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'Top Chef' Contestants: Where Are They Now?

Updated November 5, 2020 93.2k views10 items
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Bravo's cooking competition series Top Chef is one of the best cooking shows on television, as well as the most prestigious. Top Chef contestants are all established chefs looking to break through to the next level. Their cooking skills are above average, their knowledge of cuisine and the culinary world is excellent, and their food is delicious. Top Chef winners and fan favorites cooked up tasty dishes during their seasons, but where are they now? 

The cheftestants who won Top Chef, along with talented fan favorites, have very often been able to take their prize money and prestige from appearing on the show and turn it into a beautiful new restaurant (or two or three), a cookbook deal, a media brand, or all three! From Michael Voltaggio's Ink to Stephanie Izard's Girl in the Kitchen to Marcel Vigneron's dozens of television appearances, the most memorable Top Chef contestants are cooking up successful careers following their seasons.

Some viewers don't like Top Chef because they can't taste the food. But now you can visit the restaurants of these contestants, and dig in to the delectable culinary creations they're whipping up now, getting not just a delicious meal, but a connection to your favorite cooking show.

What are the Top Chef winners doing now? Click through the list below to see how your favorite chefs who won Top Chef, or at least held a special place in viewers' hearts are doing today.

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  • Photo: Bravo

    Season 1 winner Harold Dieterle was both a heck of a nice guy and pretty dominant in the kitchen throughout the first season. While the food in the finale from Harold and runner up Tiffani Faison sounded about equal, Harold came out on top when everyone remembered that they liked him more than her.

    Since taking his $100,000 winnings, Harold has opened three restaurants in New York: Perilla, Kin Shop, and The Marrow. Unfortunately, they have since closed.

  • Photo: Bravo

    Much of Ilan's season 2 food looked unbelievably delicious. Fideo with clams and saffron? Yes, please. However, his reputation was tarnished by his involvement in a physical altercation between Cliff, and season villain Marcel, that got Cliff booted from the show. Ilan went on to save face by defeating Marcel in the finale.

    With his Top Chef winnings Ilan opened The Gorbals in downtown Los Angeles, as well as a Brooklyn location, Gorbals, which opened in 2014. Catch Ilan hosting Knife Fight on the Esquire Network.

  • Marcel Vigneron

    Photo: Bravo

    Marcel was not nice during his season. He did engender some sympathy when Cliff and Ilan tried to shave his head, but it also seemed like he brought it on himself with his disrespectful treatment of the other contestants. It was satisfying to see his silly frozen salad dressing tear drops literally dissolve in the humid weather, along with his chances to win.

    After losing in the season 2 finale, Marcel has made a number of TV appearances. Besides returning to Top Chef in several different incarnations, he has appeared on Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage, Guy's Grocery Games, Food Fighters, and Iron Chef in addition to a six episode run of his own show, Marcel's Quantum Kitchen.

  • Photo: Bravo

    Hung didn't exactly dominate season 3, but he was a strong competitor throughout. Although Hung cooked almost exclusively Asian cuisine, he might have benefited from a lack of serious competition in his season. Perhaps the most memorable thing about his time on Top Chef was the way he would run frantically through the kitchen, with many near collisions with other contestants.

    Hung is one winner who did not subsequently open his own restaurant. However, he did work with the EMM Group to help them open three restaurants: Catch, The General, and Catch Miami (which later closed). Hung is known particularly for his seafood.