Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 3: Scrapple, shrimp, and a shocking outcome

Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 3
Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 3 / Food Network

After one big upset in the first round, Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 3 could keep the bracket busting going forward. Will another qualifier knock off a number one seed or will the Randomizer be kind to the chefs?

In the first rounds, the chefs had some impressive dishes. Even if a few of the ingredients are not within their comfort zone, the reality is that everyone is playing the game well. It appears that every episode has a new high score.

For the first battle in Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 3, Stephanie Izard took on Eric Adjepong. The chefs had the daunting task of incorporating scrapple. In addition, the other ingredients were rockfish, bell peppers, cast iron griddle, and chewy. Although that food combination sounded like breakfast, neither chef tackled the first meal of the day.

Interesting enough, no one mentioned that some chefs do not like cooking with bell peppers. While they bring color, other peppers offer a deeper flavor.

Izard made a rockfish with scrapple dumpling and a red pepper ragu. While the judges appreciated the cook on the fish, the dumplings needed more scrapple flavor. It was a good dish, but not necessarily a great one.

Eric Adjepong on Tournament of Champions Season 5
Eric Adjepong on Tournament of Champions Season 5 / Food Network

Adjepong submitted a griddled rockfish with an escabeche farro. The scrapple was more predominate in this dish and the judges appreciated the multiple uses of the peppers.

While the scores were close, Adjepong earned his first Tournament of Champions win and knocked off Iron Chef Izard. Although Izard has had great success in other culinary competitions, she has not broken through in this Food Network show. She will have to wait another year.

In the second battle, Antonia LoFaso took on Casey Thompson. They had to use ground venison, celery root, pickled, grill basket, and pepper jelly. The interesting aspect to this battle was that both chefs made meatballs. While this idea was in LoFaso’s wheelhouse, it might not have been the best choice for Thompson.

The judges offered high praise for LoFaso and her meatball. They said that she nailed the Randomizer. Even if the flavor was a touch spicy, it was quite tasty.

Thompson had a slight mis-step with her meatball and chose to double fry it. While the judges appreciated the Asian flavors, the meatball was slightly overcooked.

In the end, LoFaso earned the win and moved into the sweet sixteen. Could it be her year to win it all? Only time will tell.

For the third battle of the night, Lee Anne Wong took on Adam Sobel. Sobel had big wins in Tournament of Champions Season 4. On the other hand, Wong is looking to find some positive outcomes after the devastation that her and her fellow Hawaiian chefs faced last year.

The Randomizer offered shrimp, cucumbers, toaster oven, broiled and star pasta. The pasta twist was strange as was Sobel’s manifestation of shrimp.

Wong decided to make a cold shrimp dish. Although most chefs do not go down this style, it worked well to highlight the shrimp flavors. Unlike some other cooking competitions, the cold preparation was not the easy road. She definitely went the extra mile and the judges applauded her concept.

Sobel’s dish was considered the ultimate melting pot of flavors. While the shrimp dumpling had a nice texture, the judges wanted more acid in the dish.

After tabulating the scores, Wong earned the victory. Her score of 93 was the highest so far in Tournament of Champions Season 5.

For the last battle of the night, Maneet Chauhan took on qualifier winner Nini Nguyen. They had to tackle turkey wing, tomatillos, crepe pan, buttery, and green grapes. The combination of flavors seemed slightly off kilter, but the two chefs would have to manage it.

During the Qualifying Rounds, Nguyen earned high scores and praise for her dishes. In this round, she seemed to falter a little. The idea to de-bone and stuff the turkey wing was a creative approach, but it did not get the wow response she wanted. Still, the judges liked her use of butter, including the clever play with butter lettuce.

Chauhan made a smart choice by turning the turkey leg into a lollipop. The judges raved about that technique. Unfortunately, one judge received a raw flat. Somehow that error was not overly criticized. Overall, the judges appreciated her bold spices and butter notes, too.

Unfortunately, an upset was not in the cards. Chauhan beat Nguyen. It might not have been a huge victory, but it earned Chauhan another opportunity.

Looking at all the results, it seems that new faces could go farther into the bracket. Wins by Adjepong and Wong are good for the competition. More importantly, it shows that any chef could hoist the belt at the end of the season.

Be sure to watch a new episode of Tournament of Champions Season 5 on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Catch up on other episodes on MAX.