Stephen Asprinio, Season 1
Contestant
Hometown: Palm Beach County, FL
Resides: New York, NY
Stephen has had a passion for food and wine from a very young age, and always knew he wanted to establish himself as an influential person in the hospitality industry. In addition to his culinary training under highly acclaimed chefs such as Morimoto Masaharu at Nobu, Stephen dedicated himself to his pursuit of wine, and at 19, became the youngest person to pass the United States Sommelier Association’s Certificate Examination. After graduating from the CIA and Cornell University, he became one of the youngest Sommeliers in the country while working for Michael Mina’s Nob Hill at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Following his appearance on the first season of Top Chef, at the age of 26, Stephen Asprinio opened his first and namesake restaurant, Forté di Asprinio in South Florida, which was named "One of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants in the United States" by the Gayot Restaurant Guide. He has since relocated to New York City where his hospitality firm, S.A. Hospitality Innovations is based, with plans for his next restaurant venture in 2011.