Tournament of Champions IV arrives Sunday, February 19

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

When it premiered in 2020, many foodies knew Tournament of Champions, the brainchild of Guy Fieri and Food Network, had the potential to become a huge hit. Cooking competitions have popped up all over television the last few years but this one was clearly next level.

Fieri gathered the best Food Network and the culinary world had to offer and pitted them against the unyielding Randomizer. Each match the merciless piece of machinery determined what the chefs were cooking, what they used, the style and how long they had.

Tournament of Champions was more than a huge hit, it was a sensation in foodie circles. It was our very own March Madness and watching Chef Brooke Williamson be crowned the first ever winner was an incredible amount of fun. Even if it did bust my bracket.

Now Food Network has announced that not only when the fourth season of Tournament of Champions is set to arrive, but who the chefs are who will be competing. And the list includes a few shocks and surprises, especially who is not on the list.

Tournament of Champions IV will make the Randomizer even more difficult.

Tournament of Champions IV is set to premier on Sunday, February 19 at 8 PM on Food Network as well as Discovery Plus. The show will once again be hosted by Fieri and will see both Simon Majumdar and Justin Warner return doing play by play.

The winner will walk away with a cool $100,000 as well as the all-important Tournament of Champions belt in addition to bragging rights. In a new twist, the Randomizer will now include wild cards that will continue to get harder as the tournament progresses.

The rotating cast of judges will also return, including such names as Scott Conant, Cat Cora, Rocco DiSpirito, Lorena Garcia, Alex Guarnaschelli, Nancy Silverton, Daniela Soto-Innes, Ming Tsai and Jonathan Waxman. Additionally a surprise judge will be on hand for the finale that Fieri is assuring will blow everyone away.

As for who is competing? Glad you asked. It includes 14 tournament newbies as well as returning favorites.

For the West Coast Bracket we have Carlos Anthony, Nate Appleman, Shirley Chung, Tiffany Derry, Elizabeth Falkner, Mei Lin, Antonia Lofaso, Crista Luedtke, Brian Malarkey, Shota Nakajima, Viet Pham, Joe Sasto, Tracey Shepos Chanami, Adam Sobel, Jet Tila, and Lee Anne Wong.

Making up the East Coast Bracket are Eric Adjepong, Karen Akunowicz, Kelsey Barnard Clark, Tournament of Champions II winner Maneet Chauhan, Leah Cohen, Madison Cowan, Tobias Dorzon, Graham Elliot, Tournament of Champions III winner Tiffani Faison, Darnell Ferguson, Jose Garces, Ilan Hall, Stephanie Izard, Christian Petroni, Britt Rescigno, and Jonathon Sawyer.

The first thing you may notice is that Brooke Williamson, the winner of the West Coast bracket every year since the series made its debut, is not taking part. Which means the field is wide open on that side of the bracket. As for the East, Amanda Frietag is the most obvious omission from the list.

As for the newcomers, there are some impressive names. Jose Garces and Stephanie Izard are both former Iron Chefs. Shota Nakajima was a finalist on Top Chef while Graham Elliot is best known for his time on MasterChef.

All in all it sounds like Tournament of Champions IV will not disappoint and will be appointment television for foodies everywhere.

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What do you think Guilty Eaters? Will you be watching Tournament of Champions IV this February? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook pages.