"Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio passed a quickfire challenge of his own Monday when he was named the nation's top chef by the James Beard Foundation.

Colicchio, whose numerous restaurants include Craft, Craftsteak and the recently opened Colicchio & Sons in New York, was named outstanding chef during an awards ceremony that is considered the Oscars of the food world. It's an honor for which he'd been a finalist seven other times since 2002, the same year the organization named Craft the nation's best new restaurant.