Dancer earns eighth season trophy, $250,000 grand prize
Wednesday night, season eight of "MasterChef" came to an unforgettable conclusion as Emmy Award-nominated host, judge and executive producer Gordon Ramsay, along with fellow judges Christina Tosi and Aarón Sánchez, and finale guest judge Joe Bastianich, named Dino Luciano the winner.
In addition to earning the "MasterChef" title, Dino, a 28-year-old dancer from Bensonhurst, walked away with the $250,000 grand prize. He also will be one of the featured chefs on the "MasterChef Cruise
," which sets sail later this year.
Watch Dino's reaction to winning "MasterChef":
"It's when I stepped out of my comfort zone that things started to flourish," Dino said. "Best thing I've learned this year: Don't let your fear of what could happen make nothing happen."
"Dino was the dark horse in this competition," Ramsay said. "But his passion, artistic sense and unconventional eye propelled him to the finish line."
In the season finale episode, the top three prepared an appetizer dish, an entrée and a dessert.
Dino created an elevated three-course meal: squid ink angel hair pasta with calamari, clams and cherry tomatoes for an appetizer; an entrée of rack of lamb on a lamb belly-sunchoke caponata, with a fig and cippolini balsamic glaze; and roasted pistachio tiramisu cake with orange mascarpone cream, espresso caviar and pistachio tuile for dessert.
Eboni Henry, an addictions counselor from Chicago, prepared pan-seared scallops with charred romanesco, rainbow chard and a garden pea puree for an appetizer; a spiced honey glazed duck breast with sweet potato mash, sautéed collard greens and crispy heirloom carrots as an entrée; and a chocolate orbit cake with a chocolate rum glaze, a macadamia nut crumble, and a passion fruit key-lime coulis for dessert.
Jason Wang, a high school music teacher, from Newton, Massachusetts, made an uni custard with poached prawns, clams and a Meyer lemon miso vinaigrette for an appetizer; tofu skin-wrapped black cod with bay scallops, maitake mushrooms and cucumber-pea tendril sauce as his entrée; and a black-sesame Japonaise with yuzu chocolate mousse and a berry shiso coulis for dessert.
In the end, it was Dino's out-of-the-box flavors, bold combinations and heartfelt dishes that won over the judges and earned him the "MasterChef" title.
Dino is victorious. (FOX photo)