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[09/11/13 - 07:06 PM]
Winner Announced on "MasterChef"
Plus: season five open casting calls begin in Phoenix and New Orleans on October 5.

[via press release from FOX]

LUCA MANFE CROWNED "MASTERCHEF" WINNER

Season Five Open Casting Calls Begin in Phoenix and New Orleans on October 5

Tonight, Season Four of MASTERCHEF came to an unforgettable conclusion as host/executive producer and judge Gordon Ramsay and fellow judges Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot named Luca Manfe the winner of FOX's hit home cooking competition series. Manfe, 31, is a restaurant manager from Astoria, NY. In addition to earning the MASTERCHEF title, Manfe walked away with a cookbook deal and the $250,000 grand prize.

"Winning MASTERCHEF is a dream come true," said Manfe. "After being eliminated in the auditions round last year, I never would have thought my life could turn around like this. I have learned so much from the experience, and now I am ready to continue pursuing my dream of opening my first restaurant."

In tonight's sensational season finale episode, Manfe competed in a culinary showdown with Natasha Crnjac, a stay-at-home mom from San Diego, CA, who proved her skill with her sophisticated techniques, exotic flavors and competitive spirit. For the final challenge, Manfe created a refined three-course meal: an appetizer of Seared Duck Liver with Brioche and Peaches; a main course of Braised Beef Short Ribs with Chantarelle Mushrooms; and a Basil Panna Cotta with Tomato Jam and Honey Cream Mascarpone for dessert. In the end, it was Manfe's bold flavors and complex, yet composed, techniques that won over the judges and earned him the MASTERCHEF title.

Manfe's incredible MASTERCHEF journey began on Season Three during the auditions round. Manfe came up short of advancing to the next round, but the judges encouraged him to continue cooking and improving his craft. This season, after earning a MASTERCHEF apron on his second try, Manfe came back stronger than ever and was determined to prove his drive and passion to become the next MASTERCHEF. Each week, Manfe competed in a series of grueling challenges and intense elimination rounds, presenting restaurant quality dishes in his signature Italian style.

Nearing the end of its fourth season, MASTERCHEF ranks as the season's No. 1 cooking show on television among Adults 18-49 and Total Viewers.

Have what it takes to be like Luca? MASTERCHEF will once again travel across the country and give talented home cooks the chance to prove they have what it takes to make their mark on the culinary world. Open casting calls will be held in the following cities:

Cities Dates Venues/Times

Phoenix Saturday, Oct. 5 Embassy Suites Biltmore 2630 East Camelback Road Phoenix, AZ 85016 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

New Orleans Saturday, Oct. 5 Hyatt French Quarter 800 Iberville Street New Orleans, LA 70112 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Houston Saturday, Oct. 12 Doubletree Suites Hotel Houston Galleria 5353 Westheimer Rd. Houston, TX 77056 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Orlando Saturday, Oct. 12 TBD

Chicago Saturday, Oct. 19 Le Cordon Bleu 361 West Chestnut Street Chicago, IL 60610 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Columbus Saturday, Oct. 19 Hyatt Regency Columbus 350 North High Street Columbus, OH 43215 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Kansas City Saturday, Oct. 26 Kansas City Marriott Downtown 200 West 12th Street Kansas City, MO 64105 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

New York City Saturday, Oct. 26 Doubletree Suites Times Square 1568 Broadway New York, NY 10036 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Denver Saturday, Nov. 2 Crowne Plaza Denver Downtown 1450 Glenarm Place Denver, CO 80202 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Philadelphia Saturday, Nov. 2 Doubletree Philadelphia Center City 237 S Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Additional details, including venues and times, will be announced soon. Visit www.masterchefcasting.com 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.

About One Potato Two Potato:

One Potato Two Potato was co-founded by Gordon Ramsay and Optomen Television in 2008 to exclusively create and produce worldwide content for Ramsay ventures across all media, including television, digital and publishing. Renowned for award-winning original programming, the company produces high-quality TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including the smash-hit HOTEL HELL, which is the highest-rated new network show of summer 2012; and MASTERCHEF, both for FOX; as well as massive U.K. hit "Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars" and "Gordon's Great Escape" for Channel 4.; and "My Kitchen," for UKTV's Good Food Channel. Ramsay's groundbreaking and hugely popular Channel 4 series, "Cookalong LIVE," aired as a special on FOX and has since become a successful format around the world. OPTP is also currently in development on several exciting unscripted and scripted projects, within and beyond the food genre, for network, cable and digital platforms in the U.S., U.K. and around the world. OPTP distributes its hugely popular TV programming and formats to more than 200 territories via Optomen International. The company became part of the All3Media group in 2010. Find out more about One Potato Two Potato at www.onepotatotwopotato.tv.

About Shine America:

Shine America is a world leader in producing and distributing compelling scripted and unscripted television and digital content. Shine America is known for popular and award-winning original series including "The Biggest Loser" and "The Face," as well as adaptations of Shine Group formats such as MASTERCHEF and "Minute to Win It," and scripted series including new drama "The Bridge". Shine America incorporates several divisions including unscripted format label Ardaban and Shine Latino, which develops and distributes original Spanish-language content to the U.S. and Latin American marketplaces. The company also has a joint-venture with award-winning producer Nigel Lythgoe (Nigel Lythgoe Productions). The global Shine 360° division builds brands through the leveraging of its intellectual property and creating integrated marketing opportunities for advertisers. The company has also developed over 20 ground-breaking original online series on MSN, Yahoo!, YouTube premium channels and other platforms, many produced in partnership with global brands. Through Shine Group's distribution arm, Shine International, Shine America distributes its extensive library of programming and formats to more than 150 countries. Visit www.shineamerica.com for further information.





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· MASTERCHEF (FOX)





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