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Kevin Sbraga named first African American 'Top Chef' winner

Kevin Sbraga won "Top Chef: DC"
Kevin Sbraga won "Top Chef: DC"
Bravo photo

It does not pay to get sick. Or to be an arrogant trash talker. Since there wasn't much else available in the "Top Chef" season 7 finale, that left Kevin Sbraga, 30, of Willingboro, New Jersey, as the winner of "Top Chef: DC."

Kevin is currently the Executive Chef at Rat’s at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, N.J. He is of African American and Italian descent and said before the show that he's the "Barack Obama of the cooking game" and wants to prove that "he can."

With the win he became the first African American chef to win the Bravo reality show.

Kevin beat Angelo Sosa, 34, of New York City, and Boston native Ed Cotton, 32, of Queens, New York, who had a running rivalry throughout the season. (Ed even bragged about once stealing Angelo's girlfriend.)

Although Kevin shouted and cursed at fellow contestant Alex Reznik — saying he should've gone home for a challenge that ousted early frontrunner Kenny GilbertKevin was otherwise a low-key guy who slowly improved challenge by challenge.

Emotional Angelo was the real frontrunner through most of the show, especially early on. Wise-cracking Ed started out slowly but came on strong at the end, winning multiple challenges.

Although the show was set in Washington, D.C., the finale took place in Singapore where Angelo became seriously ill. He rallied in time for the final challenge, where the three men had to make a four-course meal (vegetable, red mullet, duck, dessert) with the help of a past "Top Chef" winner.

Kevin had as his sous chef season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio. Ed worked with season 2 winner Ilan Hall and Angelo worked with season 3 winner Hung Huynh.

Apparently Bravo actually spoiled its own ending before the finale aired. According to, in a video clip that has since been removed, the reunion host is quoted as saying, "Before we get into anything, we have to congratulate the winner of Top Chef: DC, Kevin! Kevin, how surprised were you when Padma said your name in Singapore?"


For a full "Top Chef" finale recap, recipes, interviews and other fun details, visit


  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    First African American Top Chef? Wow, he's as important as Jackie Robinson. He must be proud to have overcome the blatant racism that exists on reality TV cooking shows. Kudos to him!

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    I still like to think of Carla as the first African American Top Chef. DARN YOU CASEY!!!!!!!!

  • 4 years ago

    One only earns the title of Top Chef African-American if you are full-blooded African-American. Top Chef has yet to produce a full-blooded African-American winner and that is primarily because the judges are white and Indian. Judge Tom is not a fan of African-American people and is not fit to judge them...period. Pardma , an Indian, is typical in her ingratiation of whites, clearly left over from the old British rule colonial days. And by the way, Indian people are not brown, they are tan. African-Americans are brown-skinned and darker. Top Chef is too white and colonial in its selection of foods, and only black Americans and southern whites are able to judge what is good black sould food. There is too mush of a racist proclivity to embrace white European food, but Top Chef is an "American show" not European which shows that Judge Tom and Pardma have spent too much time around white European food and not nearly enough time around traditional American black sould food, white American food, Latino, Jewish, and Asian-American food, which is a betrayal. No white European TV reality show would spend 90% of the episodes embracing and promoting American food.
    The show is racist and biased towards whites.Just look at the qucikfire results in Season 7 Episode 1 and how out of five finalist chefs, a white guy Angelo was awarded $20,000 U.S. dollars over full-blooded African-American chef Kenny who beat out all the rest of the chefs hands down. in the 5-stepo quickfire process And who were the judges Tom and Pardma. Tom's look at Kenny's superb dish was a look of shock that an African-American could prepare such a wondeful meal, so the best he could say was that there was too much sauce. Angelo's dish was a light appetizer that was not much of anything compared to Kenny's assortment of 3-tastes on the plate.

    They should just call this show TOP WHITE CHE, until such time as there are full-blooded permanent judges on the show. It is impossble for white Americans to be fair and impartial because they have been racist for too long. Tom should recuse himself and go take lessons from black American soul food masters before he sits as a judge again.

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