This past week, Khristianne Uy took home the grand prize and bragging rights as the first season winner of The Taste, ABC’s new cooking reality competition. The Filipina American chef (who has worked as a personal chef to actor Charlie Sheen, producer Simon Cowell, drummer Tommy Lee, and the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia) beat out fellow contestant Diane “Cruella” DiMeo (who is also Persian-Korean) when guest judge Jose Andres favored her three dishes (Peking duck with chive pancake, seafood bouillabaisse and a braised short rib), which incorporated Portugese and Filipino flavors. In addition to the The Taste trophy, Uy went home $100,000 and a Ford hybrid.
A proud lesbian, Uy told Gay Star News that she had received a lot of bullying on the show: “There was not another gay person in the top 16 so there were some who thought they just kept me as the token lesbian.I got little comments from some competitors like, ‘YOU made it this far’ ‘You’re Charlie Sheen’s chef. Do you just make burgers and hot dogs?’ There was like a lot of bullying – men with big egos.”
She also commented she would trade in her prizes to make gay marriage legal and will donate a portion of her winnings to the Human Rights Campaign and LGBT causes.
Brian Malarkey (Top Chef Season 3 winner), was Uy’s mentor. Anthony Bourdain (DiMeo’s mentor), Nigella Lawson, and Ludo Lefebrve were also other mentors on the show.