The Hungry Fan Daina Falk’s recipe for nacho burgers is one of 12 game-day recipes in the March Madness bracket challenge. | photo by Jack Lukow

For the majority of March Madness fans, filling out as many brackets as possible and watching your picks play out (and maybe winning that office pool) is as a much a part of the experience as watching the NCAA men’s basketball tournament itself.

But for some, food plays a big role in their tournament watching, and we’re talking about your bar food/tailgate favorites — wings, chips, dips, beer. The tournament just isn’t the same without some good grub and a cold one to go along with it.

What if you could combine the two?

The Hungry Fan Daina Falk

Enter Greenville-based Bandwagon online ticketing service and celebrity chef The Hungry Fan Daina Falk.

They’ve joined forces for a weekly recipe bracket challenge beginning March 5 and ending April 2 that will pit different recipes against each other, the winner of which will be chosen based on the number of social media shares and downloads.

The recipe categories are dips, wings, burgers, and drinks, with four recipes, developed by Falk, in each grouping for home cooks to test out.

Falk grew up at sporting events and around professional athletes who were clients of her father sports agent David Falk. Along the way she developed healthy recipes for the tailgate fare common to sporting events.

Now known as The Hungry Fan, she’s an in-demand celebrity cook on various television programs such as Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Today Show. Falk’s first cookbook hit bookshelves in August 2016 and features her own recipes along with those she’s collected from Olympians and professional athletes such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Andre Agassi, Boomer Esiason, and Robert Griffin III.

The recipes she’s developed for the March Madness bracket challenge are:

[Dips] Cilantro carrot hummus
Buffalo chicken dip
Bacon poblano guacamole
Black bean salsa

Buffalo chicken dip | photo by Jack Lukow
[Wings] Buffalo wings
Chipotle raspberry wings
Teriyaki honey wings
Garlic parmesan wings

Garlic parmesan wings | photo by Jack Lukow
[Burgers] Nachos burger
Crab cake burger
Sweet & spicy sriracha slider
Asian bbq turkey burger

Asian bbq turkey burger | photo by Jack Lukow
[Drinks] Manhattan & Beyond (available locally at Larkin’s on the River)
Better Barrel G&T (available locally at Larkin’s on the River)
Bloody Mary

Better Barrel G&T

Here’s how to join the challenge:

1) The recipes will be available via a landing page at Participants will select the recipes they want to download, and then enter their email address, where the recipes will be delivered.

2) Recipes will be released one group per week for four weeks with the winner of each category announced the following week when the new round is released. The wings round will be released on the March 5 (the winner announced March 12), the dips round on the on the March 12, the next on March 19, and the final group on March 26. Each recipe will be accompanied by a photo and short Tasty-style video of each recipe the day it is released.

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