MasterChef US Season 9 Contestants Where Are They Now?

MasterChef US Season 9

MasterChef US features judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliott and Aarón Sanchez testing the culinary skills of amateur chefs from the USA with a number of challenges and dishes to prepare, with those MasterChef cheftestants failing to impress being sent home.

MasterChef US Season 9 aired May 30 to September 19, 2018 on Fox Network, there were 24 contestants and the prize for the winner was $250,000 and a MasterChef trophy.


Alecia Winters Alecia Winters was a Daycare Owner from Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 7 after a churros with chocolate sauce elimination challenge.

After MasterChef, Alecia still owns a day care center and is CEO of Pretty in Pink Edibles.


Ashley Mincey Ashley Mincey worked in Professional Grocery Shopper and was from Opa-Locka, Florida. She was a MasterChef season 9 runner up.

After MasterChef, Ashley offers private dining experiences and is a freelance recipe developer. She also does cookery demonstrations and pop up dining events.



Bowen Li Bowen Li was a Pilot from Tianjin, China. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 20 after a filet mignon skills test against Samantha.

After MasterChef, Bowen taught private cookery classes and had plans to open a restaurant but he appears to have returned to his previous career as a commercial pilot.



Cesar Cano Cesar Cano was a High School Teacher from Houston, Texas. He was a MasterChef season 9 runner up.

After MasterChef, Cesar returned to teaching and was offering private dinner party experiences. He began teaching as a culinary instructor in 2019 and appeared at Camp MasterChef.



Chelsea Sargent Chelsea Sargent was a Sales Specialist from Houston, Texas. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 13 after a halibut elimination challenge saw her in the bottom three.

After MasterChef, Chelsea sells jewellery on Etsy, plans to open her own catering company and is offering private dining experiences.


Darrick Krause Darrick Krause was an Engineer from Peoria, Arizona. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 6 after a banana cream pie pressure test lands him in the bottom three.

After MasterChef, Darrick is a personal and party chef and offered private dining experiences alongside working as an avionics engineer.


Emily Hallock Emily Hallock was a Food Research Analyst from Neenah, Wisconsin. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 14 after choosing to go up against Shanika in a Black Forest cake pressure test.

After MasterChef, Emily returned to her career in food research and moved to New Orleans where she has done a number of private dining events. In 2019, she moved to Chicago and currently works a Research Manager for a Food Production company.


Farhan Momin Farhan Momin was a Dental Student from Chicago, Illinois. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 18 after a chocolate dessert pressure test landed him in the bottom two.

After MasterChef, Farhan returned to complete his education and qualified as a Dentist. He offers private chef and catering services and has done guest appearances, cookery events and classes and pop up dinners alongside working as a dentist.


Gerron Hurt Gerron Hurt was an English Teacher from Louisville, Kentucky. He was the MasterChef season 9 winner due to his southern themed menu being well received by the judges.

After MasterChef, Gerron has appeared at a number of cookery events in Louisville. In 2019, he took part in Camp Masterchef, was a travelling chef and returned to MasterChef in season 10 for a special wedding episode where Gordon officiated his marriage.


Julia Danno Julia Danno was a Sales Manager from Miami, Florida. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 17 after a scraps elimination challenge lands her in the bottom two.

After MasterChef, Julia did a number of cookery demonstrations, pop up dining events and has had her recipes published. In 2019, she began selling her cakes and desserts to local restaurants.


Juni Cuevas Juni Cuevas was a Disability Analyst from Raleigh, North Carolina. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 8, a special episode catering Shaun O'Neale's wedding.

After MasterChef, Juni is a Private chef offering cookery lessons, event catering, menu planning and drag dinner parties. He is also an actor.


Lindsay Haigh Lindsay Haigh was a Trial Attorney from Orange, Massachusetts. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 9 after a Salisbury steak elimination challenge.

After MasterChef, Lindsay returned to her previous role as an Attorney by day and offers private dining events under her brand Bowtie Blue by Chef Lindsay Haigh in her free time.



Mark Ingraham Mark Ingraham was a Dishwasher from Rockport, Maine. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 11 after a cupcake pressure test judged by Christina Tosi.

After MasterChef, Mark returned to work at his mother's restaurant McMahon’s in Washington. He moved to Illinois and is currently working in kitchens in Peoria.



Matt Houck Matt Houck was a Optometrist from Iowa City, Iowa. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 9 after a cajun seafood mystery box landed him in the bottom two.

After MasterChef, Matt has returned to his previous career as an optometrist and offers private dining events with tasting menus.


Olusola Ogbomo Olusola Ogbomo was a Bus Driver from Columbia, South Carolina. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 5 after a crab eggs Benedict Elimination challenge.

After MasterChef, Olusola is a private chef and she has done private dinner events.


Ralph Xavier Degala Ralph Xavier Degala was a Senior Accountant from Houston, Texas. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 12 after a citrus fruit elimination challenge.

After MasterChef, Ralph was an accountant at Kendo Brands. He has done a number of dining events and pop up dining experiences in LA. Ralph has a Youtube channel where he posts cookery videos.


Ryan Cortez Ryan Cortez was a Drummer from Houston, Texas. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 10 after a cheese soufflé elimination challenge landed him in the bottom two.

After MasterChef, Ryan continues to drum and appears at food events. He has also held a number of pop up dining events.


Sal Maida Sal Maida was a Architect from Los Angeles, California. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 4 after a native ingredient mystery box landed him in the bottom two.

After MasterChef, Sal is an artist and continues to cook.


Samantha Daily Samantha Daily was a College Student from West Des Moines, Iowa. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 21 after a three course pressure test against Gerron.

After MasterChef, Samantha runs cookery classes and works in a bakery. In 2019, she became a student at the International Culinary Center in New York City, taking up Gordon's offer of culinary training.


SJ Yun Seung Joo aka SJ Yun was a College Student from Los Angeles, California. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 13 after a halibut elimination challenge landed him in the bottom three.

After MasterChef, Seung Joo returned to college.



Shanika Patterson Shanika Patterson was a Event Promoter from Miami, Florida. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 16 after a pasta pressure test landed her in the bottom two.

After MasterChef, Shanika is a Private Chef offering private dining experiences and she has hosted a number of pop up cookery events.


Sid Hoeltzell Sid Hoeltzell was a Food Photographer from Detroit, Michigan. He was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 3 after a steak and potatoes elimination challenge.

After MasterChef, Sid returned to his previous career as a food and beverage photographer and has a photography studio. He also teaches photography classes.


Stephanie Willis Stephanie Willis was a Bartender from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 5 after a crab eggs Benedict elimination challenge.

After MasterChef, Stephanie offers meal prep services and has hosted a number of pop up cookery events.


Taylor Waltmon Taylor Waltmon was a Sales Training Director from Houston, Texas. She was eliminated in MasterChef season 9 episode 15 after a Mediterranean platter elimination challenge.

After MasterChef, Taylor returned to her career as a Director of Sales Training and Development at Q1 Media and she also teaches spin classes.


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This post was last updated in September 2019.


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