September 16, 2010 06:25:44 GMT
The 30-year-old father of two from New Jersey, who did not believe his ears when his name was called, was the first African-American chef to win the competition.
Kevin Sbraga was crowned the winner of "Top Chef" season 7 which was shot in Washington D.C. and concluded in Singapore. The other finalists, Ed Cotton and Angelo Sosa, settled for the runner-up positions.
In the final challenge, the judges wanted them to create a four-course meal; vegetable, fish, meat and desserts. This time, each of the contestants was accompanied by previous winners, Ilan Hall, Hung Huynh and Michael Voltaggio. Ed was partnered with Ilan while Angelo and Kevin got Hung and Michael respectively.
Unfortunately, Angelo was sick on the preparation day and was told by doctor to take a rest. Hung then took over his part by taking directions from Angelo by phone. Judge Eric Ripert brought out the "proteins" the contestants must cook and they are cuttlefish, lobster, red mullet and cockles. Meanwhile Tom Colicchio brought a whole duck and pork belly.
Angelo miraculously recovered by the time they had to cook and he served royale mushrooms with noodles and pork belly, Asian-style bouillabaisse, duck and foie gras with marshmallow/cherry shooter and shaved ice and coconut milk called "Thai Jewel". Meanwhile winner Kevin cooked eggplant zucchini and roasted pepper terrine, pan-seared rouget with cuttlefish noodles, roasted duck with dumplings and coconut pana cotta he named "Singapore Sling 2010".
In the end the judges picked Kevin's meal although the chef only won one quickfire and elimination challenge throughout the season. Judges throught Kevin cooked the duck better than anybody. "It's absolutely huge that I'm the first African-American Top Chef," Kevin said after the announcement. "My dad, my sister, my friends, guys at the barbershop- I mean, they're going to eat it up. They're going to love it."
Kevin is entitled to $125,000 prize, a feature in Food & Wine magazine as well as a spot at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.