If you’re familiar with cooking competition shows like “Top Chef,” you’ve probably heard of Kevin Sbraga. Kevin won the competition in Season 7, catapulting him to stardom in the culinary world; however, Kevin’s victory was the result of a lifetime of hard work. Before appearing on “Top Chef,” Kevin worked in his father’s bakery as a teenager before studying at Johnson & Wales in Miami to round out his skills as a chef. After graduation, Kevin worked as a culinary director under another chef on this list, Jose Garces. After his time with Garces, Kevin served as executive chef under Stephen Starr, and Kevin credits these experiences as being crucial to his development as a culinary master.
Since his victory on “Top Chef,” Kevin has opened three restaurants: Sbraga, The Fat Ham and Sbraga & Company; both Sbraga and The Fat Ham are still thriving and have received overwhelmingly positive reviews. In 2008, Kevin also competed in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition, winning the award for “Best Meat Presentation.” In addition to his acclaim as a chef, Kevin has also won the StarChefs.com Rising Star Community award for his charitable works in his hometown of Philadelphia.
Specialties & Resources
At Sbraga (winner of the 2015 OpenTable “Diner’s Choice” award), the focus is a New American-inspired take on traditional Spanish tapas. Offerings include escargot with hazelnut and mirepoix; baby lettuces with greens, fennel and pistachio; capicola mousse with pepperoncini, salami and rustic bread; Hamachi crudo with sweet potato, tiger’s milk and citrus; saffron risotto with uni butter, mussels and crispy calamari; gnocchi with blueberries, chevre and parsley pistou; pork shoulder rigatoni with guindilla escabeche; baby squash with jollof rice, pickled onion and almond; lamb loin with plantains, onions and dibi; and octopus with potato, olive tapenade and piri piri.
At The Fat Ham (winner of Philadelphia magazine’s “Best of Philly 2016” award), Kevin again turns to his mastery of tapas, this time with a Southern flair. Menu items include hummus with boiled peanuts and grilled country bread; tasso ham with Dijon; grilled beets with fennel lemon dressing and pickled beets; grilled asparagus with gremolata, poached egg and pickled onion; shaved catfish with escabeche and crab boil aioli; shrimp & grits with country ham, scallion and peanuts; and country captain wings with curry and chow chow aioli.