via press release:
LUCA MANFE CROWNED “MASTERCHEF” WINNER
Season Five Open Casting Calls Begin in Phoenix and New Orleans on October 5
Tonight, Season Four of MASTERCHEF came to an unforgettable conclusion as host/executive producer and judge Gordon Ramsay and fellow judges Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot named Luca Manfe the winner of FOX’s hit home cooking competition series. Manfe, 31, is a restaurant manager from Astoria, NY. In addition to earning the MASTERCHEF title, Manfe walked away with a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize.
“Winning MASTERCHEF is a dream come true,” said Manfe. “After being eliminated in the auditions round last year, I never would have thought my life could turn around like this. I have learned so much from the experience, and now I am ready to continue pursuing my dream of opening my first restaurant.”
In tonight’s sensational season finale episode, Manfe competed in a culinary showdown with Natasha Crnjac, a stay-at-home mom from San Diego, CA, who proved her skill with her sophisticated techniques, exotic flavors and competitive spirit. For the final challenge, Manfe created a refined three-course meal: an appetizer of Seared Duck Liver with Brioche and Peaches; a main course of Braised Beef Short Ribs with Chantarelle Mushrooms; and a Basil Panna Cotta with Tomato Jam and Honey Cream Mascarpone for dessert. In the end, it was Manfe’s bold flavors and complex, yet composed, techniques that won over the judges and earned him the MASTERCHEF title.
Manfe’s incredible MASTERCHEF journey began on Season Three during the auditions round. Manfe came up short of advancing to the next round, but the judges encouraged him to continue cooking and improving his craft. This season, after earning a MASTERCHEF apron on his second try, Manfe came back stronger than ever and was determined to prove his drive and passion to become the next MASTERCHEF. Each week, Manfe competed in a series of grueling challenges and intense elimination rounds, presenting restaurant quality dishes in his signature Italian style.
Nearing the end of its fourth season, MASTERCHEF ranks as the season’s No. 1 cooking show on television among Adults 18-49 and Total Viewers.