'Top Chef' finalists: Where are they now?

by Bethany Ramos
May 4, 2016 at 12:50 p.m. ET

Controversial, cute or just ridiculously talented — there are some Top Chef finalists (and winners) we’ll never forget.

1 /16: Harold Dieterle

1/16 :Harold Dieterle

Season 1 winner, Harold Dieterle, was the executive sous chef of The Harrison in New York when he joined Top Chef. Now he is the owner and chef of his very own New York restaurant, Perilla, which opened in 2007.

2/16 :Dave Martin

Dave Martin, Top Chef Season 1 contestant, joined the show as the executive chef of XO Wine Bistro in Manhattan Beach, California. Since then, Dave has gone on to start his own company, As You Wish Catering, and is also an instructor at the Culinary Loft in New York.

3/16 :Lee Anne Wong

Lee Anne Wong, former Top Chef Season 1 contestant, started out on the show as the executive chef of the French Culinary Institute. Nowadays, Lee Anne is still an executive chef, but also the supervising culinary producer of Top Chef.

4/16 :Ilan Hall

Top Chef Season 2 winner, Ilan Hall, was a line cook at Casa Mono in New York when he joined the show. Now Ilan lives in Los Angeles where he plans to open his own Spanish-inspired restaurant, Gorbals.

5/16 :Sam Talbot

Oh, Sam, oh, Sam, wherefore art thou? Sam Talbot from Top Chef Season 2 was entertaining to watch in the kitchen, not only for his cooking but also for his amazing good looks. These days, Sam is an executive chef at the Surf Lodge in Montauk, New York. He wed model Paola Guerrero at City Hall in New York in November 2008.

6/16 :Hung Huynh

Hung Huynh, winner of Top Chef Season 3, used to be a sous chef of Guy Savoy in Las Vegas. Hung is now the chef consultant of Solo in New York and aspires to open a Mediterranean-Asian seafood restaurant in Manhattan.

7/16 :Chris Jacobson

After appearing on Top Chef Season 3, Chris Jacobson threw in the towel at his job as a private chef. He is now collaborating with fellow contestants, Dale Levitski and Sara Nguyen, to open Town and Country Restaurant in Chicago.

8/16 :Dale Talde

Although Dale Talde may have been a shoo-in for the Season 4 Top Chef finals, he ended up getting eliminated after the Restaurant Wars challenge. Formerly a sous chef at Buddakan, he is now trying to open his own restaurant, Dale's Quality Noodles.

9/16 :Nikki Cascone

Nikki Cascone joined Top Chef Season 4 as the co-owner of 24 Prince in New York. After the show, the very talented Nikki continued to work at the restaurant she owns with her boyfriend while also designing a line of fashionable chef clothing.

10/16 :Spike Mendelsohn

After his elimination on Top Chef Season 4, Spike Mendelsohn left his job at the Mai House in New York to pursue his own creative endeavors. Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, Spike opened his own restaurant in D.C. called the Good Stuff Eatery.

11 /16: Stephanie Izard

11/16 :Stephanie Izard

Holding the honor of the first female chef to win the show in Season 4, Stephanie now runs two restaurants in Chicago: he Girl & the Goat and Little Goat.

12/16 :Richard Blais

After wowing us as a runner-up on Season 4, Richard released a cookbook, opened two restaurants in California and now hosts on the Food Network.

13/16 :Carla Hall

Since her time spent on Seasons 5 and 8 as an undeniable fan favorite, Carla has become kind of a big deal — joining The Chew in 2011 and publishing several books.

14/16 :Mike Isabella

Following his stint as a totally lovable finalist on Season 6, Mike has opened several restaurants as a successful restaurateur in Washington D.C.

15/16 :Paul Qui

The awesome Austin chef and winner of Season 9 is now the chef/proprietor of a group of restaurants and food trailers in his home base, Austin.

16/16 :Jeremy Ford

The latest winner of Top Chef Season 13, a single dad from Florida, just got his big break and plans to bring his success back to his job as Chef de Cuisine at the Matador Room in Miami.