The Real Reason Guy Fieri's Tournament Of Champions Is East Coast Vs. West Coast

East Coast versus West Coast is a time honored U.S. rivalry, but why choose this regional battle for Tournament of Champions on Food NetworkWhile your mind may wander to the '90s East Coast versus West Coast hip hop and rap, that isn't the reason. Neither is the inspiration politics, although the result is a food nation divided. Instead, the team dynamic was initially a purely practical idea, much like Hell's Kitchen blue team/red team dynamic. 

"It never was intended to be an East Coast/West Coast thing. That's really 100% true. When we started bringing the names in and the chefs in, for who was going to be in this competition, it happened to be that they became East Coast/West Coast," said Guy Fieri to Yahoo! News.

There's probably a little bit of inspiration drawn from food classic Iron Chef too, as Fieri was reportedly strongly influenced by the battle of tested food champions. Plus, we all love rooting for a team, and food challenges provide us some great team dynamics, especially with the strong and outgoing personalities that we see in many famous chefs.

How Guy Fieri expects this to influence the show

So how did the East Coast/West Coast thing happen for season two? Fieri explained that to Yahoo! News, too, saying that this kind of bi-coastal competition ended up being a huge hit with fans. He added, "But what I really want it to become is I do want it to become regional, where they start coming and representing their area and their background and their history and their culture and their food styles."

So there you have it. The coastal dynamic of Tournament of Champions was born of convenience, and kept due to the viewers — as good a reason as any. Just don't go diving for a deeper meaning. Fieri says his ultimate goal, however, is to go regional and allow chefs to share the culture and cuisine of their area. 

Fieri has also been a leading fundraiser in restaurant relief (via Restaurant Employee Relief Fund). He yet again took another chance to give back to the industry, "We have chefs that are friends with restaurants that are hurting.' I said, 'We need to do something and recognize all these restaurants.' ... And so we came up the idea of having the chefs play on behalf of a restaurant when they did their competition." Food Network will be donating $10,000 to the restaurant selected by the winner of each round at Fieri's request, too.