Rising Star Chef Kevin Sbraga of The Fat Ham - Biography
If Kevin Sbraga wasn’t technically born in his father’s bakery, about 20 miles outside of Philly, working there as a teen cemented young Sbraga’s call to the kitchen. Adding technique to family tradition, Sbraga attended Johnson & Wales University in Miami, 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, earning the award for “Best Meat Presentation.”
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.” 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 fine dining namesake Sbraga in 2011. With the recent opening of The Fat Ham, Sbraga has a separate outlet from which to serve his beloved southern-inspired comfort cuisine. A Philadelphia son with southern soul, Sbraga dedicates his free time to charity and fundraisers for the city he calls home, earning the 2013 StarChefs.com Philadelphia Rising Star Community Award.