Sunday, February 25, 2024

Kids Baking Championship Winner - Season 12

Photo - Food Network

Monday night at 8pm ET on Food Network is the season 12 finale of Kids Baking Championship where the winning baker will take home the prize of $25,000 and a feature in Food Network Magazine.  The final two episodes will be played back-to-back and the winner will be revealed after the 9pm episode. The four remaining bakers going into the final episodes are: Lila Smethurst (age 11; San Antonio, TX), Tasi Savage (age 12; Kona, HI), Levi Dubner (age 13; Boca Raton, FL) and Oscar Stowell (age 12; Ross, CA).

The first episode description states, "It's school spirit day, and the theme is tie-dye! Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman challenge the kid bakers to make tie-dyed doughnuts and ice cream with two different flavored swirls. It's a lot of color, a lot of flavors and a lot of fun as the four remaining bakers compete for the three spots in the finale. When the day is done, one baker will go home."

The final episode description states, "The finale erupts with fun as the top three kid bakers face the final challenge, science fair volcano cakes. Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman ask the final bakers to make a cake that's not just delicious, it also has to look like a real volcano and erupt like one too! The baker with the best all-around volcano cake will win $25,000 and be crowned the Kids Baking Champion!"

I will update this post with the season 12 winner of Kids Baking Championship once the episode airs, whether that is this week or next week.  Feel free to discuss the final episodes and the season in the comments.  Valerie Bertinelli has announced that Food Network did not ask for her to return for future seasons, so this may be the last time she is on the show.

Continue reading to see who won season 12 of Kids Baking Championship.....

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Tournament of Champions Season 5 Bracket and Winners

Tournament of Champions season 5 starts on Sunday, February 18th at 8pm on Food Network and 32* chefs are competing for the biggest prize yet of $150,000.  While the main tournament doesn't start until February 18th, there are qualifiers that will air on Wednesday, February 7th and 14th where 16 chefs are competing for the four 8th seeds of the main tournament.  

The chefs competing in the qualifiers for the 8th seeds are:  Aaron May, Adriana Urbina, Bruce Kalman, Claudia Sandoval, Chris Scott, Demetrio Zavala, Kevin Lee, Gerald Sombright, Ilan Hall, Justin Sutherland, Leah Cohen, Maria Mazon, Michael Reed, Nini Nguyen, Pyet Despain, and Ray Garcia.  There are eight chefs from the East and eight chefs from the West and there will be four winners of 8th seeds to join the actual tournament (2 for East and 2 for West).

The chefs competing in the main tournament East bracket include: 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 (plus the 2 qualifier winners).

It is important to note that there are only 13 chefs named for the East bracket and when you add the 2 qualifiers, you only get 15 instead of 16.  The obvious speculation is that Darnell Ferguson was involved in Tournament of Champions which was taped before his arrest.  He has been involved in every season to date, so there is no reason to believe he was not involved in this season.  It will be interesting to see how they edit the show if that is the case, but I would expect he didn't make it far if they didn't do any re-filming.

The 16 chefs competing in the West bracket include: 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, season 1 champion Brooke Williamson (season 1 winner), and Lee Anne Wong (plus the 2 qualifier winners).

Simon Majumdar and Justin Warner will once again be providing the play-by-play analysis of the competition, and Hunter Fieri will again be following the action backstage with interviews.  The judges this year include Donatella Arpaia, Scott Conant, Cat Cora, Rocco DiSpirito, Susan Feniger, Lorena Garcia, Carla Hall, Michael Mina, Eric Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson, Nancy Silverton, Ming Tsai, Michael White, Jonathan Waxman, Geoffrey Zakarian and Andrew Zimmern.

This post will be used to track the winners for each episode, so come back after each episode to see who won the matchups on Tournament of Champions and to discuss the episodes.  Also, the Tournament of Champions season 5 bracket will be added here once it is revealed. The finale will air on Sunday, April 7th where the winner will be crowned and awarded $150,000.

UPDATE - The Tournament of Champions season 5 bracket has been revealed and it is below:
Tournament of Champions Bracket Season 5
Photo - Food Network

Continue reading to see who won the matchups in each episode......

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Food Network's Darnell Ferguson Arrested for Assault, Strangulation

Photo - Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections

Food Network's Darnell Ferguson was involved in a January 2nd incident that involved his estranged wife.  She told police that Ferguson forced his way into her house, threatened to kill her and choked her until she passed out.  TMZ also reports that she told police she eventually lost consciousness, and when she regained consciousness, she claims that Ferguson ripped off her shorts and demanded to see her privates.  He allegedly took her IDs an credit cards and left.

The charges Darnell Ferguson faces include burglary, strangulation, assault, terroristic threatening, menacing, criminal mischief, and theft of a stolen debit or credit card.

On January 19th, his lawyer gave a statement to People saying, "Mr. Ferguson continues to maintain his complete innocence and is confident that when all the facts are made public, he will be exonerated. While (Thursday’s) hearing was preliminary, a number of new details were introduced by the Louisville police that begin to paint a clear picture of the events of January 2, 2024."

The grand jury hearing is scheduled for the week of February 19th, so there will be more updates after that.

After news of the arrest, Food Network pulled all episodes of Superchef Grudge Match from airing on the network and removed it from all online and on-demand platforms. The newest season of Superchef Grudge Match had just started, so chefs that competed on that show may never get to see their episode air.  It should also be interesting to see how Tournament of Champions is edited as Darnell always competes in that and the new season is starting soon.  

I will try to update this post after the grand jury hearing in the middle of February with any new developments.