We Finally Know Who Won MasterChef: Back To Win

Any cooking competition show with a cash prize is bound to elicit high heart rates and nail-biting countdowns, but the stakes feel even higher and more anxiety-inducing when Gordon Ramsay is a judge. The fiery food celebrity has been hosting "MasterChef" on Fox since 2010 alongside chef Aarón Sánchez and restaurateur Joe Bastianich, often bringing on judges like Milk Bar queen Christina Tosi. The show's premise, which is inspired by the British series of the same name, is fairly par for the course. Each season welcomes 20 amateur chefs who battle it out for the coveted "MasterChef" title and prizes. 

The contestants of the show's 12th season, "MasterChef: Back to Win," which aired its final episode on September 14, may have looked familiar to longtime viewers, because they appeared on previous seasons of the show — even as young tots on "MasterChef Junior," in some cases. The final three contenders gathered in the kitchen for last night's finale, but only one took home the grand prize. In case you missed it, here's who came out on top.

Congrats, Dara Yu!

Even Gordon Ramsay believes in second chances, which was why he brought back previous "MasterChef" contestants to compete in the show's 12th season. The final three chefs (Michael Silverstein, Christian Green, and Dara Yu) all put up a good fight, but Yu's crispy skin red snapper, Chinese-style short ribs, and meringue-topped vanilla ile flottante (a meal that paid tribute to dishes from her childhood) won the favor of the judges, which included special guest Christina Tosi. The "MasterChef Junior" Season 1 runner-up walked away with $25,000. Not a bad accomplishment for someone at the ripe old age of 20.

We have no doubt that Yu will use some of her prize money to buy some cool baking gear — she's a pastry student at the Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park (per Facebook) — but she told TV Insider that she plans to invest most of it. "I want to be able to have that money for the rest of my life," she said, adding that she plans to allocate some of her winnings toward culinary projects.