WINNER!: Chris Coleman
Private Executive Chef
Long Island, N.Y.
I'm a private executive chef in Long Island, New York. I spent years as a professional boxer, supporting myself working as a dishwasher in restaurants. The chef encouraged me to start cooking because winning a boxing match and telling interviewers that I'm a dishwasher wouldn't be impressive. I have multiple culinary degrees and have worked for some of the best chefs in the country. I cook American, Tahitian and Caribbean food that shows off my flavors of my Jamaican and Panamanian roots. Whatever my client and his celebrity friends want, I make for them in my own, amazing way. To me, boxing and cooking are similar because I always want to win, be on top and be successful. I'm the first to admit I have a big ego. I know I've got the will, the talent and the passion. I'm the whole package! I want to show the world how good I am.
Catering Manager/Chef at CRISP
New York, N.Y.
I'm a catering manager and chef at Crisp. I am a vegetarian and I am on a mission to spread the news to the masses that meat is out. I want to change people's perception of food. Vegetarian food is more than bland tofu. I love making dishes that you wouldn't think could be made vegetarian and surprising people with a beautiful, flavorful dish.
Chef and Owner – Sea Salt & Quahog's Restaurants
Stone Harbor, N.J.
I'm the chef and owner of two restaurants in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. I grew up in Argentina and left at age 20 because the water was too cold to surf. At age 21 I opened up a beachfront restaurant in Costa Rica but wanted to learn more. After culinary school, I trained with some of NYC's best chefs and eventually moved to New Jersey and opened up two restaurants at the beach. My food is seasonal and spontaneous. As a cook, you should never stop learning. I can be a pain in the kitchen and demand perfection. When I'm not in the kitchen, I'm surfing — it's like therapy for me. At my restaurant, I have to be creative. I don't know what we're cooking tonight until 8 am that morning. I have to be fast and focused so I am prepared for this competition.
Executive Chef / Owner – CHOW Gourmet Kitchen
Staten Island, N.Y.
I'm the executive chef and owner of Chow Gourmet Kitchen in Staten Island, New York. Food is the only thing I've ever been good at. I worked in a pet shop, had a potato chip route and worked office jobs and hated every minute. At Chow we serve ethnic food with a twist like mashed potato and meat loaf egg rolls. I'm the friendly guy in the kitchen and always willing to teach and learn from others. I may be self-taught but I can hold my own against trained chefs. This is in my blood, it's the only thing I know how to do.