If you’ve been keeping up on a weekly basis with the second season of Master Chef (United States version), then you already know the outcome of the two-hour season finale which aired Tuesday night. If not, then it’s news to you that real estate agent and former beauty queen Jennifer Behm of Wilmington, Delaware, was named the winner of the popular reality TV competition and took home the coveted $250,000 grand prize.
To qualify for the home stretch of the series, Behm and runner-up Adrien Nieto both beat out semi-finalist Christian Collins in a 60 minute timed cookoff during the first hour of the finale. Then, for the final showdown, Behm wowed the judges with an appetizer of pan-seared scallops with quail eggs, corn, and pea puree; an entrée of stuffed quail with potatoes and spinach; and a dessert of braised pears with apple and mascarpone. At the end of the episode Gordon Ramsay, along with co-hosts Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot Bowles, named Behm as the winner. Ramsay referred to Behm, who persevered through episode after episode to beat out the competition with an inventive array of dishes, as “fearless.”
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As if all of that wasn’t difficult enough, Behm was then contractually obligated to keep mum about the results of the show for two months before the official August 16 airing. But it was all worth it: along with $250,000 and the title of America’s Next Master Chef, Behm has also received a potentially lucrative cookbook contract. Addressing the win, Behm said: “This is a thousand dreams come true. My family taught me to never give up a dream – if you want it and you work hard. Anything is possible. It doesn't matter what the naysayers say. I'm proof of that.”