Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 7: Another unexpected shakeup

Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 7
Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 7 / Food Network

As the Great Eight prepare to battle for supremacy, Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 7 added another element to the competition. Global flavors gave a few chefs an advantage in their quest to earn the coveted Food Network title.

When it comes to Tournament of Champions, the Randomizer can either be kind or it can be chaotic. As the Great Eight quickly learned, it is better to let those wheels spin and just try to find a common thread between all the requirements. These dishes were not necessarily the dinner that Food Network viewers would make at home.

For the first battle, Jet Tila took on reigning champion Mei Lin. While the two battled previously, every spin is a new moment. As it has been seen throughout the season, anything can happen.

Jet Tila on Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 7
Jet Tila on Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 7 / Food Network

The Randomizer offered leg of lamb, plantains, tamagoyaki pan (originally captaplana), and sweet and smoky. While the tamagoyaki pan did not necessarily throw the chefs for a loop, the leg of lamb was not an easy ingredient. Even with 40 minutes on the clock, bringing these ingredients together was hard.

Mei Lin decided to ground the lamb into a patty. The fried and charred patties had a good flavor. The lamb fat was used to cook rice and the plantains were used in various forms. The judges’ biggest criticism was that the dish needed some type of vinaigrette or sauce and the smoke element was a little subtle.

Jet Tila made a curry. The lamb massaman curry hit the sweet notes but the smoky characteristic was a little lacking. The judges appreciated the use of the tamagoyaki pan in making and shaping the plantain fritter. Most importantly, the tender cook on the lamb in limited time was impressive.

With three points separating them, Jet Tila pulled out the win over Mei Lin. Could it finally be a year where a male chef wins Tournament of Champions? It might be time for a new winner.

In the second battle of Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 7, Britt Rescigno took on Amanda Freitag. This battle might not have the big fan fare as the other cooks, but it was the most creative and daring.

The Randomizer offered guinea hen (a respin from lingcod collar), quince, aebleskiver pan, and big and small. The big and small element was confusing. It seemed that no one really understood how or why this component was necessary.

Britt Rescigno took a huge risk and made a filled ravioli. Making fresh pasta in a Food Network competition is not common. It earned high praise from everyone in and around the kitchen.

Overall, Britt’s dish was filled with technique. From the beautiful guinea hen ravioli to the caramelized quince, it was impressive. But, the judges did not see the big and small.

Amanda’s dish was very different. Her approach was fried, fried, and more fried. The fried guinea hen was moist and the fried mac and cheese balls in the aebleskiver pan was extremely smart.

In the end, Britt Rescigno pull out another victory and made her way back into the final four. Could it be her year to take the title?

For the third battle, Antonia Lofaso took on Kevin Lee. While Lee has been the Cinderella story of Tournament of Champions Season 5, Antonia Lofaso has wanted to win this title since the beginning. It was a fierce competition.

The Randomizer offered Lingcod collar, Okinawa sweet potato, porridge spurtle, and raw and cooked. Since Lingcod collar has to be cooked, the raw preparation seemed to be a vegetable item on each plate. It is surprising that there was a requirement that could not happen in a dish.

Antonia Lofaso is determined to win. Her dish focused on Latin flavors. The smashed avocado contrasting the fried collar was smart because of the different textures. The addition of the pickled sweet potato brought balance. The visual received high praise.

When judging Kevin’s dish, the collar was tender with a lovely miso glaze flavor. The kimchi and the slaw were the best part of the dish, but the porridge was a little too starchy.

In the end, the judges preferred the bright, vibrant dish from Antonia Lofaso over Kevin Lee’s dish. His run to the title has come to an end, but he won more rounds in this Food Network competition than the other participants. Maybe next season will be his year.

Maneet Chauhan on Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 7
Maneet Chauhan on Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 7 / Food Network

The last battle of the night had Maneet Chauhan take on Tobias Dorzon. Maneet is the only former champion remaining in Tournament of Champions Season 5. The Randomizer offered pork belly, fresh chickpeas, banana leaves, and sweet and sour. This combination seems like a softball for both chefs.

Tobias decided to make a pork lime coconut curry. A curry against Maneet was a bold choice. Wrapping his rice in the banana leaf helped to perfume the ingredient. Unfortunately, his curry sauce did not capture sour or sweet. It was flavorful and a touch salty, but it was missing that key element.

The biggest complement that Maneet’s dish received was that it was elegant. From the beautifully cooked pork belly to the aromatic crepe, it was a well composed dish. Even if the taste was a touch sour, the dish was successful.

With the highest scores of Tournament of Champions Season 5 episode 7, Maneet Chauhan beat Tobias Dorzon 86 to 84. Maneet Chauhan is still in the running to be a two-time champion.

Will a new champion earn this season’s title? Be sure to watch the Final Four on Food Network. The Season Finale will air on April 7 at 9 p.m. ET. Episodes can be streamed the next day on MAX.