During the first season, Aspirino was one of the final five contestants when he was eliminated from the competition. Asprinio was also eliminated in the third episode of Season 8. Asprinio is best known as the "villain" of Top Chef's first season; ABC named him one of "Reality TV's Top 15 Meanest Villains." One of the most stark examples of this "villain" behaviour was Asprinio's ongoing verbal treatment of another contestant, Candice Kumai, whom he allegedly called "trash".
Asprinio studied at the Culinary Institute of America. He continued his education after culinary school and earned his bachelor's degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. He also studied and trained at Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards. During his time at school, Asprinio won the grand prize for Wine Spectator's Cointreau Recipe Contest and a bronze medal at the International Hotel & Restaurant Food Show's Culinary Competition in New York City. He also had literary works published on a national level in Wines & Vines Magazine, as well as serving as the food and wine editor for The Cornell Daily Sun.
At the age of 17, Asprinio oversaw Cucina Nostalgia in Boca Raton, Florida under the direction of chefs Anthony and Lisa Damiano, earning the restaurant three stars in its first year. At the age of 19, Asprinio became the youngest person to pass the United States Sommelier Association certification exam. By 22, he took over two wine programs at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Additionally, Asprinio has worked under Chef Morimoto Masuhara in New York City and Chef Michael Mina at Nobhill in the MGM Grand Las Vegas.
Asprinio currently resides in New York City, where his hospitality firm, S.A. Hospitality Innovations is based. He has been named one of the Top 100 Power Players by Florida International magazine for his contributions to the hospitality industry.
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