Stefan Richter

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Stefan F. Richter
Born (1972-07-02) July 2, 1972 (age 42)
Tampere, Finland
Education Fachhochschule Würzburg-Schweinfurt
Culinary career

Stefan Richter (born July 2, 1972) is a chef from Finland, who has resided for many years in Santa Monica, California. He was a runner-up in the fifth season of Top Chef, Bravo's cooking competition show. Richter also competed in Top Chef (season 10).


Richter's hometown is Tampere, Finland, and he spent a majority of his childhood in Germany, where he began culinary training in his teens. He worked his way through various European kitchens, learning new techniques and collecting many awards along the way. In 1993 he obtained a Masters Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management and Culinary Art from the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt.[1] In 1998, he was part of the creative team for the opening of the Bellagio Hotel, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, along with chefs Grant McPherson, Sotta Kuhn, Jacques Torres, Jean Philip Maury and Marc Poidevin.

Richter held a number of executive chef positions, including at Enoteca Drago in 2004, before opening his own business, Stefan's European Catering, in Santa Monica. Though he resides in California, he spends the summer months in Suonenjoki, Finland, where he enjoys spending time hunting and fishing.

Top Chef[edit]

Richter was a runner-up, along with Carla Hall, on the fifth season of Top Chef, and lost to Hosea Rosenberg. Overall, Richter had the strongest track record prior to the finale, winning four elimination challenges and four quickfires. Before viewing the finale of the show, Eric Ripert, who had been a guest judge on episode 11, said he considered Richter the strongest candidate to win the competition.[2]

Richter has also appeared as a guest judge in the Finnish version of Top Chef.

In Top Chef (season 10), Richter returned as a contestant. He was eliminated in fifth place and ultimately lost Last Chance Kitchen to the eventual Top Chef winner Kristen Kish.


In August 2009, Richter opened his restaurant, Stefan's at L.A. Farm, located at 3000 Olympic Blvd. in Santa Monica. In 2014 he was replaced by a highly skilled team from Craft Restaurants

He later opened Stefan's on Montana in February 2010.[3][4] By January 2011, Stefan's on Montana quietly closed, less than a year after opening.[5]

In March 2011, Richter opened a restaurant called Stefan's Steakhouse in Tampere, which was later followed by opening three more restaurants of the same name in Turku (2011), Helsinki (2012,) and Jyväskylä (2014).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Stefan Richter – LinkedIn". Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  2. ^ "Eric Ripert's Pick to Win Top Chef — Stefan!" People. February 11, 2009 . Retrieved March 5, 2009.
  3. ^ Hallock, Betty (June 25, 2009). "Small Bites: Chef changes at Hotel Shangri-La and the Bazaar; Stefan Richter gets a restaurant". 
  4. ^ "Stefan Goes for Seconds in LA". Zagat. February 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Stefan Richter: Out with the Old, In With a Steakhouse". January 20, 2011. 

External links[edit]