It’s on to the Final Four for New Jersey-born chef Britt Rescigno, who defeated James Beard award-winning chef and fellow Jersey native Amanda Freitag on Sunday night’s episode of Food Network’s “Tournament of Champions.”

Her dish of guinea hen-stuffed ravioli and quince sauce earned 83 points to Freitag’s 80 for her fried guinea hen with macaroni and cheese balls and quince puree.

“Being here, I wanted to show last year wasn’t a fluke,” said Rescigno, who also made it to the Final Four last season. “I’m a darn good chef. I’m a great competitive chef.”

Rescigno and Freitag competed in the second cook on the March 31 episode, following a battle between Jet Tila and Mei Lin (Tila won).

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Contestant Britt Rescigno, as seen on Food Networks' fifth season of "Tournament of Champions."

Contestant Britt Rescigno, as seen on Food Networks’ fifth season of “Tournament of Champions.”

The bracket-style competition challenges chefs to cook with randomly assigned ingredients, equipment and cooking style. The “Randomizer” challenged Rescigno and Freitag to prepare a “big and small”-themed dish using guinea hen, quince and a Danish pancake pan called an aebleskiver.

“Before I came out onto the stage, I was manifesting being able to make pasta,” said Rescigno, who prepared ravioli stuffed with seared guinea hen breast, caramelized onion, mortadella, mascarpone and ricotta, topped with quince sauce.

“I am a pasta lover. My dad taught me how to make pasta,” said the chef, who now lives in Idaho but was raised next door to her grandparents’ New Gretna restaurant, Allen’s Clam Bar, and developed a following cooking in restaurants on Long Beach Island. “(Pasta is) my love language, so I really want this dish absolutely perfect.”

Host Guy Fieri and Rescigno acknowledged that making fresh, stuffed pasta in the allotted 40-minute cooking time would be a challenge, but the chef made the most of the time by using a food processor to knead her pasta dough and a vacuum sealer to hydrate it. She shaped her ravioli in the pancake pan.

Chef Britt Rescigno competes during the East B Second Round Matchup of Food Network's "Tournament of Champions," which aired March 24.Chef Britt Rescigno competes during the East B Second Round Matchup of Food Network's "Tournament of Champions," which aired March 24.

Chef Britt Rescigno competes during the East B Second Round Matchup of Food Network’s “Tournament of Champions,” which aired March 24.

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“Forty minutes to make pasta, any chef will tell you you’re nuts,” Rescigno said. “One thing goes wrong, your whole dish is messed up. So I’m a little nervous.”

Judge Cat Cora called Freitag’s chicken “a Mississippi girl’s dream,” and judge Jonathan Waxman, who loved her macaroni and cheese, said the dish was a little sweet.

“I’d like to have the energy that this chef has,” judge Rocco DiSpirito said after tasting Rescigno’s dish. He appreciated the cook on the guinea hen and her big flavors.

Waxman found her ravioli filling “a tiny bit dry” but said “I wish there were more of them because they’re really good.”

“They really nailed this dish,” Cora said.

“Being able to pour my heart and soul into a dish and have some of the best judges eat it and really enjoy it, it’s just so powerful as a chef,” Rescigno said.

To get to this point in the competition, Rescigno — an executive chef-turned-traveling supper club owner who won “Chopped” and bested Bobby Flay on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” with her mother’s recipe for chicken and dumplings — beat James Beard award-winning chef Jonathon Sawyer, and chef, restaurateur and “Chopped” judge Marc Murphy.

Last season, Rescigno lost to Chef Maneet Chauhan in the semifinals.

“Tournament of Champions” airs at 8 p.m. Sundays on Food Network.

Sarah Griesemer joined the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey in 2003 and has been writing all things food since 2014. Send restaurant tips to [email protected], follow on Instagram at Jersey Shore Eats and subscribe to our Jersey Shore Eats newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Food Network: Britt Rescigno makes it to Final Four on TOC

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