Big congratulations are in order for openly gay Melissa King who won Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. on Thursday, June 18.
She competed against Top Chef: Las Vegas/Top Chef: Masters alum Bryan Voltaggio and Top Chef: New Orleans vet Stephanie Cmar in the finale that took place in Italy months before the Coronavirus pandemic took over that country.
The food that the final three served to a distinguished group of talented people which included Marcus Samuelsson & Clare Smyth (the first British female chef to hold three Michelin stars) was no doubt some of the best that has ever been seen on the Emmy-winning series.
Melissa, who now holds the record for the most wins in a single season (and was also crowned fan favorite on Watch What Happens Live after the finale aired) was able to expertly fuse Chinese and Italian cooking in a four-course meal that looked simply divine.
1st course: Char siu glazed octopus
2nd course: Squash agnolotti with Szechuan chili oil
3rd course: Grilled squab with persimmon, porcini, fermented black bean
4th course: Hong Kong milk tea tiramisu
There was barely, if any, complaints about what Melissa cooked that evening. She even brought eighth-generation Italian butcher Dario Cecchini to tears when he tried her tea tiramisu. After witnessing such an emotional moment it was more than likely that Melissa would score the win which she did moments later.
“I was so happy to see Melissa on All-Stars,” Top Chef: Seattle contestant Jeffrey Jew told Instinct Magazine exclusively. “Being half Chinese and gay I was pulling for her from the beginning. While watching the finale I got goosebumps seeing some of the same Chinese ingredients in her dishes that I grew up with.”
The Los Angeles native becomes the second Top Chef winner who identifies as LGBTQ. Kristen Kish, who won Top Chef: Seattle, came out on Instagram after her season wrapped.