In just four short years, Tournament of Champions, the brainchild of Guy Fieri and Food Network, has become one of the biggest, most intense food competitions in the foodie world. Next Level Chef and Chopped are the kiddie pool by comparison.
Much of that has to do with the who's who of culinary superstars that Fieri convinces to take part in the tournament. Each year the brackets read like a James Beard list of nominations, with returning favorites and newcomers looking to make a name for themselves.
And then there is the Randomizer. The silver behemoth keeps the playing field level by making sure no one chef has an advantage. Over the course of the fist four seasons the Randomizer has induced nightmares and many sleepless nights.
Well, get ready because the Randomizer is back. Food Network has officially announced the Tournament of Champions V will arrive on February 18 and it's bringing with it a new opening round to get fans warmed up.
Tournament of Champions V includes a new Qualifiers round of competition.
Before the main tournament begins though, Food Network is offering up Tournament of Champions: the Qualifiers on February 7 and 14. It will see 16 chefs compete to see who will get the four coveted 8 Seed slots on the bracket.
Once that has been decided then comes the main event. Food Network has already revealed who will be competing this year and it includes all four previous Tournament of Champions winners.
On the East Coast it includes (in alphabetical order):
Eric Adjepong, Karen Akunowicz, Kelsey Barnard Clark, Maneet Chauhan (Season 2 winner), Tobias Dorzon, Tiffani Faison (Season 3 winner), Amanda Freitag, Jose Garces, Stephanie Izard, Marc Murphy, Britt Rescigno, Jonathon Sawyer, and Dale Talde.
Meanwhile the West Coast features:
Carlos Anthony, Shirley Chung, Mei Lin (Season 4 winner), Antonia Lofaso, Crista Luedtke, Brian Malarkey, Shota Nakajima, Joe Sasto, Adam Sobel, Casey Thompson, Jet Tila, Michael Voltaggio, Brooke Williamson (Season 1 winner), and Lee Anne Wong.
And once again their dishes will be judged blind by some of the finest chefs and biggest culinary personalities in the foodie world. The winner will walk away with an astonishing $150,000 and more importantly, the Tournament of Champions championship belt, which many say is more important than the money.
According to Fieri, the idea with Season 5 was to go bigger and bolder.
"As the wildest, most anticipated culinary competition year-after-year, you know that we had to go big for season five. So here’s the deal, in order to win, you’ve gotta either be a past champ or take down a champ, as all the winners from previous seasons are back to defend their titles. We’re crankin’ up the already fierce competition with heated culinary rivalries, wild cards, and of course, off-the-charts flavor on Tournament of Champions V!”"- Guy Fieri
Tournament of Champions V arrives on Food Network and on streaming on Sunday, February 18 at 8 PM.
What do you think Guilty Eaters? Are you excited for a new season of Tournament of Champions? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Facebook and other social media pages.