You’ve waited long enough for Munch Madness to kick into gear! Now it’s time to reveal which 16 weird food combinations will be on this year’s bracket, who the judges are that will determine which of those 16 move on to the next round, and what you’re gonna win if (a) you submit the highest-scoring Munch Madness prediction bracket or (b) you’ve contributed the winning combination.
(By the way, it’s also time to think about submitting your bracket prediction, because the window to make your predictions is only open until March 9th. Then judging begins!)
The Official Munch Madness 2014 Bracket
Your votes have determined which of the original submissions are now on the bracket, and if I may say so, I think you, as a group, have made some very interesting choices.
The seeds, in the order you selected them:
- Grilled cheese sandwich covered in maple syrup
- Peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich (toasted)
- Pineapple with salt, sugar and chili flakes
“Sliced fresh pineapple, sprinkled with a mixture of salt, sugar, and crushed red chilli flakes. The salt should be a coarse kosher salt and the sugar should be a coarser, larger grain as well. The ratio should be about 1:1:1 but can be adjusted to taste.”
- Mashed grapes, sugar and cilantro on a cream cheese bagel
“Puree some red grapes with a little bit of sugar. Stir in some fresh chopped cilantro. Put it on a bagel with cream cheese.”
- Eggo waffle topped with fried egg, mashed avocado and Sriracha
“Fried egg on an eggo. topped with mashed avocado and sriracha sauce (preferably applied with a nice artistic touch so it looks very high class). You could salt & pepper to taste. I don’t but I won’t stop you.”
- Pickle spear wrapped in turkey and American cheese
“A pickle spear with a slice of American cheese wrapped around it, with a slice of turkey wrapped around that. When opening a loaf of bread is just too much work.”
- Orange soda and chocolate ice cream
“Pour orange soda over chocolate ice cream. The ratio is about half a can of soda to two scoops of ice cream. I usually make it in a bowl but a glass would probably work just as well.”
- Kraft mac ‘n chese topped with applesauce
“Kraft macaroni and cheese with applesauce poured over top.”
- Chocolate ice cream & watermelon
“Chocolate ice cream & watermelon, it sounds weird, but it’s the BEST combination ever! My dad always ate it that way when I was a kid, so I grew up thinking it was normal, until I was a teenager. “
- Pickles and hummus
- Peanut butter grilled cheese sandwich
- Crushed garlic on buttered raisin toast
“a generous helping of crushed garlic on top of buttered raisin toast.”
- Cheez-Its and hummus
- Slice of bologna on a cinnamon roll
“Buy a package of Cinnamon Rolls and a package of Bologna from the store, take the wrap off of the outside edge of the slice of Bologna, place on top of the Cinnamon Roll and eat.”
- Peanut butter and fried egg sandwich
“over medium fried egg sandwiches between two pieces of peanut butter toast.”
- Peanut butter and horseradish sandwich
(Please note that the contributors behind each submission will be announced at the end of the competition, rather than now, in hopes of reducing bias throughout the judging/voting process. That doesn’t mean you have to keep it a secret if one of these advancing submissions is yours, though!)
With this information in hand, you can now fill in your bracket for your chance at a fabulous prize package, and remember: each round will be determined by audience polling, with the exception of the upcoming Sweet 16 round, in which the field of competitors will be narrowed down to eight by our judges.
The Munch Madness 2014 Panel of Judges
The judges have been very carefully selected, for a variety of reasons, mostly related to their authority in food and food culture and/or their cleverness and unique points of view. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Nicole Smeltzer,
author and artist behind The Middlest Sister, who will team up with her husband Mike (who will put anything into an omelet) and their four-year-old daughter
- Chris Durso,
author of the blog Foodiggity, the first and last word on what’s happening in awesome/geeky/awesome food news.
- Tony Jenkins and Jason Mallory,
two comedic writer-performers you may know from (among other outlets) Scene Missing Magazine, of which Jason is editor-in-chief; both past contributors to Knuckle Salad, they are very funny fellows, with sometimes absurdly strong opinions about food.
