TV Shows

Tournaments of Champions 3 Winner!


David Mudd

The issue coming into the final episode of Tournament of Champions season 3 on Food Network was whether Brooke Williamson would become the show’s second winner in the show’s three-season run. Or would Tobias Dorzon, Tiffani Faison, or Jet Tila be the ones to walk away with the victory and the $100,000 prize money?

The finals consisted of three encounters, with the third and final battles taking place the day after the semifinals and finals respectively (in past seasons, the final battle was filmed on the same day as the semi-final competitions, as I reported about in my behind-the-scenes piece).

There was also an addition of a fourth judge, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, which resulted in the last two cooks having to prepare an additional plate of cuisine. In addition, the produce wheel on the Randomizer has been replaced with a mysterious ingredient.

Despite the fact that TOC3 included twice as many chefs as the previous season, it only had eight episodes, one more than the previous season, and all of them moved at breakneck speed, which is one of the show’s many pleasures.

While I would want more, I believe that its limited availability makes it unique; I don’t want it to become another Chopped episode, for example.

When the Tournament of Champions began three years ago, in the earliest days of the pandemic, it seemed new and different because of the calibre of the chefs competing, the basic but effective competitive framework, and the judging system in place.

Brooke Williamson has been extremely dominant in all three seasons, entering the finals with a tournament-best 10 victories and advancing to the finals for the third year in a row. Jet Tila, on the other hand, advanced to the semi-finals for the second year in a row.

Tournaments of Champions 3 Winner

Despite the fact that some of the same chefs have returned, the level of talent and competition has risen.

There are now rematches, such as Tiffani Faison versus Amanda Freitag, Michael Voltaggio versus Brooke Williamson, and Brooke Williamson versus Jet Tila, as well as Tiffani Faison versus Amanda Freitag.

I’m fine with the show abandoning the east versus west concept in order to shake up the returning chefs in future seasons (although I do enjoy those rematches).

The rivalry between Michael and Brooke may be described as “grudge match” because she has now defeated him in every season, but that doesn’t seem to fit what is going on here because, while Michael clearly wanted to win, they are all very supportive of one another.

Chefs compete against each other on TOC regardless of whether they are friends or strangers. They must get as many points from the judges as they can in order to win the competition and advance to the next round.

The Winner of the Third Tournament of Champions

The finale of TOC’s third season included three matchups. First and foremost, the semi-finals:

#1 Brooke Williamson takes on #1 Jet Tila in a women’s tennis match.

#7 Tobias Dorzon will face off against Tiffani Faison, who is ranked third.

The clear favourite to win, according to the results of two totally unscientific surveys that I did, was Brooke; yet, when it came to voting for the winner, Brooke, Jet, and Tiffani were all fairly evenly divided, with Tobias—who is much less well-known—not far behind.

There were numerous opportunities for records to be broken in the finale.

For the first time in the history of the tournament, there were two men in the final four. Would a male chef have a better chance of winning? Even while Top Chef, the gold standard of cooking competitions, has featured male champions in two-thirds of its seasons, the competition is not assessed blindly like Top Chef Canada, as is TOC. Hmm.

Would Brooke become the first person to win the competition twice? Tiffani Faison would have to overcome her string of second-place finishes that date back to Top Chef season 1 in 2006 to win the competition.

Brooke and Jet were required to use both blowfish tails and salsify in the first round, as well as a combi oven and quenelle as the cooking method.

Brooke received 84 points, while Jet received 82 points. “I think you made the better dish,” he said to her.

Tobias and Tiffani then had to produce a “velvety” meal out of goose and bergamot, which they accomplished with the help of liquid nitrogen.

Tobias received an 84 and Tiffani received a 91.

This resulted in a final showdown between two former Top Chef contestants. “Come on, you know you want to! Really?!” Tiffani was overjoyed when she learned she would be competing against Brooke, who had advanced to the finals for the third year in a row.

Tiffani Faison vs. Brooke Williamson

The randomizer selected rabbit and natt as the last combat foes, and Tiffani and Brooke were given 60 minutes to use an anti-griddle while preparing one ingredient three ways on three different grills.

When Morimoto tasted both Brooke’s and Tiffani’s plates, he stated, “This is a really difficult judgement.”

In the end, it came down to a two-point difference: 90 versus 92 points. Tiffani edged Brooke by one point in taste and one point in the use of the randomizer in the final round.

The camera captured Tiffani discussing her career and personal struggles, which included divorcing her husband. “I have this difficulty to break through,” she said to the camera. “I’ve come in second quite a few times.”

Tournaments of Champions 3 Winner

Tiffani made TOC history by becoming the third winner in the organization’s existence, and she also made her own history by winning a competition—and a significant one at that.

After three seasons, three very different chefs have taken home the title of Tournament of Champions, resulting in three memorable finales and the promise of even more exciting future seasons and rematches.

Food Network’s biggest competition, the Super Bowl of culinary contests, attracting people who have competed on, judged on, and even hosted a broad variety of food reality television shows. I can’t wait for next year’s edition, which will be even better than this one.

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