Stefan Richter

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Stefan F. Richter
Born (1972-07-02) July 2, 1972 (age 44)
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 was born to a Czech-German father and a Finnish mother[1] in 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 master's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management and Culinary Art from the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt.[2] 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.[3]

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. This was replaced in 2014 by The Roost at LA Farm. [4]

He opened Stefan's on Montana in February 2010.[5][6] By January 2011, Stefan's on Montana quietly closed, less than a year after opening.[7]

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]


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