Meatball Madness Brings March Bracket-style Tournament to the Culinary World Thanks to Niman Ranch and Spiceology

Denver — March is about two things…Meatballs and Madness. With National Meatball Day on March 9th and March 18th kicking off the annual collegiate basketball tournament, Niman Ranch and Spiceology combined the two with the announcement of the first annual Meatball Madness recipe competition, sharing the official Savory 16 bracket of recipes. In every match, two chef-developed recipes will go head to head with meatball fans voting on which dish makes the cut for the next round, until only one meatball is left simmering. All recipes feature Certified Humane® meat from Niman Ranch and innovative spice blends from Spiceology.

The Meatball Madness Tournament will feature surprise guest commentators to test recipes and provide play-by-play analysis. The competition kicks off March 18th and will continue through the final round on April 1st. The Meatball Madness Champion will be announced on April 5th.

For every win the chefs rack up, they’ll take home more prizes from the two iconic brands, including spice blends from Spiceology and premium meat from Niman Ranch. In addition to the prizes accumulated through each round, the ultimate champion will be presented the coveted Meatball Madness trophy.

Meatball fans can also win big with every vote cast for the top recipe entering them into a drawing for a premium Niman Ranch apron and cutting board, two-packages each of ground beef, pork and lamb and a giftcard from Spiceology

To download the bracket, view recipes and learn more, please visit

The Savory 16 Chefs competing in the Meatball Madness Tournament are:

  1. Zoe Adelstein, Big Bad Banh Mi-Balls / @chefzoe
  2. Kiki Aranita, Embutido Meatballs / Poi Dog / @Kikiaranita / @poidogphilly
  3. Jessica Arends, Chorizo Cotija Meatballs / Six Friends Cabernet / @chefjessicaarends
  4. Richard Barnickel, Parrain’s Family Jewels / Home Chef
  5. Norbert Bomm, ‘Stachio Mango Meatballs / @norbertskitchen
  6. Samantha Buyskes, Lamb ‘n’ Lentil Meatballs / Simply Red Events and Culinary Adventures / @Foodforlife2
  7. Frank Campanella, Banh Banh Cups / @frankcampanella
  8. Mimi Chang, Fired Up Basil Meatballs / Home Chef
  9. Daniel England, It’s all greek to MEatballs / OMG Hospitality Group / @chefmode
  10. Marie Ganister, Tia Maria’s Adobo Meatballs / Vineyard Academy Culinary Arts Windsor High School 
  11. Yukyung Han, Seoul on Fire / @sweetyukon
  12. Daniel Korn, One Bite in Bangkok / Home Chef
  13. Susan Kowalski, Wild Thyme Meatballs / Wild Thyme Catering / @WildThymeLA
  14. Philip Maloney, Triple Threat Niman Meatballs / @hazlenutchef
  15. Brian Nance, Umami’s Meatballs / Dickies Arena
  16. Bill Thompson, Orange you Sweet Meatballs / Artisan Café at Security Benefit / @wildchefbill

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Niman Ranch is a community of more than 750 independent family farmers and ranchers who raise pork, beef and lamb traditionally, humanely and sustainably to deliver the Finest-Tasting Meat in the World®. Niman Ranch is the largest farmer and rancher network in North America to be Certified Humane®.  The protein of choice for America’s most celebrated chefs, Niman Ranch is also the premier option for discerning home cooks looking for meats Raised with Care®, with no antibiotics or added hormones—ever. Follow Niman Ranch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Founded in 2013, Spiceology is the fastest-growing privately owned spice company in America. The chef-owned and operated, one-stop spice shop offers over 300 spices, blends, herbs, chiles, salts, confections, fruit and vegetable powders, and modernist cooking ingredients. Today, Spiceology invites you to experiment with flavor and brings flavor to leading restaurants, favorite bars and watering holes, as well as premier resorts, hotels and casinos throughout the U.S., operating out of a 30,000-square foot facility and warehouse based in Spokane, Washington. The brand is sold direct to consumers and chefs across the U.S. and Canada, with customers as far reaching as Australia and Dubai. For more information or to place an order, visit or follow us on Facebook and Instagram. For recipe inspiration, visit here.