vs No. 6 seed Bryan Voltaggio
No. 4 seed Kelsey Barnard vs No. 5 seed Eric Adjepong

East Coast B
No. 1 seed Darnell Ferguson vs No. 8 seed Aarthi Sampath
No. 2 seed Christian Petroni vs No. 7 seed Tobias Dorzon
No. 3 seed Michael Psilakis vs No. 6 seed Einat Admony
No. 4 seed Karen Akunowicz vs No. 5 seed Justin Sutherland

Looking at the brackets and seeding a couple things stand out. First, the East Coast sees a lot of new additions to the tournament compared to the West. In fact the East Coast B bracket is almost entirely new faces while the A side sees many returning chefs.

How Aaron May got a No. 4 seed is anyone’s guess after the way he went out in his first battle last season. Amanda Freitag’s No. 2 seed seems generous after her first round exit last year and the same could be said of Tiffani Faison at No. 3.

However, considering you’re dealing with a lot of new chefs and an expanded bracket, overall the seeding seems pretty fair. Will we see Chauhan vs Petroni Round 3? Will Michael Voltaggio finally defeat his nemesis Brooke Williamson? Will Antonia Lofaso finally win the belt she so desperately wants?

Fans will start to get some answers in a few weeks when Tournament of Champions III begins on February 27.

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What do you think of the brackets Guilty Eaters? Do they seem fair or lopsided in one direction? Leave a comment and let us know or join the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook pages.