- Kate Donahue,
author of Food Babbles, and winner of Munch Madness 2013: Potato Goodness with her original recipe for Rainbow Roasted Potato Salad.
- Jack Walsh,
producer, director and writer of numerous award-winning Public Broadcasting programs, including the well-known “Four Days at Dragon*Con” and the regional Emmy-winning food series “Get Delicious!”—also a writer of humor and witty non-humor, published in places like Thought Catalog and Scene Missing Magazine.
- Zack Brown,
a professional project manager, member of our Experimental Dinner Club, and analytical mind, whom I personally know to have a history of and exceptional interest in pushing the limits of food creativity.
- Myke Johns,
a local radio producer and writer of enviable caliber who’s been featured on Scene Missing Magazine and elsewhere, and consigliere to Write Club Atlanta, a competitive philanthropic literary bloodsport.
- And me and John,
because I believe in putting my money where mouth is, and sometimes where John’s is.
The Munch Madness 2014 Sponsors and Prizes
There will be two lucky winners this year. Well, I say they’re lucky, but as a matter of fact it’s all skill. Skill and…yeah, probably a little bit of luck. Skill, a little bit of luck, and the wisdom to follow along, vote, and submit stuff when I say you should.
The First Winner
The first winner is the person whose bracket prediction scores highest of aaaaalllll the bracket submissions once the final results are in. This will be calculated using a formula that takes into account all correctly-called matches throughout the tournament, as well as correctly identifying the food combo that’ll take the top spot. That person will win amazing prizes from each of our sponsors:
This winner will receive a box from PeachDish, containing fresh ingredients and recipes to make two dinners for two, including an appetizer and a light dessert. If you haven’t tried PeachDish yet, I will tell you, you’re gonna dig this. (You’re also gonna dig it if you have tried it before—I just don’t have to tell you.) PeachDish ships right to your door, all over the United States. The recipes generally take under half an hour to put together, don’t require any special equipment or shopping on your part, and include creative ingredients to help teach you techniques you may or may not have used before, essentially adding to your culinary repertoire and making you a better cook. Plus the meals are tasty. This prize is a $50 value.
AND THEN ON TOP OF THAT…
The bracket-predictingest winner will also receive a $25 gift certificate to the Foodiggity Shop, which is where all the coolest, geekiest kitchen stuff comes from. They carry stuff that looks like food but isn’t, stuff that makes your food look like it isn’t food, and stuff you use on your food that looks like stuff you’d never use on food. Basically everything in the shop is amazing. And it’s all less expensive than you’d think, so $25 goes a damn long way.
Finally, the winner will receive a package containing a set of charming recipe cards from Glue & Glitter, which they can use to keep track of brilliant culinary combination ideas in the future, and those sweet new PeachDish recipes they’re gonna learn. There will also be some kind of Munch Madness commemorative ribbon or trophy or certificate or something in the box. I haven’t decided yet. But of course there’s gonna be something.
Of course, you can’t win a PeachDish box, a gift certificate to the Foodiggity Shop, a set of recipe cards and a little award unless you enter your bracket predictions in time, so go enter them!
The Second Winner
The second winner is the person who originally submitted the food combination that is voted 2014 Munch Madness champion. So if you submitted a combination, and that combination made it onto the bracket, this could be you! And if it is, you will win the following:
Like the winning bracket predictor, the winning contributor will also receive a PeachDish box! Two meals for two! Two new recipes to try! I’ll be honest, I’m super jealous of both winners at this point.
In addition to the killer PeachDish box, this second winner will also receive a little shipment with the Glue & Glitter recipe cards and some kind of, you know, show-offy object to commemorate your Munch Madness victory. Because humility is important, and it’s a lot easier to behave with humility while surrounded by tokens of your many victories.
I’m just gonna say this one more time, and then you’re on your own: submit your bracket before the March 9 deadline!