When someone speaks about black chefs, it conjures up thoughts of fried chicken, collard greens, yams and rolls. Well, these chefs are changing the game and showing the world that black chefs cook more than soul food.

Season 7 of Bravo’s hit series Top Chef started a few weeks ago, and we decided to take a look at the top black talent this season and a look back at some of the top names from seasons 1 – 6.

Timothy Dean , 39, is taking on 16 fellow chefs in a kitchen throwdown. The executive chef and owner of Prime Steakhouse in Baltimore, he has years of experience working alongside some of the world’s best. These include the late master chef Jean-Louis Palladin (at his restaurants Jean-Louis and Palladin), Alain Ducasse, and the late Patrick Clark, the first black executive chef at Tavern on the Green.
Tiffany Derry has been the executive chef at the Go Fish Ocean Club in Dallas since 2008. A year later, the restaurant, which specializes in the fruit of the sea, won a spot on Diners’ Choice list. Trained at the Art Institute of Houston, Derry later taught there. Her favorite ingredients are Creole mustard and seasoning, champagne vinegar, Dijon, and kosher salt.
Kevin Sbraga wants to win big like another notable black Italian-American, former NFL Hall of Famer Franco Harris. Sbraga, 31, executive chef at Rat’s Restaurant at Grounds for Sculpture, in Hamilton, N.J., plans to win his own Super Bowl title: Top Chef. In 2010, Rat’s, named after a character in the children’s novel The Wind in the Willows, won an Diners’ Choice award. Two years ago, Sbraga won Best Meat Presentation at Bocuse d’Or USA.
Tamesha Warren (pictured above) earned her culinary education at the Art Institute of New York City. As sous chef at the Oval Room in Washington, D.C., the 24-year-old directs kitchen traffic in a restaurant that Forbes magazine says is among the “World’s Top Power Dining Spots.” Her specialty is combining French and Asian flavors with American cooking.
Kenny Gilbert says he made his first omelet at age 3. Thirty-three years later, as executive chef of the PGA National Resort and Spa,
he’s serving up gourmet dishes to some serious players. Gilbert, who trained at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, dreams of creating his own restaurant group to spread his food gospel.