Top Chef winners: where are they now?

 Top Chef cookbooks

Top Chef is nearing the end of its 13th season on the Bravo network and shows no signs of slowing down. It's hard to believe that the first winner was crowned nearly a decade ago. If you've ever wondered what happened to the winners of each season, Yahoo! Food has the answers.

The first season saw Harold Dieterle best Tiffani (you love her or you hate her) Faison. Dieterle has stayed busy since 2006, opening three New York restaurants, but now he is "taking a break" from day-to-day restaurant operations. He has started a consulting firm which allows him to spend more time with his newborn son. Dieterle's fondest memory from Top Chef (other than winning, of course) was about the people he met while filming. "Some of the relationships I made on the show are pretty special and I still think fondly of a lot of the people that I met through that experience," he says.

It wasn't until Season 4 that the show had its first female winner, Stephanie Izard. I can still recall how nervous she was during the show's finale - her hands were literally shaking. Izard overcame her nervousness to win the competition, and afterward opened several highly acclaimed establishments in the Chicago area: Girl & the Goat, Little Goat, Goat Group Catering, and the soon-to-open Duck Duck Goat, her take on Chinese food. The author of The Girl in the Kitchen is working on a second cookbook, but no publication date has been announced. When asked what she learned from the show that she still uses today, Izard responded with a shoutout to one of her competitors: "Lisa made a Vietnamese salted caramel for one challenge. It inspired me to make a salted/spiced goat milk caramel cajeta when I got home, which we still use on our Goat menus."

Both Top Chef winners mentioned above have written cookbooks, as has fan favorite Kevin Gillespie and Season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio and his brother/runner-up Bryan Voltaggio. If the Yahoo! article isn't enough to satiate your curiosity, you can also watch a video on BravoTV.com to find out more about each season's winners.

1 Comment

  • Winghead19  on  3/14/2016 at 11:54 AM

    I'm a long-time fan of Top Chef, I've only missed a few of the last seasons but have been "in it" to "win it" this season (#13). While some of the chefs have had remarkable success - my personal favs are Stephanie Izzard, Richard Blais, Dale Talde, and Kevin Gillespie. I have all of their cookbooks and find them a great way to expand my skills & try a few things that would never have crossed my mind. Excited to hear Stephanie has a new book coming soon. *Side Note -- if you are a fan of Top Chef, you might want to check out Season 2 winner Ilan Hall's "Knife Fight" on GQ channel. Many familiar Top Chef faces show up as judges & contestants.

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