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What's MasterChef Winner Grant Gillon Up To Today?

Grant Gillon on MasterChef
Grant Gillon on MasterChef - Fox/YouTube

"MasterChef" Season 13 winner Grant Gillon spent his time on the show preparing food that represents his midwestern and Italian roots. In an interview with the De Moines Register, he described his final menu as "Italian countryside run through the fields of Iowa." The winning three-course meal consisted of a creamy raviolo al uovo, pork medallions and fennel, and a coffee and beer-infused torn stout cake.

Currently, Gillon is busy cooking for his lucky neighbors in Altoona, Iowa, a suburb of Des Moines. Since winning the coveted title for home cooks in the fall of 2023, the midwestern chef has cooked several gourmet meals as a special guest at Altoona's Terrace Hills Golf Course. Gillon has partnered with Aaron Holt, chef and owner of Catering by Doolittle Farm in Iowa, to bring haute cuisine to his Iowan neighbors and anyone else who wants to make the trip.

The pop-up events hosted at the golf course feature multi-course dinners with locally sourced food from Iowa farms, butcheries, creameries, and coffee shops. This tracks with Gillon's post-"MasterChef" plans. In an interview with TV Fanatic, Gillon said, "We're taking everything in stride right now. We're still very new to it. But the goal, as I said from the outset of MasterChef during my audition, is to open a farm-to-table restaurant in my hometown of Altoona." Gillon's neighbors are proud of their local "MasterChef" and now they're getting the royal treatment with these pop-up dinners.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

Gillon's Popular Pop-Up Dinners

A Grant Gillon MasterChef winning dish
A Grant Gillon MasterChef winning dish - Fox/YouTube

Some examples of his farm-to-table dishes include winter squash bisque, arancini with fire-roasted peppers and preserved local tomato, seared Iowa wagyu beef rillette, and Iowa pork loin with salmoriglio and braised fennel. Grant Gillon's well-attended pop-up events require tickets that sell out quickly and include holiday and Valentine's Day dinners, as well as Italian and pasta tastings. Aligning with his down-to-earth nature, there's no formal dress code for these dinners according to Gillon, who responded to a question from an interested Facebook user.

Gillon proved his culinary expertise as a midwestern chef during "MasterChef: United Tastes of America" as well as his strong family values and classic heartland humility. During the season finale, it was clear after seeing his son Grady cheer him on that a large part of his motivation is derived from his family. The home cook turned MasterChef expressed his delight at having his family there with him: "It was so great to have my family there with me and be able to share it with them. They sacrificed a lot, allowing me to be gone for a couple of months to film this thing just to have them right there by my side to celebrate. My son could see what I was doing for two months when Daddy wasn't home." Now his son is right by his side as he films heartwarming TikToks on quick and tasty recipes like pumpkin chai latte bars, buttered noodles, and Better Than Santa's Hot Chocolate.

From Sports And Rec To MasterChef Champ

Grant Gillon winning MasterChef title
Grant Gillon winning MasterChef title - YouTube/Fox

Grant Gillon is a proud Hawkeye alumnus with a BS in leisure studies and a focus on recreation and sports business. He had fun making food for his college buddies but it's only in the past few years that he's become more serious in the kitchen. After graduating from the University of Iowa, he worked in the golf industry, switched to hospitality, and was eventually recruited by Kinship Brewing Company, where he became Director of Sales.

How he landed on "MasterChef" stems mostly from his love of the show and encouragement from his wife. In an interview with the University of Iowa he shared, "I always thought that it would be cool to try, but that was for someone else, not 'Grant from Altoona.' I was confident in what I did in the kitchen, but they were on another level." During his run on the show, his confidence grew as he remained in the competition and eventually won the title of MasterChef, plus a $250,000 grand prize.

While Gillon's plans for the future aren't set in stone, he has his sights set on opening that farm-to-table restaurant. Indeed, the pop-up dinners at Terrace Hills Golf Course may be a good test run. He told the University of Iowa, "Whatever I end up doing, my goal is to bring communities closer to the local producers of the food we eat and always try to educate the consumer as much as possible."

Read the original article on Daily Meal.