Luca Manfè is an Italian-Australian chef who made it to the top 100 of Gordon Ramsay’s Masterchef in 2012, but, he didn’t make it to the final stages of the competition.
But, Luca reapplied in 2013 and became the first non-American and the first male to win the title of Masterchef USA.
Manfè was born on May 31, 1981, in Aviano, Pordenone, Italy.
His father, Fedruccio Manfé, has been with the 31st Civil Engineer Squadron for two decades. His mother, Bruna Fedrigo, has worked in the 31st Contracting Squadron for more than 25 years.
He said about his childhood:
”I loved my mother’s meatballs! I could never stop eating them.”
Manfè went on to say:
”Her tiramisu is fabulous, and all her pastas are fantastic.”
At age 16, Luca started to work in the restaurant business, in a pub in his hometown of Aviano. At age 21, Manfè started to travel around the world, working in Australia, Florida, and finally landing in New York City.
MasterChef is an American competitive cooking reality TV show. Graham Elliot, Gordon Ramsay, and restaurateur Joe Bastianich starred in the first five seasons of MasterChef.
He participated in season 3 of the American competitive reality TV series MasterChef.
Note – Season 3 had a 2-night premiere on Fox on June 4 and 5, 2012.
Manfè first attempted to enter in Season 3, with Parmesan polenta and a Venetian calf’s liver. Unfortunately, Luca failed to make past the audition round in season 3.
Note – Sadly, Josh Marks, the runner-up of MasterChef Season 3, committed suicide on October 12, 2013. Josh Marks had already been suffering from bipolar disorder and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia the day before his death.
Manfè returned a year later to apply for Season 4 MasterChef, presenting broccoli rabe ravioli with a pecorino cheese sauce.
He won the Season 4 of Masterchef in 2013. He is the first male winner of MasterChef.
Note – Season 4 of MasterChef had a premiere on Fox on May 22, 2013.
Season 4 finale attracted more than 6 million viewers.
”The finale itself absolutely was probably the toughest, because there was so much at stake, and the emotions were doing a big, big part on it because you know that that was the last chance that you had to go for the title.”
Luca also said:
”There was no comeback from that one. So, you really had to put more than 100%.”
In a different interview, he said:
”I started this journey as an amateur Chef. People way too often think that because you get to be on TV and win a reality show, you must be a great Chef.”
Since winning MasterChef, Luca has established his own catering company, called – ”Dinner with Luca,” where he cooks special dinners in people’s homes. According to the description:
”From an intimate gathering of friends, to a romantic candlelight dinner, a sit-down service, or a cocktail party, “Dinner with Luca” is the perfect and easy solution for your unique atmosphere.”
“’Dinner with Luca’ is a very unique and intimate dining experience.”
”I am people’s private Chef for one night. The average party size is 8-14 and usually, people book me for birthday parties, anniversaries or special occasions.”
Luca is married to Catherine Manfè.
The couple has two sons.
On May 13, 2014, he published a book titled – ”My Italian Kitchen: Favorite Family Recipes from the Winner of MasterChef Season 4 on FOX.”
The book is packed with the food that he loves and that you and your family will love too.
A reviewer wrote about the book:
”As a cookbook, it has some flaws (mainly overcomplicated dishes), but it has a lot of great tips even for beginners.”
He also wrote:
”On the other hand, it’s quite easy to pick out only fragments of recipes and make, for example, only part of the proposed dish.”
“The book is a lot of recipes from my mother and grandmother but with my own spin and changes. It’s what I love to eat. And of course dishes from the show.”
He created his self-titled YouTube channel on May 28, 2007.
”In 2019 there is still people that sneezes on their hand and then try to shake your hand.”
”My favorite restaurants are always the hosterias. I always like to order classic dishes, especially frico.”
”The dinner table is always the part of the day where all the family is together.”
”I think sometimes I say some stupid things and then make myself laugh as well.”
”If you are that person that just looks at the cashier while she/he is putting YOUR groceries in the bag, I highly dislike you and I don’t think you are worth very much.”
”I like to focus on the classic meals and cook them in a modern way, using different ingredients and techniques.”
”I do not spend a holiday season without making muset and brovada at home.”
”How many times have you opened a can of tuna fish and double-checked the label to make sure you didn’t open cat food?”
Luca currently lives in Houston, where he had established a food truck, named – “The Lucky Fig.” The truck baked its own ciabatta bread for sandwiches filled with vegetables and braised short ribs sourced from local ranches and farms. But, he stopped the food track.
He wrote on Facebook:
“In the first 6 months, our truck broke down 7 times causing sales loss while food and labor costs still had to be paid.”
”December 31, 2016 will be the last day of service of The Lucky Fig.”
During an interview, Manfè said about Italian food:
”Italian diets have a tremendous respect for the ingredients that go into each dish.”
Luca later added:
”Very little butter is used, for example, many regions of Italy don’t even use any at all. Just a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper are used which means everything has very low levels of fat.”
Luca Manfè – Net Worth
Manfè earns most of his money from founding his own catering company – ”Dinner with Luca.” In addition, he published a book. Also, Luca won Season 4 of MasterChef that brought him $250,000 as a prize. Therefore, Luca Manfè has an estimated net worth of $0.8 million.