After 10 seasons, famed cooking show MasterChef crowned it’s first Black woman champion, Georgia home cook Dorian Hunter, on September 19.
The Cartersville, Georgia, native's victory comes with a $250,000 prize, a Viking kitchen and mentorship from judges Gordon Ramsey, Aaron Sanchez and Joe Bastianich.
After surviving all the challenges throughout the season, Hunter faced off against co-competitors Sarah Faherty and Nick DiGiovanni in the finale.
That face you make when you actually pulled off that Pinterest recipe. ????????
— MasterChef (@MASTERCHEFonFOX) September 22, 2019
The Georgia native ultimately won over the judges with her soul food-inspired palate. Her winning menu included an appetizer of seared scallops with cornmeal tuille and sweet corn puree with pickled swiss chard and a main entree of applewood smoked short rib with potato and horseradish gratin. For dessert, Hunter presented a lemon blueberry tart with blueberry and cream cheese filling, toasted meringue topping and pecan crust.
Among her future plans, Hunter wants to write a cookbook she describes as “elevated soul.”
“My vision for my cookbook would be what I have been saying all season, elevated soul,” she told Parade. “I don’t want to be too rustic, because I think that has already been done a lot, but I want to show soul food cooking done in a different way — in a beautiful way, not just in a homestyle way. Plated differently and presented in a different manner.”
She also hopes to open a restaurant in a few years with some of the prize money.
“It is enough for me to at least feed the idea,” she said. “I don’t have to go to the table with nothing, so I am definitely going to have to get investors or some sort of a loan, or find the rest of the money somewhere else, but it is going to be a nice start. I always say that having the title is more than the money. I am hoping to be able to work the title to, ultimately, open up that restaurant.”
The prize she values most, though, is the chance to be trained by the judges who deemed her a victor.
“You can’t put a price on the training you are going to get out of each of these chefs’ restaurants,” she said.