Top Chef season 18 came to an end on July 2nd, 2021. The show’s grand finale saw three contestants battle it out to be crowned Top Chef!
Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio guided the cheftestants through their Top Chef journey – which was one of the toughest to date.
The Top Chef winner was revealed on June 2nd as was the winner of Top Chef’s “Fan Favorite” award. Let’s find out more about the 2021 winner.
- Spoiler Alert: Reading on will reveal who the Top Chef season 18 winner is, as well as the Top Chef Fan Favorite!
Who won Top Chef Fan Favorite 2021?
- Shota Nakajima
Top Chef season 18 episode 14 saw Dawn Burrell, Gabriel “Gabe” Erales, and Shota Nakajima battle it out for top spot on the show, as well as the $250,000 prize money!
It was Mexican chef Gabriel “Gabe” Erales who won the competiton overall.
However, the winner of Top Chef’s “Fan Favorite” award is Shota Nakajima!
Shota was a finalist on the show, he runs a Japanese restaurant, Taku, in Seattle. This means that he’ll receive $10,000 from S. Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water.
- Read More: Was Gabe Erales fired after Top Chef season 18 win?
Get to know Shota Nakajima!
Chef Shota Nakajima is a Japanese-American chef who was a finalist on Bravo’s Top Chef season 18.
Shota is 31 years old and was born 1989 in Tokyo, Japan. He later moved to Seattle, Washington and still lives there now.
As per Shota’s Bravo profile, at 18 years old, “he moved to Osaka, Japan to learn the art of Japanese cuisine from Michelin Star rated Chef Yasuhiko Sakamoto“.
The profile adds that Shota’s not shy of getting his hands dirty in the name of great cooking as he forages and fishes: “…taking advantage of the abundance of wild goods in Washington’s mountains and waters.”
He was a James Beard Semi Finalist for three consecutive years in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Meet the Top Chef winner on Instagram
Shota can be found on Instagram @chefshota with over 60k followers.
He often takes to the ‘gram to show off dishes that he’s created, but Shota also provides his followers with tips and tricks that he’s learned along his cooking journey.
He posts videos on how to make a Japanese hot pot, soy braised fish heads, lobster and more!
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