‘MasterChef’ UK was the original show that came up with the iconic idea of opening the culinary industry’s gates to amateur and home cooks. Since its inception in 1990, the competition series has expanded to various other countries like Australia, America, India, to name a few. In the US, the franchise debuted on July 27, 2010, and has been a hit ever since. The cooking reality TV show produces world-class chefs who are put through multiple challenges to turn them into the best version of themselves.
Season 3 of Fox’s ‘MasterChef’ premiered on June 4, 2012, with 18 contestants and the co-creator of the series, Gordon Ramsay, along with famous restaurateurs Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, on the judging panel. This edition of the show created history with its first blind contestant winning the coveted title. We got intrigued to know what the winner and the runner have been up to and the revelation surprised us!
Winner: Christine Hà
Christine Huyen Tran Ha is the show’s first blind contestant who went on to create history. The trailblazer not only surpassed everyone’s expectations despite her impaired vision but also won the hearts of all three judges at the conclusion of most of the challenge rounds. After bagging the whopping $250,000 prize and a cookbook deal in 2012, she went on to materialize her life-long dream to own a restaurant. The year following her big win, the Houston native began to co-host the Canadian TV show ‘Four Senses’ that airs on AMI TV, a cable network that caters to people with special needs.
The food-world sensation became the author of the New York Times bestseller ‘Recipes from My Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food,’ published on May 14, 2013. Known to many as “The Blind Cook,” Christine became a judge on the third season of ‘MasterChef Vietnam.’ Her culinary achievement can be measured by the fact that she is the first cook/author to be awarded the prestigious Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award (2014).
In April 2019, she opened her first gastropub, “The Blind Goat,” that serves personally curated classic Vietnamese dishes. In addition to opening small-scale eateries around the world, the talented chef inaugurated her second Houston venture “Xin Chào” in 2020. While currently working on her memoir, she lives with her husband and business partner, John Suh, in Houston, Texas.
Runner Up: Josh Marks
Josh Marks was the Army Contract Specialist who instantly grabbed eyeballs with his seven-foot-long stature and remarkable cooking skills, though he had never pursued it professionally. He often stood with the winners at the end of a challenge round and earned great remarks from the ever-critical Ramsay. However, he got eliminated in the 12th challenge but luckily got reinstated in round 14. While his butter-poached lobster in the finale episode was much-appreciated, he failed to impress the judges enough to be declared the winner. Nonetheless, it did not seem like the end of a tunnel for the almost Masterchef!
Unfortunately, he was found dead on October 11, 2013. The medical examiner ruled his sudden demise at the age of 26 as suicide. His family saw him lying on his back with a gun beside him and a bullet hole visible through his head. Shortly after the traumatic incident, his step-father, Gabriel Mitchell, told CNN that the reality show had taken a toll on his mental health. In early 2013, he started showing signs of psychiatric issues as he had critical panic attacks and psychosis episodes off and on. By the time the aspiring chef was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia, it was already too late.