Chicago chef Damarr Brown displays his talent on 'Top Chef'

A Harvey native is a contestant on Season 19 of Bravo's cooking competition "Top Chef."

The show premiers Thursday night and FOX 32 got the chance to speak with the local chef.

Damarr Brown got his start in cooking by simply knocking on the back door of a River North restaurant years ago, asking for experience.

Now, his talents are being displayed before the world.

Chef Damarr is among 14 contestants featured in this season of the hit Bravo show.


Brown, who actually grew up in suburban Harvey and now lives in Hyde Park, was raised by his mother, aunt and grandmother. He says sitting at the kitchen table watching his grandmother cook collard greens, mac and cheese and other southern cuisine truly inspired him.

Brown says the opportunity to compete for $250,000 and showcase his culinary skills on national television felt absolutely amazing.

The 31-year-old is head chef at Virtue Restaurant & Bar along East 53rd Street. He’s had chef positions at other fine dining Chicago restaurants for nearly a decade.

He says he hopes his success will inspire young Black men to accomplish their biggest dreams.

Chef Brown would not share how he did on the show and says Chicagoans will just have to tune in.