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What is Melissa King doing now? 'Top Chef' winner sold sauces and headlined cooking classes during pandemic

Be it at the Culinary Institute of America or 'Top Chef' Season 17, Melissa has always been the one to shine brightest in her batch
'Top Chef' Season 17 winner Melissa King (Bravo)
'Top Chef' Season 17 winner Melissa King (Bravo)

From dealing with stress in the kitchen to winning a season of 'Top Chef', Melissa King has come a long way. And today, she's all set to go back to her TV roots, albeit as a rotating judge. "I’m back!! The moment you’ve all been waiting for, pack your knives for Portland," she wrote on her Facebook page with a photo of her seated next to the regular roster of judges Gail Simmons and Tom Colicchio and host Padma Lakshmi.

Be it at the Culinary Institute of America or 'Top Chef' Season 17, Melissa has always been the one to shine brightest in her batch. She has the rare ability to marry wildly different flavors and textures without overcomplicating it which also forms the basis of her cooking style that combines modern California cuisine with Asian flavors.


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I’m back!! The moment you’ve all been waiting for, pack your knives for Portland! But this time I’m not the one running...

Posted by Melissa King on Monday, February 8, 2021


Since winning Season 17, Melissa has been on her toes. Despite the pandemic, she has found herself neck-deep in projects, virtual cooking classes being one of them. She partnered with Zinc Agency to shoot live events that are more than just instructional videos. The interactive culinary demonstrations allow users to comment and engage in a Q&A session with Melissa. This aside, she runs King Sauce, a sauce and spice line and has launched a range of apparel as well.

The pandemic has changed life as we know it. The restaurant industry took a nosedive but Melissa managed to stay afloat by making good use of her skills. What's more, she has partnered with brands with a focus on sustainability and those that support communities.

Her website states: "She has been sought out by companies, retailers, nonprofit organizations, and restaurants to collaborate and create memorable experiences together," and adds that she has "partnered to consult on the development and launch of new products, curate specialized menus at events, and conceptualize designs for restaurants internationally."


Melissa may be reserved but she is confident and that aspect of her personality stems from the fact that she has led several Michelin-starred kitchens in all of her 15 years of being a part of the food industry. Most have known her as someone who speaks when spoken to, Melissa never shies away when it comes to expressing strong opinions on the social injustices that have filled the world.

Talking to Cinemablend, she said: "I know the pandemic has brought a lot of anti-Asian sentiment, and there's some anti-Asian racism happening in the world," and continued: "It breaks my heart to hear stories from personal friends saying that they were at the grocery store and they were called a "c----" and told go back home to China because of COVID, and they're American-born Asians."

Catch more of Melissa and her fierceness when 'Top Chef' Season 18 premiered on Bravo on April 1, at 8/7c. For more information, check your local listings.

Take a peek at Melissa's life here: