The second-to-last episode of Top Chef Season 17, screamed #GirlPower, as the main competition was dominated by Melissa King from Season 12, with Stephanie Cmar from Season 11 in second place. The third finalist, Bryan Voltaggio, competed on Season 6 in Las Vegas, as well as Top Chef Masters Season 5.
However, in the final episode, only one of these incredibly talented contestants was able to take home the first-place prize. The final three headed to Florence and were tasked with creating a progressive four-course meal with the help of some past contestants (Brian Malarkey, Kevin Gillespie, and Lee Anne Wong).
At the end of the day, Melissa was named the winner of the $250,000 grand prize by host Padma Lakshmi and chef Tom Colicchio thanks to her Asian-Italian fusion menu that included a milk tea Tiramisu that brought a judge to tears. Literally.
“It’s such a wild adventure, I could not be more proud of myself,” Melissa said. “What’s really special about this win is that I was doing it for myself… This time I wanted to prove to myself that if I set a goal I can achieve it.”