MasterChef season 5 winner, Courtney Lapresi, is a cookbook author and continues to work as a dancer instead of pursuing a culinary career path.
MasterChef currently has a total of 11 seasons under its belt. Each season continues to give rise to new culinary talents who may have never gotten the opportunity to explore their culinary pursuits if not for Gordon Ramsay, along with the team behind the show.
The 11 seasons of the show has had 11 winners and has featured over 100 contestants. In this article we look at where the season five contestants are now, and what season five winner, Courtney Lapresi, has been doing since winning in 2014.
What is MasterChef (US)?
MasterChef US is the first spin-off of the originally English cooking competition. This is since MasterChef first premiered on the BBC channel before the US version did in 2010.
The premiere marked Gordon Ramsay’s introduction to the world of the franchise, as he was previously famous for creating Hell’s Kitchen. The MasterChef (US) adaptation is credited to Ben Adler, Robin Ashbrook, and Adeline Ramage Rooney.
The premise of the series is, “A nationwide search for the best home cooks in America. One of 50 hopefuls will become a culinary star and one of America's Masterchefs.”
MasterChef season 5: Where are they now?
MasterChef season five aired between May 2014 and September 2014, with a total of 19 episodes. Gordon Ramsay was the head judge, with Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich as his resident guest judges.
The season would have a total of 22 home cooks competing for the title of Masterchef, a $250 000 cash prize, and a chance to publish their own cookbook.
The winner of MasterChef season five was professional dancer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Courtney Lapresi. She won after her impressive three-course final meal.
Following her win, Lapresi published her cookbook Everyday Fancy: 65 Easy, Elegant Recipes for Meals, Snacks, Sweets, and Drinks. To this day Courtney continues to share her cooking videos on Instagram, and showcases her dancing ability.
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Similarly, runner up Elizabeth Cauvel, did not go on to fully pursue her culinary potential after the show. The advertising executive continued in her career path, as she is currently the Creative Director at MRY.
She is now also a writer, but she still shares her travels and culinary abilities on Instagram. Below is more on all the eliminated contestants and where they are now.
MasterChef season 5 bottom 20: Where are they now?
Leslie Gilliams was a stay-at-home dad who was eliminated in episode 18 following a cake competition.
Since his appearance on the show, he has opened a restaurant called Silver Fox Oysters and created his own oyster sauce. Moreover, he also shares his cooking on Instagram and offers personalised videos on Cameo.
Cutter Brewer was on episode 17. Initially returning to be a petroleum landman, Brewer later opened a restaurant called Ace’s Ice & Chop House in 2015, but it closed shortly afterwards in 2017.
Now he works as a private chef in his own company called Skillet and Flask.
Christian Green, after his episode 16 elimination, went on to become a private chef, and diversified by creating and selling his own food seasonings. He also won BestChef Louisiana in 2020.
Jaimee Vitolo was eliminated in episode 15 after her unsatisfactory croquembouche. Since her appearance, she has opened her own cake company called Tiny Whisk Bakes.
Willie Mike was eliminated in episode 14 and was one of the fan-favourite home cooks. Following his elimination, he pivoted careers from church choir director to an events chef hosting a pop-up dinners and lunches service called Willie's Lunchroom.
Daniel McGuffey was eliminated in episode 13 after a cheese souffle elimination challenge. Afterwards, the former video game designer worked as a line cook and as an illustrator.
Ahran Cho was eliminated in episode 12 after a pressure test of three prawn dishes.
The former high school student’s journey after MasterChef saw her first becoming head hostess at Sundance The Steakhouse, then becoming a programmatic strategy intern at an ad tech company.
She is now a senior communication specialist and continues to share her food on Instagram.
MasterChef season 5 bottom 13: Where are they now?
Victoria Scroggins was eliminated in episode 12. Since then, she has become a content creator with a podcast called Tell It: Brooklyn and continues to work as a private chef.
Francis Legge was eliminated in episode 11 and went from music video director to executive chef at Gossip Coffee, followed by other head chef stents, the latest being at The Choux Shop and pop-up Shortbread Society.
Christine Silverstein was eliminated in episode 10. After MasterChef, she returned to corporate as the head of investor relations at Relamada and Director at Urbani Truffle Lab NYC. She is currently reportedly the chief financial officer at Excision BioTherapeutics.
Elise Mayfield was eliminated in episode nine. She subsequently became a baker at Honey Baby Bakes and worked as an assistant food stylist, video liaison, and events coordinator at the Meredith Corporation.
Dan Wu was eliminated in episode eight. The show gave the previously unemployed contestant an opportunity, as he went on to host a weekly food radio show, along with selling his ramen at food markets which led to the opening of his restaurant Atomic Ramen in 2017. In 2021, Dan Wu pivoted to politics and is now vying for a seat at council.
Francis Biondi was eliminated in episode seven. Since then, he became a professional golfer and also works as a private chef hosting pop-up dinner events.
Tyler Viars was disqualified in episode six mistakenly serving a dish that was not his own. Viars has since become a bodybuilder and powerlifter, and has his own brand called Cookin’ in Camo.
MasterChef season 5 bottom 6: Where are they now?
Jordan Kaminski was eliminated in episode six. Following his appearance, the college student completed his studies and then worked in the food and hospitality industry. He was last reported as working as a Starbucks shift supervisor.
Kira Novak was eliminated in episode four. Initially returning to corporate as a medical recruiter, Kira now works as a private chef at her company, Cooking by Design, and as the director of business development for a building company.
Gordon Houston withdrew during episode four due medical issues. He went on to complete his law degree after the show and works as a music director at a church currently.
Stephani Syfax-Shepherd was eliminated in episode three. Since her appearance on the show, she became a private celebrity chef with a catering company.
Whitney Bray was eliminated in episode two. She went from a call centre agent to owner of W catering, a private catering company, along with regular cooking appearances on Good Day Columbus.
Astrid Lavenia was eliminated in episode two after serving a raw dessert during the mystery box challenge. She is now a district sales rep (DSR) at Ben E. Keith Foods in New Orleans.
MasterChef aims to give the home cooks that feature on the show a chance to introduce themselves to the culinary world, and hopefully create careers in their desired paths.
For 11 seasons, to date, the show has given that opportunity to over a 100 home cooks, and eleven have walked away with the Masterchef title.
Season five of the show aired in 2014, and seemingly, for most of the home cooks, they did not use their time on the show to further their culinary passions.
Instead, they incorporated their culinary efforts into their already established career paths like MasterChef season 5 winner, Courtney Lapresi.