After eight long weeks of brutal competition and an unyielding Randomizer, Tournament of Champions IV has crowned a new champion. And that champion is Mei Lin, the Los Angles based chef who came into the competition as the No. 3 seed in the West Coast B bracket.
Lin defeated none other than Maneet Chauhan, winner of Season 2, for the belt and bragging rights. Chauhan came in as the No. 2 seed in the East Coast B bracket and looked to be on track to become the first ever two time Tournament of Champions winner.
Of course, that was before she went up against Lin and her powerhouse flavors and impeccable cooking style.
The two chef had to prepare a total of 12 dishes, two for each of the judges in just 60 minutes. Lamb was the protein and one dish had to be hot while the other cold, hence the two dishes per judge. And while Chauhan cooked some amazing food, Lin’s lamb loin tartare and pomegranate glazed lamb chops simply blew the judges away.
The Season 4 of Tournament of Champions clearly saw a new generation take over.
Lin winning was indicative of a season that saw the next generation of chefs come in and take over. Over the course of the competition one Tournament of Champions OG was sent home after another, losing to newcomers to the series.
Antonia Lofaso. Darnell Ferguson. Season 3 winner Tiffani Faison. Madison Cowan. Christian Petroni. All were gone by the second round, with some suffering embarrassing first round exits. By contrast the newcomers seemed dialed in and ready to cook from the word go.
Shota Nakajima made it to the quarter finals before finally losing to eventual winner Lin. Adam Sobel had a long run before falling to No. 1 seed Jet Tila. And then of course there was the giant killer Britt Rescigno.
Rescigno made it all the way to the Final Four after getting to the tournament thanks to the play-in on Guy’s Grocery Games. She took out Faison and Ferguson on her way to a meeting with the legendary Iron Chef Jose Garces and not only beat him, but did it soundly.
It was a season that saw a lot of new blood take control of the arena and make it their own. No one would be all that shocked if this was the last time we saw some of the old guard taking part in the competition. Cowan has already said he’s retired and Tila also insinuated he may not return for Season 5.
While some chefs may be calling it quits, it sounds like Lin is already looking forward to for defending her title, saying via press release:
"“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.”"
Let the countdown to Tournament of Champions V commence!