This Jersey Shore chef is about to take on Food Network champions for $100,000

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It may be too early for the big college basketball tournament, but the Food Network has a bracket-style competition starting Sunday — and a popular Jersey Shore chef is in it to win it.

Britt Rescigno of Tuckerton, former chef at Beach Haven's Delaware Avenue Oyster House, is among the 32 competitors on Guy Fieri's "Tournament of Champions." The fourth season kicks off at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, with the winner taking home the "TOC" belt and $100,000. Rescigno starts cooking on Sunday, Feb. 26, against the reigning "TOC" champ, Boston-based Tiffani Faison.

“The first time I’m ever on 'TOC,' I’ll be against the reigning champion,” Rescigno said in a recent interview. “ … To be in that spotlight, it’s honestly a bucket list goal checked off.”

Contestant Britt Rescigno, as seen on Food Network's fourth season of "Tournament of Champions."
Contestant Britt Rescigno, as seen on Food Network's fourth season of "Tournament of Champions."

Food Network fans know that Rescigno is no stranger to competition. On Wednesday, Feb. 15, she won "Guy's Grocery Games," the Guy Fieri show where chefs create culinary masterpieces in a grocery-store contest. Rescigno is also a "Beat Bobby Flay" and "Chopped" champion.

While Rescigno wouldn’t give away anything about "TOC,"' she said fans will like what they see.

“All that I will say about this [season] is that it’s going to be 100% entertaining, probably the most entertaining I’ve ever been,” she said. “People are going to have to hold onto their seats because it’s going to be an emotional roller coaster.”

2023 is turning out to be quite a big year for Rescigno, who left her three-year-long, LBI home kitchen in early January.

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“There comes a point in your career when you … decide ‘I need to do some things for me,’ ” she said.

“I’m the kind of person who really focuses on what I’m doing at the time, so Delaware Avenue Oyster House was my life," she said. “ … I ate, slept and breathed it, which wasn’t good for me because it was stunting my career of other opportunities. There [was] an expectation for me to be somewhere every day. Unfortunately, where my career is going, I can’t be (in one place). … I need to be able to travel.”

Right now, the Food Network is her "number one priority."

Her "Grocery Games" victory was a win for local fans, including the owners of the Tide Table group, who hosted a viewing party at The Old Causeway Steak & Oyster House in Manahawkin.

"We are thrilled Chef Britt chose [us] to host her viewing party," co-owner Melanie Magaziner said. "Britt is not only incredibly talented but is also a lovely human. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for [her] next."

Fieri shared a message for the local party on the day of the show.

"Everybody at Old Causeway and the Tide Table group ... you are amongst one of the super chefs that is getting ready to launch tonight ...," he said. "Chef Britt is a power to be reckoned with. You all know her as a great chef and leader in the kitchen, but wait 'til you see what she's going to do on the big screen. She's going to rock the house."

Local celebrity Chef Britt Rescigno won $15,000 on the Food Network show "Guy's Grocery Games."
Local celebrity Chef Britt Rescigno won $15,000 on the Food Network show "Guy's Grocery Games."

Rescigno was dubbed "Flavortown Food Network Champ" on "Grocery Games" and won $15,000 for her seared, banana-leaf cooked halibut, paired with fresh corn polenta and blistered tomatoes.

“You have 30 minutes to shop, cook, clean and [finish your] dish," she said. "It’s very intense. Out of all the cooking competitions I've been in, it’s probably the hardest.

“Halibut is my favorite fish … and it’s also one of the hardest fish to cook in a competition setting because it’s so technique-driven,” she added. “I wanted to go back to my Jersey roots and what I believe in food philosophy: simplicity.”

Aside from her growing Food Network status, Rescigno hopes to learn more about herself and the world. On Thursday, she was heading to Oregon for The Great Portland Beerfest. Before the end of the month, she’ll be participating in festivals in Idaho and Florida.

She documents her experiences with the hashtag #willtravelforfoodandbooze, which can be followed on her IG @chef_rescigno.

She also hopes to expand her recently debuted pop-up kitchen brand, Crow, and its private dinner party-focused subsidiary, Crow’s Nest.

Rescigno loves crows, ravens and all spooky things, but the name is also a play on the phrase "eat crow."

“It’s like a (expletive) you to everyone who told me I couldn’t do it, to the haters,” she said.

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While she doesn’t expect to leave Tuckerton anytime soon, she does not know where the future will take her.

“I don’t know if the Jersey Shore is my end all be all, but I don’t know if anywhere else is [either],” Rescigno said, who grew up in New Gretna and cut her teeth in her family’s establishment, Allen’s Clam Bar (which they still own).

“Everyone asks me all the time what I’m planning ...,” she continued. “They think I’m hiding something, but there’s no secret. I’m kind of riding the wave and seeing where it takes me.”

Gabriela L. Laracca joined the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey in 2021 and eagerly brings her passion for cuisine and culture to our readers. Send restaurant tips to

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Jersey Shore chef Britt Rescigno takes on Food Network champions