Stephanie Izard Expecting First Child

The celebrity chef is expecting her first child, a son, with husband Gary Valentine, she confirms to PEOPLE exclusively

Stephanie Izard has her own little sous chef on the way.

The Top Chef season 4 winner is expecting her first child — a boy! — with her husband, craft beer consultant Gary Valentine, she confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.

Due in May, Izard has managed to keep her bundle of joy mostly a secret, but with a growing bump, the chef tells PEOPLE it was time to break the news.

The owner of Chicago hotspot Girl and the Goat says that she and Gary had just started trying when they got the big news, admitting, “it caught us a little by surprise!”

She adds, “I’m pretty sure I screamed his name while holding the pregnancy test in my hand with a little disbelief.”

Stephanie Izard pregnant

Courtesy Stephanie Izard

After coasting through morning sickness, Izard began speculating on the baby’s sex.

“Everyone had different clues they said made it a boy versus a girl,” she tells PEOPLE. “I was eating a lot of cheese so ‘surely’ it was a boy, I heard. But I was also loving candy, so ‘for sure’ it was a girl.”

While Izard would have been happy either way, she says Valentine’s dreams of a little MLB fan came true with the sex reveal.

“I was home sick and before Gary came home I hid little clues for him around the house on various stuffed animals,” she says of breaking the boy news. “When he got to the end, I was hiding with my Cubs jersey on saying that he’d be getting his little best friend to take to all the home games.”

Picking a name for the slugger has come as a challenge, with Izard calling it “one of the hardest parts” of pregnancy so far. The couple has a list of options that they pore over daily, adding and eliminating monikers that are mostly “old school traditional.”

As Izard snacks on cheese and ice cream, she says she gets more and more excited for motherhood.

“I feel like I’m just excited to meet him and see what he looks like,” she shares. “Hopefully, he likes to read like my husband does and has his blue eyes. But also hoping he likes to eat mushrooms and tomatoes and cheese unlike my husband!”

Izard is sure to have a busy spring: In addition to new motherhood, she’ll also be opening a brand new Chinese restaurant in the Windy City called Duck Duck Goat.

— Lindsay Kimble with reporting by Anya Leon

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