After becoming the first female winner of Top Chef, the Illinois-native returned to Chicago and set about building a restaurant empire, beginning with the opening of Girl and the Goat in 2010. As of 2015, she’d opened three restaurants in total. In 2011, she published Girl in the Kitchen, her first cookbook, and, in 2016, launched This Little Goat, a line of bottled sauces and spice mixes. A year later, she competed in the first season of Food Network’s Iron Chef Gauntlet, beating Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto and Michael Symon, becoming an Iron Chef in the process. She married craft beer consultant Gary Valentine in 2013. The couple welcomed a son, Ernie, in 2016.