Tournament of Champions IV has finally kicked off and the first four battles are in the books. They saw a pair of newcomers take down two tournament veterans, an Iron Chef pull out a first round victory and a No 1 seed survive to cook another day.
As any fan of the series will tell you, being a No. 1 seed isn’t a guarantee to victory. The previous three seasons have all seen a No. 1 seed fall to a No. 8 seed in the first round and it can rock the entire competition.
However, that wasn’t the case in Week 1 as Jet Tila, the No. 1 seed of the West Coast A bracket easily took down Carlos Anthony by a score 84-77. It was the biggest margin of victory in the first week and, if we were a betting man, we’d say it was a sign of things to come.
Because to us, Tila is the clear favorite to win Tournament of Champions IV and we would be shocked if there was any other outcome.
Jet Tila is incredibly hungry to win it all in Tournament of Champions IV.
First, there are the West Coast brackets. When Brooke Williamson decided to take the year off and not compete, it officially became anyone’s bracket to win. Williamson won the West Coast bracket three years in a row. Think about that. No other chef has ever represented the West Coast in the final of Tournament of Champions.
But of all the chefs that have competed, Jet Tila has come the closest to beating her. He came ridiculously close in Season 3 and has been in the Final Four every year. Few other chefs, West or East, can say that.
Then there is the competition. We’ve already talked extensively about the fact that the seeding of the brackets this year is awful. One reason for that could be because many of the big names of the previous seasons have departed leaving a lot of new faces and chefs that haven’t made it very far in previous tournaments.
Honestly, Tila’s biggest competition may be Antonia Lofaso and she has been dealing with diminishing results each year. In Tournament of Champions III she was sent home in the first round and the year before that she lost to Tila himself in a tiebreaker. So he already might have a slight psychological edge over her.
And of course there is the way Tila cooks. He is a master of several different types of cuisine and has shown that he can cook with the judges’ tastes in mind even if he doesn’t know who they are. He has a flair for the dramatic, his flavors are always spot on and he can create greatness no matter what the Randomizer throws at him.
If and when Tila makes it to the final, I don’t see anyone on the East Coast who would have a chance in hell of beating him. Maybe Maneet Chauhan if the Randomizer is kind? Possibly Darnell Ferguson or Jose Garces? It’s possible but highly unlikely.
No, baring a disaster this is Jet Tila’s year to walk away with the belt and the prize. Anyone else would be a disappointment and a shock to foodies everywhere.