NEW YORK – April 19, 2021 – After making it all the way to the semifinals last season, Maneet Chauhan was back with a vengeance on Tournament of Champions II. After weeks of dominating the wild ingredient combinations from the randomizer and going head-to-head with some of the most talented heavy hitters in the culinary world, Maneet won the final round of the difficult and unpredictable culinary competition last night, earning the coveted title, $25,000 and an all-new SUV! Throughout the action-packed, sports-like tournament, host and executive producer Guy Fieri put the culinary skills of 16 of the nation’s most celebrated chefs to the test in an East Coast vs. West Coast bracket-style, single elimination competition. Adding to the intensity of the chefs not knowing who they would face in each round, or what cooking challenges they would tackle from the randomizer, their dishes were judged by culinary experts in blind tastings as the competitors watched their critiques from backstage. Heading into the finale, Tournament of Champions II was the highest-rated series on Food Network to date in 2021, reaching nearly 11 million viewers with ratings doubling prior six-week benchmarks, and up 41% for the timeslot from year-ago levels. The series is one of Food Network’s most-social series ever with a top social ranking at #4. The original social content across saw a total reach of more than 50M during the season and earned 12M video views.
“This season was like watching a pressure cooker. Audiences were captivated by the intense rivalries, redemptions, and rematches. The unpredictable nature of this competition makes it so much fun to watch,” Courtney White, President, Food Network.
The pressure was on and emotions were high in last night’s final cooking battle as East Coast chef Maneet Chauhan, who entered the tournament as second seed in her region, faced-off against reigning champion, West Coast chef Brooke Williamson. The randomizer dictated the finale challenge where the two had to use langoustine as the protein, fresh wasabi as the produce, liquid nitrogen to cook with, utilizing the langoustine in three different ways in only 50 minutes. After racing around the kitchen to prepare their dishes for the judges, Maneet and Brooke watched the deliberation backstage. With a close three-point difference, Maneet’s dishes – a langoustine bisque with coconut milk and kombucha squash, a Aji Amarillo langoustine chickpea blini, and a tropical langoustine ceviche with frozen wasabi crema – won Tournament of Champions II. Over the course of the tournament, Maneet won $40,000 for independent restaurants facing hardships due to the pandemic, and she earned herself bragging rights, the sought-after championship belt, an all-new SUV, and a surprise $25,000 grand prize!
“I have competed a lot and Tournament of Champions is one of the toughest competitions that I have ever been in,” said Maneet Chauhan. “The randomizer is such a challenge and winning the belt this year is a validation of a lifetime of work and the choice to become a chef. After coming in final four last year, I was excited for the opportunity to redeem myself. It was a true honor to compete and be given the platform to raise money for all of the restaurants I was competing on behalf of.”
Fans can relive the surprising moments of the competition, including all the upsets and victories from the season, plus they can get Guy’s take on the competition on the special after show on discovery+. Follow #TournamentOfChampions on social media to watch a special Q&A with Brooke and Maneet on Friday, April 23.
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