Where Are the 14 ‘Top Chef’ Winners Now? (PHOTOS)

TV

Where Are the 14 ‘Top Chef’ Winners Now? (PHOTOS)

by
Shares
Where Are the 14 ‘Top Chef’ Winners Now? (PHOTOS)

For a chef, winning Top Chef is like winning the lottery — the Bravo show is that much of a boost to a culinary career.

Any windfall can quickly become a curse, however, and the cheftestants face a pressure cooker of fame and expectations after their victories. As a result, some of the winners’ careers are at a rolling boil… while others are merely simmering.

Click through the slideshow above to see how each Top Chef champ has fared.

Where Are the 14 ‘Top Chef’ Winners Now? (PHOTOS)
Advertisement
← Tip: Use keyboard arrows to navigate →

Season 1: Harold Dieterle

Advertisement

Season 1: Harold Dieterle

Advertisement

After becoming the OG Top Chef, Harold opened three restaurants in New York City: Perilla, Kin Show, and The Marrow.

All three have since closed, however, and Harold has announced a leave from the restaurant biz.

Advertisement

Season 2: Ilan Hall

Season 2: Ilan Hall

Advertisement

This 34-year-old chef opened two locations of his restaurant The Gorbals — one in Los Angeles, the other in Williamsburg — but both are closed at the moment.

Perhaps he has a future as a TV personality host, though, after hosting Esquire Network’s Knife Fight cooking competition.

Advertisement

Season 3: Hung Huynh

Advertisement

Season 3: Hung Huynh

Advertisement

Hung opened NYC restaurants Catch, Lexington Brass, and The General under contract with EMM Group but cut ties with the nightlife empire in 2015.

“Their restaurants are so big, and it was hard to get taken seriously by somewhere like The New York Times,” he told Zagat.

Season 4: Stephanie Izard

Season 4: Stephanie Izard

Advertisement

This 38-year-old, the show’s first female winner, has her own empire in Chicago’s West Town, with three restaurants in the area: Girl and the Goat, Little Goat, and Duck Duck Goat.

Better yet, her work at the first of those spots won her a coveted James Beard Foundation Award.

Advertisement

Season 5: Hosea Rosenberg

Advertisement

Season 5: Hosea Rosenberg

Advertisement

Hosea took his Top Chef glory to Boulder, Colorado, and opened Blackbelly Catering and a restaurant called Blackbelly Market. (Business is doing so well that Blackbelly now has a butcher shop!)

Season 6: Michael Voltaggio

Season 6: Michael Voltaggio

Advertisement

After beating brother Bryan in the Season 5 finale, Michael opened the popular Los Angeles eatery ink. and its companion sandwich shop ink.sack.

Icing on the cake: His sous chef, Mei Lin, won Season 12 of Top Chef.

Advertisement

Season 7: Kevin Sbraga

A post shared by Kevin Sbraga (@kevinsbraga) on

Advertisement

Season 7: Kevin Sbraga

Advertisement

Kevin has had a challenging go of it, having to close his three restaurants in Philly — Sbraga, The Fat Ham, and Juniper Commons — and his one in Jacksonville — Sbraga & Co.

His only remaining restaurant is a Fat Ham location in the King of Prussia mall, though he assures fans the other Fat Ham will reopen in the future.

Season 8: Richard Blais

A post shared by Richard Blais (@richardblais) on

Season 8: Richard Blais

Advertisement

This champ, who narrowly lost Season 4 but won this “All Stars” season, is keeping up with his Trail Blais company, overseeing the Flip Burger chain in eastern states and the Juniper & Ivy and Crack Shack restaurants in Southern California.

He has also hosted the TV shows Cook Your Ass Off and Halloween Baking Championships and returned to Top Chef as a judge.

Advertisement

Season 9: Paul Qui

Advertisement

Season 9: Paul Qui

Advertisement

A year ago, Paul was arrested and charged with assault after an altercation with his girlfriend. He later checked into a rehab program.

This January, he opened a new restaurant, Kuneho, in the same Austin location as his erstwhile eponymous restaurant, Qui.

“I need to make amends in all parts of my life,” he told the Austin American-Statesman. “There's no question about that, and I’ll do whatever it takes to express that to people.”

Season 10: Kristen Kish

A post shared by Kristen Kish (@kristenlkish) on

Season 10: Kristen Kish

Advertisement

Kristen had to pack her knives and go midway through Season 10 but fought her way back through Last Chance Kitchen and eventually took the big prize.

Since that time, the 33-year-old hosted the Travel Channel series 36 Hours, publicly came out as gay, and wrote a technique-driven cookbook called Kristen Kish Cooking (out this fall).

Advertisement

Season 11: Nicholas Elmi

Advertisement

Season 11: Nicholas Elmi

Advertisement

This champ opened a Philadelphia restaurant just a month after his season premiered. That eatery, Laurel, has since transitioned to a tasting menu-only format.

Season 12: Mei Lin

A post shared by m e i l i n (@meilin21) on

Season 12: Mei Lin

Advertisement

Mei was named one of Eater's Young Guns in 2014 and one of Zagat’s 30 Under 30 in 2015. She’s been spending time on travel and research, and she’s planning a casual restaurant in Los Angeles.

Advertisement

Season 13: Jeremy Ford

A post shared by Jeremy Ford (@chefjeremyford) on

Advertisement

Season 13: Jeremy Ford

Advertisement

After his win, Jeremy returned to his post as the executive chef at Matador Room by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Two months later, he was also named executive chef at Market, a restaurant in the same Miami resort.

Season 14: Brooke Williamson

Season 14: Brooke Williamson

Advertisement

Top Chef’s latest victor hasn’t had a lot of time to breathe since her tour de force performance, but she did open a poke restaurant in Playa Vista called Da Kikokiko this October. It’s her fourth restaurant in the area.

Advertisement
Advertisement

For a chef, winning Top Chef is like winning the lottery — the Bravo show is that much of a boost to a culinary career.

Any windfall can quickly become a curse, however, and the cheftestants face a pressure cooker of fame and expectations after their victories. As a result, some of the winners’ careers are at a rolling boil… while others are merely simmering.

Click through the slideshow above to see how each Top Chef champ has fared.