Altoona Native is Crowned “MasterChef” on Gordon Ramsay’s TV Show
Back in May, it was revealed that one of the competitors on the new season of the popular FOX TV series MasterChef was a native of Altoona, IA. A few months later, he finds himself hoisting the trophy as well as honing the title of "Master Chef," as well as the lofty grand prize.
Grant Gillon went from one of 40 to one of three finalists over the course of the summer. The Altoona man works as the director of sales at Kinship Brewing Company in Waukee, and found himself mostly in the background for the season premiere. Now, he's impossible to ignore, having just won the 13th season of MasterChef.
Gillon won with an unbelievable three-course meal, per Parade.com:
Appetizer: Ravioli al’ Uovo with morelle cream sauce, truffle butter, and shaved truffles.
Entrée: Pork loin medallions with salmoriglio sauce, agrodolce, celery root purée and beer-braised fennel and onions.
Dessert: Torn stout cake with coffee stout mousse, chocolate pizzelle and coffee ice cream.
Iowa's Local ABC affiliate covered the watch-party Gillon hosted at Spectator's Bar & Grill in Altoona, IA, where a line formed out the door merely 30 minutes into the gathering. Not a table was empty as Gillon mixed and mingled with friends, family, and community residents:
I'm super proud of myself and what I did, but being able to have everybody see really how I developed throughout the season I think is what's really cool. I started out knowing I was a good cook, but didn't know how I was going to stack up against everybody else from all these different regions.
Season 13 of Gordon Ramsay's MasterChef incorporated a new twist on the formula: chefs are divided into teams that represent four regions of the United States — Northeast, Midwest, West, and South — and work as individuals and a collective to whip up a dish that will dazzle the judges.
The season has been dubbed United Tastes of America, with Chef Aarón Sánchez, restaurateur Joe Bastianich, and the globally recognizable Ramsay serving as the three primary judges. Other guest chefs who made appearances this season included Daphne Oz, Graham Elliot, and Season 11 MasterChef winner Kelsey Murphy just to name a few.
The 32-year-old Gillon grew up in Altoona, graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in leisure studies, and still resides in the Polk County community. A quick glance at his Instagram page shows the father-of-one posts many videos of himself cooking and playing with his 4-year-old son:
I’ve worked so dang hard for this. My whole goal for this entire endeavor was to show [my son] Grady that if we try hard, we work hard and we believe in ourselves we can do big things. - per Gold Derby