Who is Melissa King? 'Top Chef Amateurs' judge won two titles on Season 17

Crowned the Season 17 winner and fan-favourite, Melissa King is 'Top Chef' royalty

                            Who is Melissa King? 'Top Chef Amateurs' judge won two titles on Season 17
Melissa King is back on 'Top Chef Amateurs' (Instagram/ @chefmelissaking)

Reality cooking shows aren't for the weak of heart or palate. For 24 amateur cooks, it's time to show the world just what they're made of on 'Top Chef Amateurs'. Bravo's latest cooking show will see these chefs taking on some classic challenges, with a bit of help from the show's alumni, who will be cooking alongside them, providing them with the support they need. 

If you're looking for other culinary shows to check out, you might want to consider 'MasterChef Legends', 'The Chef Show', 'Chopped Junior' and 'BBQ Brawl'.


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Who is Melissa King?

King grew up in Los Angeles, California. Her mother was an aerospace engineer and her father, an electrical engineer, immigrated from Hong Kong to Los Angeles in the 1960s. King went to the University of California, Santa Barbara and later to the University of California, Irvine, where she earned a BA in cognitive science.

Seeing that she had a passion for food, she enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America in New York and earned her associate's degree in culinary arts. She is also a certified level 1 Sommelier. With regard to her run on the show, King spoke to Food & Wine about how being on the same was a step for her to grow. 

"I was painfully shy most of my life," she explained. "I couldn't give a speech at my sister's wedding. You see a different side of me [in 'Top Chef' season 17]—someone who has grown up more. I was trying to prove something last time to my parents. This time, I was trying to do it for me." she added.



The most wins in 'Top Chef' history

King has appeared on two seasons of 'Top Chef', Season 12, where she was a finalist and Season 17 of 'All-Stars' where she bagged a win. Her Season 17 run was exceptionally interesting, seeing that she not only won the show but was also named fan favourite of her season.



She's a part of the LGBTQ community

King is openly gay and is gender fluid, seeing that she uses she/her or they/them pronouns. She is an advocate for LGBTQ equality women's empowerment, environmental sustainability, and food education for youths. Besides being a chef and TV personality, she also hosts virtual cooking experiences and uses the proceeds to support charities such as The Okra Project, No Kid Hungry, The Trevor Project, Asian Pacific Islanders for Equality, National Black Justice Coalition. 



On 'Top Chef Amateurs', Chef Melissa King makes a comeback as part of the 'Top Chef' alum to help the amateur cooks as they race against the clock while tackling challenges.

She will also be a part of the judge's panel this season, alongside Eric Adjepong, Richard Blais, Shirley Chung, Stephanie Cmar, Jennifer Caroll, Tiffany Derry, Joe Flamm, Gregory Gourdet, Kwame Onwuachi, Dale Talde and Isaac Toups.

Catch Bravo's 'Top Chef Amateurs' on July 1, 2021, at 9/8c.