Previous champs Tiffani Faison, Maneet Chauhan, Brooke Williamson and Mei Lin are all back to compete for the $150,000 prize
The new season of Fieri's competition series returns on Feb. 18, and PEOPLE has the exclusive first look at the star-studded season.
“This is the most difficult competition in the culinary world,” host Fieri says at the start of the teaser. “Not every chef wants to come back to TOC, not every chef wants to come to TOC in the first place.”
The minute-long trailer shows familiar Food Network faces chop, sauté (and stress out!) in the high-stakes cooking challenges. Chopped alum Antonia Lofaso reiterates Fieri’s opening sentiment and adds, “Winning this is everything. I’ve competed on a lot of culinary competitions but this is the mega one.”
The four previous seasons have been won by women and all of the champs are back for season 5.
“To be a champion here, you have to beat a champion,” says Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio.
The chefs representing the East Coast include Eric Adjepong, Karen Akunowicz, Kelsey Barnard Clark, Jose Garces, Stephanie Izard, Marc Murphy, Britt Rescigno, Jonathon Sawyer, Tobias Dorzon, Amanda Freitag and Dale Talde. Plus, the East Coast team has the help of season 2 champion Maneet Chauhan and season 3 champion Tiffani Faison.
The West Coast team is spearheaded by season 1 champion Brooke Williamson and season 4 champion Mei Lin. Celebrity chefs Carlos Anthony, Shirley Chung, Antonia Lofaso, Crista Luedtke, Brian Malarkey, Shota Nakajima, Joe Sasto, Adam Sobel, Casey Thompson, Jet Tila, Michael Voltaggio and Lee Anne Wong are also on the West Coast team.
The randomizer is back to challenge the 32 chefs as tasks get progressively more difficult throughout each round. Referred to as the “most dreaded culinary device ever created” by Fieri in the trailer, the five-wheeled contraption determines the protein, produce, equipment, cooking style, and time set for each cook-off.
After the eight-week competition and 31 head-to-head battles, one chef will be crowned the season 5 champ. Whoever ends up on top earns a $150,000 cash prize (the biggest in the show’s history!) and a TOC belt.
There is more than one Fieri on the set of Tournament of Champions. Fieri's own son, Hunter, will document all the backstage drama, including a look at the chefs' reactions as they watch culinary greats blindly judge their dishes.
Cat Cora, Rocco DiSpirito, Carla Hall, Marcus Samuelsson, Geoffrey Zakarian and Andrew Zimmern are just a few of the judges deciding the fate of the season 5 participants.
Fans who can’t wait until Feb. 18 can watch Tournament of Champions: The Qualifiers, on Feb. 7 and 14. In this preliminary mini-series, 16 chefs compete for four spots in the season 5 competition. Also on Feb. 14, viewers can refresh their memory on what happened last year with the hour-long special Road to Tournament of Champions V.
Tournament of Champions season 5 premieres Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/ PT on Food Network and discovery+.
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