What MasterChef Winner Dino Angelo Luciano Is Doing Now

Stuck between watching a comedy or another season of reality TV this weekend? Well, we have the perfect solution for you: MasterChef season eight. Gordon Ramsay's fan-favorite show hit peak comedic value in 2017, thanks to a quirky cast led by none other than Dino Angelo Luciano.

Luciano surprised everyone when he took the crown at the end of the season, but in all honesty, he had viewers' hearts from day one thanks to his eccentric personality, laid-back persona, and top tier kitchen skills. According to Reality Revisited, the former dancer's innovative dishes led him to take home the $250,000 prize. 

TV Over Mind reports that Luciano first began dancing to make up for all the extra calories in the kitchen. Eventually, that pastime turned into a passion, which turned into a career. While he still remains a dance lover at heart, Luciano has since hung up his ballet slippers and swapped them for a chef's apron full-time.

Luciano, aka The Gourmet Rabbit, is quickly making a name for himself as a vegan chef

Since his MasterChef days, Luciano — who calls himself The Gourmet Rabbit — has wasted no time climbing the culinary ladder. Reality TV Revisited notes that Luciano had a stint as the executive chef at Phoenix's Muse and Market, but he's been exploring other corners of the cooking world since.

In February 2020, Luciano appeared on actress Evanna Lynch's podcast The Chick Peeps to discuss his experience as a vegan on such a popular cooking show. In his words, he "wanted to quit so many times" after having to do some questionable meat-based challenges, but he stuck it out. His motivation? He wanted to gain a platform to educate others about the benefits of a plant-based diet. In the days since, Luciano has done just that — he even cheffed up a vegan meal for the Harry Potter star herself!

Luciano has lended a hand to a number of restaurants, helping them establish more vegan-friendly offerings. In partnership with chef Athiraj Phrasavath, Luciano developed a plant-based "Thaiwaiian" menu for The Farsides restaurant in Montreal (via The Farsides).

Montreal has been the source of many successes for Luciano, including the launch of Le Mariachi, a new restaurant that "takes a Californian vegan approach to Mexican cuisine" (via TimeOut). Luciano has also made it his mission to ditch typical vegan stereotypes. Le Mariachi's menu may be meat-free, but there's no doubt you'll leave feeling absolutely stuffed.

When he's not in the kitchen, Luciano is an artist and an advocate

There's no question about it: Luciano is one of the most creative kitchen talents that MasterChef has seen. Take, for example, his vegan scallops, which may just make any meat-eater's mouth water.

But nowadays, Luciano has made a note to bring his artistry out in more ways than just making a meal. In 2019, the amateur-turned-professional chef stepped onto the music scene with a (very explicit) hip-hop track. The former TV star may be headed for more time on the big screen, too. According to his IMDb page, Luciano is set to join the cast in a short piece called Tomorrow Will Be Better.

With growing fame comes a growing platform, and Luciano is staying true to his word by trying to use his new following for good. Luciano proudly calls himself a "mental health advocate" in his Instagram bio, an identity that he prioritizes over "chef." That commitment is clear in his posts, too. He regularly urges his followers to check in on one another and to be transparent about struggles with mental health and anxiety.

It's not clear where Luciano is headed next, but with a title like "MasterChef's First Vegan Chef," we're certain he'll continue to make waves wherever he ends up.