Local chef wins Guy Fieri's cooking competition and the keys to 'Chicken Guy'

Chef Steek started cooking at the age of 9, making peanut butter cookies on repeat.
DREXEL HILL, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A local chef is about to own and operate his very own restaurant, thanks to a big win on star chef Guy Fieri's competitive cooking show.

Kevin 'Steek' Cooper will soon open the first "Chicken Guy" franchise in Philadelphia after coming out on top on "Guy's Chance of a Lifetime."

"Chef Steek" truly showed his Philadelphia grit for this victory.

As he was competing on the show, he found out his wife, LaToya, had to start treatment for cancer.

Then, his sister Kedisha died.

But the Army veteran and North Philadelphia native channeled this city's fighting spirit and came out on top.

"Turn up Philly, I'm so excited," Cooper said. "I'm grateful for the opportunity. Guy Fieri is an amazing guy, and now I got my own 'Chicken Guy.'"

Chef Steek started cooking at the age of 9, making peanut butter cookies on repeat.

He earned the nickname 'Steek' as a child.

Fieri loved his food but gave him one piece of advice.

"He told me, 'Listen, we know you are this amazing guy, but just smile a little bit more. We know you were in the military, and you're from Philly, and you get things done, but it's okay to smile, you know?"

Steek was also the valedictorian of JNA Institute of Culinary Arts in South Philadelphia.

He was back there Thursday, sharing his journey and his recipes with students.

Chef Steek also runs Succulent Imagination, a catering company.

He just published a cookbook, and he has a wine label.

Now, he has the keys to how to own Chicken Guy.

He hopes to open somewhere in the Philadelphia area this summer.

Action News is also happy to report that LaToya has finished her treatment.

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