Reality TV show: Top Chef (2006)

Harold Dieterle was Top Chef's very first champion, who, prior to the show's overwhelming success, served as a model of what the title and the exposure could possibly mean for contestants to come. Unlike later competitors, the Harrison sous-chef didn't head into the game in hopes of promoting a spot he'd already launched, but instead used the money and fame from his win to open a brand new restaurant of his own. Perilla opened in 2007 to great reviews and is still up and running on Jones Street in New York, and in 2010 he added his well received Thai restaurant, Kin Shop.