Hawaii 24/7 Staff
Sheldon Simeon, a native of Hilo, has made it to the finals of the Bravo TV program “Top Chef” and has a chance to win the $100,000 top prize.
Simeon, a 2000 Hilo High School graduate, currently is executive chef at Star Noodle and Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop in Lahaina, Maui and battled 20 other chefs in Season 10 of the program.
Most of the season has been set in Seattle, but did include an Alaska cruise and a two-part finale in Los Angeles.
Simeon has won several challenges on the show so far, including scoring a new car. Simeon, who attended Culinary Institute of the Pacific and Maui Culinary Academy, has said he expects to bring the spirit of the menehune warrior to the final showdown.
Simeon squares off against Brooke Williamson, co-executive chef and co-owner of Hudson House in Redondo Beach, Calif. They will be joined by the winner of the program’s online “Last Chance Kitchen,” in which previously eliminated chefs earn another chance.
According to his bio on the Bravo website, Simeon loves to cook with local island ingredients, but is confident when competing against mainland chefs.
He is a two-time James Beard semifinalist — for “Rising Star” and “Best New Restaurant,” both in 2011. Also in 2011, Maui Nokaoi Magazine named him “Chef of the Year.”
Food & Wine Magazine named Simeon “Best New Chef People’s Choice” nominee in 2012.
He learned his basic culinary skills at Disneyworld, where he also met his wife, but his competitive nature has ensured his continued success that has landed him all of these accolades.
Judges include chef and restaurant mogul Wolfgang Puck, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson, and Emeril Lagasse, with host Padma Lakshmi.
The first-part of the finale airs 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 on Bravo, Oceanic Time Warner Cable digital channel 560.
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