MasterChefcrowned Luca Manfe its fourth-season winner during Wednesday night's finale broadcast of the Fox culinary competition for amateur home cooks.
Luca, a 31-year-old restaurant manager from Astoria, NY, defeated runner-up Natasha Crnjac, a 26-year-old stay-at-home mom from San Diego, CA, after they were each required to "perfectly compose" a three-course dinner complete with an "amazing" appetizer, "fabulous" entree and "incredible" dessert to be tasted and critiqued by MasterChefjudges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot.
"I came in from another country because America is the best place in the world. This is where dreams come true, and now, I am America's Masterchef. And to win the title in front of my wife, my sister, my dad, this is so special. Natasha put up a huge fight. She's a great cook. I think that Natasha will have a beautiful future," Luca said after his victory was announced.
When discussing whom the winner should be, Gordon asked Joe and Graham whether they should call the race a draw for the first time ever in MasterChef because both cooks delivered unbelievable, restaurant-worthy dishes. Joe and Graham, however, said they couldn't do that, and Graham suggested they had a champion just by "the slightest of edges."
"This has truly been the toughest, most difficult decision we've ever had to make in the history of this competition. But as you know, there can only be one winner. One of you is about to receive $250,000, the opportunity to publish your very own cookbook and get their hands on [a] stunning trophy, and one of you will have the right to call yourself a true 'Masterchef.' The winner of MasterChefis, congratulations, Luca," Gordon explained.
Lucas served the judges seared duck liver, braised beef short ribs with mushrooms and then basil panna cotta with a tomato jam.
Natasha executed seared scallops first and followed it with a five-spice monkfish with rice and then coconut panna cotta.
"I've learned so much and I've grown, and it's not the end. This is just going to catapult me in the direction I want to be," Natasha said after the results were revealed.