The Most-Shocking Reveal Moments on Cooks vs. Cons

Even the judges and host Geoffrey Zakarian were surprised to learn who were the professionals and who were the amateurs in the competition.

Conning the Pro

Judge Alex Guarnaschelli could hardly wait to find out the truth about competitor Alexia. When the judge learned that she was indeed a con, Alex exclaimed, "You had me going!" Sure enough, though, Alexia's natural talents paid off, because she claimed the Round 2 win and a whopping $15,000 prize.

The Truth Comes Out

"I knew it!" exclaimed Scott Conant upon learning that, just as he expected, Kwame is indeed a professional. Not long after the announcement, Kwame learned of his victory and the accompanying $10,000 winnings.

When Instincts Pay Off

"Cash money — two for two," judge Daphne Oz said after she realized that her hunches about both Fred and John were correct. Both guys are indeed cooks, though Fred ultimately went on to earn the $10,000 prize, after claiming the top spot in Round 1 as well.

A Moment of Awe

Judges Josh Capon and Daphne Oz were simply overwhelmed at the realization that competitor Jessica was in fact a con, not a cook. But Jessica’s amateur status didn't stop her from winning two back-to-back rounds and ultimately the $15,000 prize. 

The Price of Victory

"Boom!" yelled host Geoffrey Zakarian when Grant finally revealed himself to be a con. The competitor not only earned first place in Round 1, but also went on to score the second-round win and claim the $15,000 winnings.

The Science of Truth

Con Kirsten didn't make it to the second round, but when judge Richard Blais learned that she was a scientist, he was simply shocked by the reveal.

What the What?

Marcus Samuelsson simply facepalmed at the realization that competitor Stacy was a bona fide professional. 

Vindication, Finally

Judge Anne Burrell waited in anticipation as competitor Dawn prepared to reveal her true identity. Ultimately the judge was elated when she found out that just as she thought, Donna is in fact a cook. Just moments later Dawn experienced joy of her own when she learned that she had won the second round and earned a whopping $10,000.

Utter Disbelief

For Alex Guarnaschelli, the truth of Josee's con identity just didn't seem possible. "I thought you were a cook," the judge told her.

That's How the Burger Crumbles

When Jonathan’s hamburger was too lean to stay together and began to crumble, the judges had to send him home. But host Geoffrey Zakarian's jaw dropped when they learned that Jonathan was one of the cons on set, as he's an architect. “I totally thought that he was a cook that messed up,” judge Graham Elliot said.  

Sanitation Surprise

The judges were stunned when they found out Jimmy was a New York City garbage man who developed his skills by cooking for his co-workers. “Get out of town — that is amazing,” judge Daphne Oz said. 

Right on the Mark

When Mark, the winner, revealed that he was in fact a cook, both Graham and Daphne celebrated. “I knew it,” Daphne said. His winning dish, Korean Beef, Coconut Grits & Kimchi, was so delicious that the judges recommended he add it to the menu at his restaurant. 

Burnt Out

When Eric accidentally scorched his pork chops in the first round, the judges decided he was definitely a con. “I think Eric’s a gym teacher,” Geoffrey said. When they eliminated him, Graham and judge Josh Elkin were shocked to learn that Eric was a professional chef. 

Deceptive Doctor

The judges were certain that Michael was a cook after he made a chefworthy Sesame Halibut with Cashew Curry in the second round. But he fooled them for sure, and they were stunned to find out that he was actually an emergency room physician.  

She Has That ... Je Ne Sais Quoi

When presented with one remaining cook and two excellent cons, the judges were stumped. However, they couldn’t contain their enthusiasm when Alessandra revealed that she was a chef and co-owner of a French restaurant. “The food is awesome. It speaks for itself,” Graham said. 

Taco Troubles

After David was eliminated in the taco round for his inconsistent presentation, judge Kardea Brown was sure he was a pro who had let the pressure get to him. But he surprised them by revealing that he is a bartender who loves to incorporate creativity into his cocktails and his cooking. 

Food from the Firehouse

When Alex managed to make his own pickles from scratch in the 30-minute round, the judges were sure that was the mark of a pro. Then, when he revealed that he was a firefighter from Florida, the judges couldn't help but laugh at themselves for being fooled. 

Smoke Signals

Julianne started a fire in the kitchen during the second round, establishing herself as a con in the judges' eyes. Geoffrey was amazed that she was really a private chef. "There was a few things you did that threw me off," he said.  

Seriously Schooled

When con Amira was eliminated first, she revealed to the judges that she was a student at Harvard Business School pursuing her MBA. For her, cooking is a great stress release from the craziness of classes. “You win, either way,” Kardea told her. 

A Winning Chicken Dinner

After winner Charlie impressed the judges with his delicious Southern-inspired dishes, they weren’t shocked to hear that he was a cook at a comfort food joint in Tennessee. 

Baffled by the British

Contestant Jay had moves that made him appear to be a professional. “I see him roasting the spices, and now he’s got ‘em in the spice grinder. That is a pro move, for sure,” Graham said during the first round. When it was revealed that he was a corporate executive and not a chef, the judges were stunned. 

Chef in a Slump

When Nico was eliminated in the first round, the judges weren’t surprised to learn that he was a cook. “You look like a cook. You move like a cook. Unfortunately, it just got the better of you right here,” Graham told him. 

Fashion and Food

The judges were convinced that winner Miranti was a cook because of her creativity and unique style. "She's like an artist," Daphne said. When she revealed that she was a fashion designer, they were seriously impressed. "I'm a great con artist," Miranti said. 

Undercover Cop

Brandon wowed the judges with his bold flavors, but they were stunned when he revealed that he was really a police officer with a love of good food. “I’m gonna get your card, because I drive 95 all the time,” Geoffrey joked. 

Deceptive Ravioli

When Mariano made delicious homemade ravioli by hand during the first round, the judges were certain he was an Italian-trained professional. When he revealed that he was a musician and not a chef, Geoffrey told him, “You definitely fooled us.” 

Food Fiction

Con Jessica shocked the judges when she revealed that she was a food-fiction novelist and not a chef. “You’re so creative. It’s brilliant; it’s so cool,” Daphne told her. 

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