Tournament of Champions Season 3 winner: Best of the best crowned

Contestant Tiffani Faison and Floor Commentator Simon Majumdar during the Final 8, as seen on Tournament of Champions, Season 3. Photo provided by Food Network
Contestant Tiffani Faison and Floor Commentator Simon Majumdar during the Final 8, as seen on Tournament of Champions, Season 3. Photo provided by Food Network /

When Food Network announced Guy Fieri was bringing back Tournament of Champions for another season, everyone wondered how the concept could go bigger. From more chefs to outrageous randomizer ingredients, the chefs were pushed to the brink. Still, only one chef would raise the belt and be crowned Tournament of Champions Season 3 winner.

In the Tournament of Champions Season 3 finale, the semifinal battles set the tone. Even though there were a handful of upsets this season, everyone was curious if favorites could make it through to the finale.

For the first battle, Jet Tila took on Brooke Williamson. With the randomizer offering blowfish tails, salsify, combi oven, quenelle and 50 minutes, the chefs almost looked dumbfounded with the requirements. Sure, salsify has a subtle oyster flavor, but it might not be the most common ingredient.

Truthfully, the oddest part of this challenge was the quenelle. While it is a common plating method, especially with dessert, it doesn’t really fit with the challenge. This item seemed like it was just about checking the box.

Looking at the two dishes, it was pretty clear that Brooke was going to move back into the finale. It isn’t that Jet’s dish was bad, it just didn’t appeal to the judges as much as Brooke’s offering. Sometimes the comparison can make a great dish seem less appealing.

Brooke holds the distinction of being the most winningest chef on Tournament of Champions. Each season she has made the finale. That statement says a lot about her cooking ability under pressure.

In the second battle, Tiffani Faison took on Tobias Dorzon. While Tobias is the underdog, this challenge was far from a walk over. Add to the chaos one of the hardest randomizer offerings, the chefs might have wished for a re-spin.

The randomizer offered goose, bergamot, liquid nitrogen, velvety and 45 minutes. While one of these ingredients might be hard, the truth is that all three items combined is a nightmare. Finding a way to that kitchen equipment efficiently was key.

Even before the dishes were served, many people were predicting that Tiffani would make the finale. She has proven herself over and over. More importantly, she appreciates the “game” aspect to the challenge. By using the whole goose, she knew that she was playing to win.

There was to be no upset in the Tournament of Champions finale. Tiffani would move onto face Brooke for the last battle.

Given that the battle to determine who would raise the belt would have to be bigger than all the previous rounds, the Tournament of Champions Season 3 finale did not disappoint. Not only were the ingredients quite difficult, the chefs had to create three dishes with the required elements.

The final battle included rabbit, natto, anti-griddle, cooking three ways, and 60 minutes. The hardest part of this battle is the natto. That flavor is quite pungent. In addition, the anti-griddle is more suited for desserts or even a granita. Using it in this savory application was not easy.

It is clear that Brooke knows how to play these culinary games. She thinks quickly and creatively. It is almost as if she has an answer key to the judges’ preferences.

Tiffani pushes the envelope with her dishes. Being able to use all of the rabbit, showcase different flavors and properly executing each element earned her the judges’ praises. The biggest highlight was the skewered rabbit loin tataki.

With just two points separating the two chefs, Tiffani Faison was proclaimed the Tournament of Champions Season 3 winner. After many personal struggles, Tiffani earned the coveted prize.

As she told Food Network, “I learned more about myself with every battle and I learned more how deeply talented the other warriors in this tournament are. Every week is a test that requires your whole heart to show up and then takes your breath away. Winning has been one of the most affirming and rewarding experiences of my life. It is the literal culmination of the work, commitment and dedication I’ve invested in my career. I’m so deeply grateful for this opportunity. This is magic.”

Now that the Tournament of Champions Season 3 winner has been crowned, the only question on the table is when will Tournament of Champions Season 4 begin. And, could a male chef ever win this belt? It seems that women chefs are dominating this competition.