Top Chef" are always the ones who win the reality series as one bad dish could sink their hopes to winning the whole thing. The judges like Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons critique their meals from the Quick Fire to the Elimination challenge throughout the show in order to decide who goes home. Fan favorites of "Top Chef" get a consolation prize of sorts even though they may not have the opportunity of winning the coveted title.
Sam Talbot. The second season contender faced off against other elite chefs for the title in Los Angeles, California. Sam Talbot finished in third place behind Marcel Vigneron and Ilan Hall who battled in the finale at Waikoloa Village, Hawaii. An online and phone poll chose the first ever fan favorite for the show and Sam Talbot won the distinction.
Casey Thompson. Season three was based out in sunny Miami, Florida, but the heat in the kitchen overcame the weather outside. The chef along with Dale Levitski lost out to fellow competitor Hung Huynh at the season finale in Aspen, Colorado. He at least won out in the voting poll as "Top Chef" fan favorite which was done live during the last episode.
Stephanie Izard. Chicago, Illinois, was the back drop for another culinary battle between the best chefs to ever step into a kitchen. "Top Chef" held its ultimate challenge in Puerto Rico for the title. Stephanie became the first female chef to win the honor as well as being voted as the fan favorite for season four.
Fabio Viviani. The Big Apple, New York City, stepped up as the new location for "Top Chef" season five to see who is the best of the best. Hosea Rosenberg overcame the odds and beat out two other talented chefs to win the competition in New Orleans. Yet, Fabio Viviani took the other title of fan favorite after finishing fourth place.