In Your Ear: Kevin Sbraga

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

As part of Tell Me More's occasional series "In Your Ear," restaurateur and Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga shares some of his favorite songs. They include titles from R&B crooner John Legend and hip-hop icons Wu-Tang Clan.

MICHEL MARTIN, host: Now it's time for the feature we call In Your Ear, that's where we ask some of our guests about the music they're listening to these days. Today we find out what tunes get Chef Kevin Sbraga fired up. He won Bravo TV's "Top Chef: D.C." competition last year. The self-proclaimed Barack Obama of the cooking game opened his own restaurant this month in Philadelphia. It's called Sbraga. We asked him to reflect on the three songs that helped him get through those long days in the kitchen.


KEVIN SBRAGA: Hey there, this is Kevin Sbraga, winner of "Top Chef," and this is what's playing in my ear, "Wake Up" by John Legend.


JOHN LEGEND: (Singing) Wake up everybody, no more sleeping in bed. No more backward thinking, time for thinking ahead. The world has changed so very much...

SBRAGA: While listening to John Legend, I mean first of all, he's a creative genius, his music is brilliant. The song has so much soul and it just touches my heart and I love listening to it.


LEGEND: (Singing) Oh, wake everybody. No more sleeping in bed. Oh, wake up everybody. Yeah, I need a little help. Can't do it alone. Oh, I need a little help, y'all. Come on. Come on.

SBRAGA: If I'm in the kitchen listening to music, most likely before service I'm listening to "Protect Ya Neck" by Wu-Tang Clan.


WU-TANG CLAN: (Rapping) Wu-Tang Clan coming at you. Watch your step man. Watch your step kid. Watch your step kid. Watch your step kid. Watch your step kid.

SBRAGA: That's one of those songs that reminds me of high school, 1993-94, and the song was so raw and we hadn't heard any music like that before from anyone and that gets me fired up.


CLAN: (Rapping) But he don't know the meaning of dope when he's looking for a suit and tie rap that's cleaner than a bar of soap. And I'm the dirtiest thing in sight. Matter of fact bring out the girls and let's have a mud fight.

SBRAGA: And then after service it would be something, you know by Deluge, "Worship."


DELUGE: (Singing) Take this offering that I bring. Humbly I fall on my knees to proclaim you're everything.

SBRAGA: It's a song that I - it's a Christian song I'm - just really brings me back down to earth and just something to relax me and call me down after service.


DELUGE: (Singing) Here I am worshiping you.

MARTIN: That was Kevin Sbraga, winner of Bravo TV's "Top Chef: D.C," telling us what's playing in his ear.


DELUGE: (Singing) I'm bowing down in spirit and truth with lifted hands worshiping you. Take this offering that I bring. Humbly I fall on my knees...

MARTIN: And that's our program for today. And to tell us more, please go to and find us under the Programs tab. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at TELL ME MORE/NPR. I'm Michel Martin and you've been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News and the African-American Public Radio Consortium. Let's talk more tomorrow.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor