Host Guy Fieri on “Tournament of Champions IV.” (Food Network photo)
Mon, Apr 10th 2023 05:45 pm
Mei Lin wins ‘Tournament of Champions IV,’ Food Network’s highest-rated culinary competition
Mei Lin was crowned the champion on Sunday night’s unpredictable finale of “Tournament of Champions IV,” taking home the cash prize of $100,000.
After weeks of dominating the randomizer and going head-to-head with some of the most talented heavy hitters in the culinary world, Mei Lin won the final round of the difficult and edge-of-your-seat culinary competition.
Throughout the action-packed tournament, host and executive producer Guy Fieri put the culinary skills of 32 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 criticism from backstage.
Heading into the finale, “Tournament of Champions IV” has reached nearly 10.5 million P2+ viewers and has been the highest-rated series on Food Network to date in 2023, on track to finish as the highest-rated series ever among W25-54, P18+ and W18+. Food Network has also ranked as the No. 1 cable network among P18+ during the “Tournament of Champions” timeslot. The series is also one of Food Network’s most-social series ever, with a top social ranking at No. 1. Plus, the series earned more than 70 million social impressions and more than 30 million video views across platforms.
“Having the opportunity to compete against the best was not only challenging, but also invigorating,” Mei Lin said. “It was the toughest arena I’ve ever competed in, and it took every ounce of grit for me to succeed. Going up against friends and colleagues, whom I have so much respect and admiration for, was especially rewarding and gratifying. It was a true honor to have been a part of it all and I look forward to defending my title next season!”
The pressure and emotions were high last night’s final cooking battle as West Coast chef Mei Lin, who entered the tournament as the third seed in her region, faced-off against “TOC II” champion, East Coast chef Maneet Chauhan. The randomizer dished out some never seen before items in the history of the competition for the final battle that dictated that the chefs had to use a cut of side of lamb (that they had to butcher themselves), shiso, and an ice cream machine to prepare two dishes, one hot and one cold, in only 60 minutes. After racing around the kitchen to prepare their dishes for the judges, Mei and Maneet watched the deliberation backstage. With a close two-point difference, Mei Lin’s dishes – hand-cut lamb loin tartare with shiso and mint and pomegranate glazed lamb chops with savory shiso and garlic ice cream – won “Tournament of Champions IV.” Mei Lin earned bragging rights, the sought-after championship belt, and the cash prize of $100,000.
“Viewers devoured this year’s tournament, as it was filled with edge-of-your-seat action as the competition rookies delivered more intense and unpredictable battles resulting in a rollercoaster of upsets,” said Betsy Ayala, head of content for Food Network. “The caliber of culinary skills in every round this year was truly unbeatable and kept viewers captivated all season.”
“Tournament of Champions IV” was produced by Knuckle Sandwich and Lando Entertainment for Food Network.