MasterChef US Season 1 Contestants Where Are They Now?

MasterChef US Season 1 contestants

MasterChef US season 1 features judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliott and Joe Bastianich/Christina Tosi testing the culinary skills of amateur chefs from the USA with a number of challenges and dishes to prepare, with those failing to impress being sent home.

MasterChef US Season 1 aired July 27 to September 15, 2010 on Fox Network, there were 14 contestants and the prize for the winner was $250,000, their own cookbook and a MasterChef trophy.


Anthony aka Tony Carbone Anthony aka Tony Carbone was a Server from Boston, Massachusetts. He was eliminated from MasterChef season 1 episode 7 after failing a task to identify different ingredients.

After MasterChef, Tony started his own personal chef business with his own catering company The Urban Epicurean. He offers private dining experiences, prepared meals, pizza and pasta cookery classes and pizza parties.


Avis White Avis White was a Caregiver from Vacherie, Louisiana. She was eliminated from MasterChef season 1 episode 4 after her orange chicken dish landed her in the bottom 3.

After MasterChef, Avis opened her own restaurant Avi's Restaurant in August 2016, located at the Quality Inn Hotel in LaPlace and reviews are excellent. She has also done a number of cookery demonstrations at local events.


David Miller David Miller was a Software Engineer from Boston, Massachusetts. He was the runner up losing to Whitney in the MasterChef season 1 finale.

After MasterChef, David got married in Vegas and now has a son. He returned to his previous career in software but still has a passion for cooking, often posting on social media.


Faruq Jenkins aka Faruq Tauheed Faruq Jenkins aka Faruq Tauheed was a Bartender from Glendale, California. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 1 episode 6 after his halibut dish landed him in the bottom 3.

After MasterChef, Faruq presented Battlebots on the Science Channel and The Noise on Universal Kids. He is an actor who has appeared in numerous television shows and a voice actor on children's cartoons and video games.


Jake Gandolfo Jake Gandolfo was a Construction Worker from Santa Cruz, California. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 1 episode 9 after the team failed a pasta making challenge.

After MasterChef, Jake has done a number of charity cooking events including supporting the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies. He appeared on season 3 of Beat Bobby Flay and is currently the owner and Pit Master at BlackBoard Bar B Q in Boerne, Texas and reviews are excellent.


Jenna Hamiter Jenna Hamiter was a Homemaker from Euless, Texas. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 1 episode 5 after naming the least ingredients (7/20) in a chilli dish.

After MasterChef, Jenna became an actress, writer and model.


Kim Dung aka Slim Huynh Kim Dung aka Slim Huynh was a College Student from Harvey, Louisiana. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 1 episode 8 due to her passion fruit fondue failing to impress.

After MasterChef, Kim returned to college to finish her college degree and works part time at a restaurant.


Lee Knaz Lee Knaz was a Bartender from Venice, California. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 1 episode 12 after losing to Whitney in the cook off.

After MasterChef, Lee offers personal catering services from his catering company Mission Olive LLC and also meal delivery. He promotes the Mediterranean diet and offers e-cookbook cookery classes through company The Mediterranean Guy. Lee is Chef and host on Recipe Hunters, a reality competition TV Show.


Mike Kim Mike Kim was a Server from Redondo Beach, California. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 1 episode 10 after his poached pear trifle failed to impress Gordon.

After MasterChef, Mike opened a pop up restaurant called RnD Table with a friend that closed in 2011, reviews prior to closure were good. He has worked in restaurants in LA, including The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel and is currently Executive Chef for events company Plan on Q.


Sharone Hakman Sharone Hakman was a Financial Advisor from Los Angeles, California. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 1 episode 11 due to an under cooked souffle.

After MasterChef, Sharone launched his own range of sauces and salad dressings called Haks and appeared on Kocktails with Khloe. In 2018, he launched meal kits and in 2019 he launched Hak’s Chef Crafted Meals, pre-prepared meals available in stores in the US. He is also a spokesperson for the American heart Association.


Sheena Zadeh Sheena Zadeh was a Marketing Executive from Anaheim, California. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 1 episode 4 after her mandarin orange salad landed her in the bottom 3.

After MasterChef, Sheena appeared in television shows House and Banshee and is currently a cosmetics salesperson. She married director Greg Yaitanes in November 2012.


Sheetal Bhagat Sheetal Bhagat was a Teacher from Chicago, Illinois. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 1 episode 12 after a cook off of Veal Milanese, apple pie and clam chowder against David.

After MasterChef, Sheetal launched Spice Note Tequila, met and married an architect, had a son and has had a successful career in music. She sung the national anthem at Wrigley Field in Chicago and she planned to release an album.


Tracy Nailor Tracy Nailor was a doctor from Atlanta, Georgia. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 1 episode 9 after her pasta dish failed to impress the judges.

After MasterChef, Tracy returned to the field of medicine and is an Urgent Care Physician in paediatrics at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and she is also a consultant for Directmed Healthcare Solutions.


Whitney Miller Whitney Miller was a College Student from Poplarville, Mississippi. She was the MasterChef season 1 winner due to her natural ability in the kitchen.

After MasterChef, Whitney returned to college to complete her degree and released her cook book Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm and further released Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table. She has stayed heavily involved in cooking with many published recipes, television cookery segments, recipe development, cookery demonstrations and competitions and consultancy work. She is also a food stylist and can be hired through her website.


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This post was last updated in August 2019.


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