Rising Star Chef Kevin Sbraga of Sbraga - Biography

Philadelphia, PA

December 2012

Kevin Sbraga was pretty much born in his father’s bakery about 20 miles outside of Philly, and working there as a teen cemented young Sbraga’s call to the kitchen. To pick up the skills he needed, Sbraga attended Johnson & Wales University in Miami, while working as chef de partie at The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida. After graduation, he held posts in Atlanta working under Chefs Guenter Seeger and Joël Antunes and at Buckhead Life Restaurant Group.

Moving back to his Philadelphia roots, Sbraga worked at Le Mas Perrier, Washington Square, and The Ritz Carlton Philadelphia before signing on to edit recipes for Rising Star Chef Jose Garces’s cookbook, Latin Evolution. Sbraga impressed Garces and ultimately earned a full-time role as culinary director of Garces Restaurant Group. With the Iron Chef’s support, Sbraga competed in the Bocuse d’Or USA culinary competition in fall 2008. He impressed the judges and earned the award for “Best Meat Presentation.” Though he didn’t win, the competition prepared him for his next big break.

While working as executive chef at Stephen Starr’s Rat’s Restaurant at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, Sbraga competed in season seven of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” This time, Sbraga walked away with the title and the funding he needed to open his own restaurant. After spending a year traveling, he and wife Jesmary opened the doors to namesake Sbraga in 2011. Even while pushing himself in the kitchen, Sbraga finds time to nourish the city that’s always supported him by hosting charity dinners, chairing fundraisers, and acting as the ultimate advocate for feeding Philadelphia. And for his effort, Sbaraga was names the 2013 StarChefs.com Philadelphia Rising Star Community Chef.