UNDERDOG BROOKE WILLIAMSON WINS FOOD NETWORK’S EPIC CULINARY COMPETITION TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

NEW YORK – April 2, 2020 – After weeks of shocking upsets and incredible victories on Tournament of Champions, Brooke Williamson won the final round of the difficult and unpredictable culinary competition last night. Host and executive producer Guy Fieri put the culinary skills of 16 of the nation’s most celebrated chefs to the test in a single elimination, East Coast vs. West Coast bracket-style competition, where a randomizer machine determined the protein, produce, equipment, cooking style, and time for each round. Adding to the intensity of not knowing who the chefs would face in each round, or what cooking challenges they must tackle, their dishes were judged by culinary experts in blind tastings as the competitors watched the reactions backstage. Heading into the finale, Tournament of Champions had been seen by nearly 9 million viewers and with an average rating of 0.8 P25-54, 0.9 W25-54, with the most recent episode posting a 1.0 P25-54 rating and a 1.2 W25-54 rating, ranking #3 among ad-supported cable within its timeslot for both P25-54 and W25-54, as well as #2 among Millennials P25-34.* The series was also a hit across social platforms with original content that saw a total reach of more than 50M during the season, with last week’s episode ranking as the #3 live primetime premiere.**

“Viewers were hooked by the intensity of the sudden death bracket-style format of Tournament of Champions full of unexpected twists and turns throughout each round of the competition,” Courtney White, President, Food Network.

The pressure was on and emotions were high in last night’s final cooking battle as Brooke Williamson, who entered the tournament as seventh seed on the West Coast, faced-off against East Coast chef Amanda Freitag. The randomizer dictated the finale challenge where the two had to use a whole duck as the protein, kohlrabi as the produce, a turning slicer as a piece of cooking equipment, utilizing each one in a dish for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner in only 60 minutes. After racing around the kitchen to prepare their dishes for the judges, Amanda and Brooke watched the deliberation backstage. With a surprising one point difference, Brooke’s dishes – duck egg in a whole for breakfast, fried Duck crackling, kohlrabi, apple and endive salad with mustard buttermilk dressing for lunch, and duck breast with charred persimmon sauce with pickled kohlrabi and fried kohlrabi greens – won the Tournament of Champions and earned her the bragging rights, championship belt and a brand new RAM™ 1500 limited truck.

“Chefs are competitive by nature and when you throw them into the fire of blind judging, the battles are intense, unpredictable and true feats of culinary excellence,” said Guy Fieri. “In the inaugural Tournament of Champions, Brooke Williamson proved that she alone is the fiercest competitor on the culinary battlefield.”

“Some people thrive in a competitive environment, and I may even dare to say I’m one of those people,” said Brooke Williamson. “Tournament of Champions was a very different dynamic from any show I’ve done in the past; it was very fast-paced, cut-and-dry, one-on-one bracket battle format. Cooking and competing against close peers and friends – all of whom I have tremendous respect for – made for an incredibly rewarding competition, that I’m so honored I was able to be a part of.”

Today at 1:15pm ET, fans can catch an exclusive Q&A with Guy Fieri and Tournament of Champions winner Brooke Williamson on Food Network’s Facebook page. Fans will learn about their favorite memories from the competition, what Brooke was thinking as she went head-to-head against Amanda, and they will both answer some of the biggest questions submitted by fans throughout the season. Follow along using #TournamentofChampions.

*Nielsen Live+3 day

**Nielsen Social

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FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.