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Columbus chef, restauranteur defeats former ‘Top Chef’ winner to advance in Food Network’s ‘highest-rated series’

Columbus chef, restauranteur defeats former ‘Top Chef’ winner to advance in Food Network’s ‘highest-rated series’

Jack McLaughlin

Those in Columbus may know Darnell Ferguson for his involvement in SuperChefs Ohio, the local spot for indulgent breakfast creations like Waffles & Wings. But those on the Food Network competition circuit likely know him as a “Tournament of Champions” gladiator.

On Sunday evening, Ferguson defeated former “Top Chef” winner Ilan Hall in the 2nd episode of the 4th season of “Tournament of Champions.” The show, hosted by fellow Columbus icon Guy Fieri, brings together 33 of “the world’s greatest chefs,” according to the Network, to create an intense, top-tier culinary competition.

According to Betsy Ayala, Food Network’s Senior Vice President Programming and Development in a press release for the new season, “Tournament of Champions” has been regularly reeling in the Network’s highest ratings over its first three seasons.


“‘Tournament of Champions’ is consistently Food Network’s highest-rated series with nearly 11 million viewers at the edge-of-their-seats last season,” Ayala said.

Ferguson is a 4th seed in the show’s March Madness bracket-style competition. You can check out his “Tournament of Champions” introduction here. You can watch the next episode of “Tournament of Champions” on March 5 at 8 p.m.

Ferguson, who helped launch the Columbus location of SuperChef’s alongside longtime friend Ryan Bryson (who is the owner of the Columbus restaurant), has become a familiar face for many Food Networks fans. He’s competed in multiple seasons of “Tournament of Champions,” including finishing top-4 in the show’s second season, where he was narrowly edged out of a trip to the finale after dropping a sudden death contest against chef Maneet Chauhan by a single point.

He also began hosting the Food Network show “SuperChef Grudge Match” in early February, and serves as co-hosts for several other of the Network’s popular series, and stints as a judge on the long-running show “Chopped.”

Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new February issue here!


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