What MasterChef Winner Shaun O'Neale Is Doing Now

Gordon Ramsay's FOX hit MasterChef has certainly made an impact on the culinary world over the years, introducing little-known self-taught cooks to an entire world of possibility. Hopefuls who audition for the show cannot have any professional cooking experience, making the competition a serious one with the possibility to change each contestant's life. Season one winner Whitney Miller went from nutrition student to cookbook author overnight, and that same level of success has found its way to the careers of each winner since.

Shaun O'Neale, the winner of season seven, is no exception to the idea that MasterChef builds cooking careers overnight. The former DJ channeled the energy he brought to the Las Vegas club scene into the kitchen, and impressed (the unimpressible) Ramsay with his fresh, pear-inspired plates (via Reality TV Revisited).

Nowadays, O'Neale is continuing his winning streak by landing a whole slew of brand deals, partnerships, and cooking appearances — all of which have elevated his career to the next level.

Shaun O'Neale still holds MasterChef close to his heart

O'Neale has made it a point to stick to his MasterChef roots by paying it back to the program that started it all for him. His website states that he revisited the MasterChef set for seasons eight, nine, and ten, and participated in the MasterChef Celebrity Throwdown. He even fronted a two-week long MasterChef culinary cruise with Holland America (although, that sounds more like a vacation than work to us). As if cruising around the globe wasn't dedication enough, O'Neale also mentored a group of aspiring kid chefs as a headliner for Camp MasterChef.

After his own TV debut and work with the MasterChef series, O'Neale has made it a point to spend some time on the small screen. His bio on his site says the former winner has made appearances on the Travel Channel and the Hallmark Channel, offering his cooking expertise to viewers tuning in from home. And his most surprising cameo yet? A commercial with MorningStar Farms, who he partnered with to create tasty, chef-inspired vegetarian meals. Considering the former MasterChef winner was praised for his halibut and venison all season, his "grilled romaine" is a bit of a plot twist, but that's just the kind of chef O'Neale is — he's always looking for the next challenge, according to his website.

O'Neale participates in live cooking events all around the world

Thanks to his former career as a Vegas DJ, O'Neale has never been one to shy away from a live appearance. Even after his FOX stint, O'Neale continues to find himself in the spotlight, but nowadays it's for his kitchen skills rather than his skills behind the turnable.

The chef has landed several big deals since his 2017 MasterChef win. The same year he was crowned, O'Neale worked alongside Disney to front the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. He's since become a partner with Macy's, traveling around the world to perform culinary demonstrations in department stores (via Chef Shaun O'Neale's website). O'Neale has even been able to play around with his former DJ talent, while exploring his new corner of the culinary world, too. The National Association for Catering and Events reports that O'Neale was invited to emcee the Diced competition in Vegas, just after his own cannabis-infused cooking demonstration on the Catersource Culinary Experience stage.

According to his website, O'Neale's cooking success goes beyond the United States borders, too. In 2017, he somehow also found the time to train a whole lineup of five-star-worthy chefs at the luxury Arenas del Mar resort in Costa Rica.

The Blind Pig is Shaun O'Neale's next big venture

Recently, O'Neale has pivoted to a new career move — this time, he's stepping out of the spotlight and back into his own kitchen. FOX 5 reports that O'Neale and his team have taken co-ownership of The Blind Pig, a shuttered Las Vegas restaurant that once held a 4-star rating on Yelp.

The MasterChef alum announced his new role as Executive Chef of The Blind Pig in an Instagram post, excitedly gushing about the "incredible modern American nose to tail menu" he crafted with the restaurant in mind. In addition to the menu "revamp," the chef and his team plan to give the once-loved eatery "a small facelift."

An opening date has yet to be announced, and given the coronavirus pandemic, we're crossing our fingers that The Bling Pig sees a better fate than most restaurants in 2021. Nonetheless, we have no doubt that O'Neale will go above and beyond for this next step in his career, too.