March Madness Food Fight: Sweet Sixteen

Staff Writer
The biggest players in the food biz duke it out for glory
March Madness Food Fight: Sweet Sixteen
Jane Bruce

Taking inspiration from last year's Food Fight, we thought it would be fun to pit a roster of culinary superstars against each other in competition. We didn't seed them, but arranged them into four categories: TV food personalities, restaurateurs, chefs, and food writers.

The results of the first and second rounds of The Daily Meal’s second annual March Madness Food Fight have been tallied and the latest sets of battles are awaiting your vote.

In the first two rounds, the competitors were chosen based on their personalities, their stature in the food world, and, well, because it just seemed fun to put them up against each other for reasons beyond their culinary prowess. After putting the fate of these culinary challenges in the hands of the public, the results of the Round Two matchups are quite interesting. Padma Lakshmi edged out Jamie Oliver in the battle of the prettiest food TV personality, in a matchup for the history books Alice Waters emerged victorious over Grant Achatz in the old guard v. new guard contest, and Anthony Bourdain beat Ruth Reichl for the title of which icon contributes more heavily to Ruth Bourdain’s persona.

The Sweet Sixteen pairings are detailed below, and now the power is in your hands to vote on which participants will advance through to the Elite Eight. Click on the bracket to get an enhanced visual of the battles at hand, and then cast your votes using this survey. Bear in mind that you'll be choosing the victors of each pairing based on the reasons outlined in the breakdown below.

Click here to cast your votes in the March Madness Food Fight.

Check back here Monday to see who advances to the Elite Eight.

Breakdown: Sweet Sixteen
Guy Fieri v. Padma Lakshmi: Who has the better TV catchphrase?
Bobby Flay v. Tom Colicchio: Which culinary superstar is the king of Hollywood cameos?
Alain Ducasse v. Danny Meyer: Who is the more amiable host?
Wolfgang Puck v. Nobu Matsuhisa: Battle Smoked Salmon Pizza v. Black Cod in Miso
David Chang v. Thomas Keller: Battle of the upscale fried chicken
Alice Waters v. Marcus Samuelsson: Which cuisine wins — Mediterranean v. Scandinavian?
Jeffrey Steingarten v. Anthony Bourdain: Which culinary personality is the most acerbic?
Mark Bittman v. Ed Behr: Who has the quietest authority?