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Courtney Lapresi Crowned "MasterChef" Winner

September 15, 2014 - Tonight, Season Five of MASTERCHEF came to an unforgettable conclusion as host, executive producer and judge Gordon Ramsay and fellow judges Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot named Courtney Lapresi the winner of FOX’s hit home cooking competition series.

Lapresi, 25, is an aerial dancer from Philadelphia, PA. In addition to earning the MASTERCHEF title, Lapresi walked away with a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize.  

Watch/Share Lapresi’s reaction to winning MASTERCHEF:
YouTube Link: http://youtu.be/xAjDccbnHfM 
Embeddable Link: http://fox.tv/Xs0zFA

“Winning MASTERCHEF unlocks the door to all possibilities for me,” said Lapresi. “This title not only changes my life, but also my family’s life, and I hope to pursue my dreams of creating the foundation for a business that will be successful for years to come. I look forward to writing my cookbook, which will be inspired by my family, and to continue my transition from ‘home cook’ to ‘chef.’ I am grateful for the support and encouragement that I have received throughout this journey.”

“Courtney impressed us from the beginning,” said Ramsay. “She never played it safe, she took risks and when the pressure was high, she showed us that she could handle it. That's what makes a MASTERCHEF.“

Bastianich added, “Courtney emerged as a top contender from the onset of the season, firmly holding her place amongst the upper echelon of the contestants, right through to the end. Facing such an extraordinary level of competition this season, I have no doubt that Courtney will successfully handle the rigors of the professional culinary world with grace and tenacity.”

“This was clearly a very competitive MASTERCHEF season, filled with an impressive group of home cooks, and appropriately it came down to a nail-biter of a finale,” noted Elliot. “Leslie and Elizabeth had great runs, but it was Courtney who shined brightest in the end. She's capable of doing some great things in the culinary world and I’m truly excited to see what she’s able to accomplish.”

In tonight’s sensational Season Finale episode, Lapresi competed in a culinary showdown with Elizabeth Cauvel, a 31-year-old advertising executive from Brooklyn, NY. For the final challenge, Lapresi created an elevated three-course meal: an appetizer of Crispy Pig Ear with Dandelion Fennel Salad; a main course of Sumac Duck Breast with Spring Vegetables and Farro; and a Cherry Meringue with Chocolate and Almonds for dessert. In the end, it was Lapresi’s sophisticated European flavors and techniques that won over the judges and earned her the MASTERCHEF title. 

This season, Lapresi was the first home cook to earn a white apron and advance to the MASTERCHEF kitchen. In addition to winning two mystery box challenges and having one of the Top Three dishes in four mystery box challenges, she also presented one of the top dishes in each of the three pressure tests she competed in, making her the most consistently successful home cook across all challenges. 
 
Nearing the end of its fifth season, MASTERCHEF ranks as the season’s No. 1 cooking show on television, among Adults 18-49 and Total Viewers.

MASTERCHEF is once again giving talented home cooks the chance to prove they have what it takes to make their marks on the culinary world. Auditions for Season Six of MASTERCHEF continue in the following cities: Cleveland and San Antonio (Sept. 20); Atlanta and New Orleans (Sept. 27); New York City and Miami (Oct. 4); Chicago and Memphis (Oct. 11); and Los Angeles (Oct. 18). Visit www.masterchefcasting.com/  to pre-register and for the most up-to-date audition information. 

MASTERCHEF is produced by Shine America and One Potato Two Potato and is based on the format created by Franc Roddam and Shine. Shine International handles distribution for the MASTERCHEF format. Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Paul Franklin, Robin Ashbrook, Gordon Ramsay, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers. “Like” MASTERCHEF on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MasterChef. Follow the series on Twitter @MASTERCHEFonFOX and join the discussion at #masterchef. Through the FOX NOW app, FOX viewers can watch full episodes of their favorite FOX shows on a variety of digital platforms, while enjoying enhanced interactive and social capabilities around those shows. Download the FOX NOW app at www.fox.com/foxnow.

 

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