Chef Kevin Sbraga is Chef-Owner of Sbraga Dining, including Sbraga, The Fat Ham in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia and The Fat Ham in King of Prussia Mall.
Food culture has always been prominent in Sbraga’s life, growing up in his dad’s bakery with his African American father and Italian-American mother. From making meatballs with his mother and snacking on collared greens and candied yams with his father, to gathering around the supper table to enjoy a multitude of dishes, his upbringing continues to influence his cooking philosophy today.
Adding technique to family tradition, Sbraga’s ongoing interest in cooking led him to pursue a formal culinary education at Johnson & Wales University in Miami. He went on to hold positions at The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida, and Buckhead Life Restaurant Group in Atlanta, Georgia, under Guenter Seeger and Joël Antunes, before moving back to his Philadelphia roots. Here, he honed his skills under prolific chef George Perrier at Le Mas Perrier, Washington Square, and at the esteemed Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia.
In 2008, he began consulting work with Jose Garces to test recipes for the chef-proprietor’s Latin Evolution cookbook. Sbraga impressed Garces with his dedication, which earned him a full-time role as Culinary Director of Garces Restaurant Group. Sbraga went on to win the award for Best Meat Presentation in the Bocuse d’Or USA competition in fall 2008, before working as executive chef for Stephen Starr at Rat’s Restaurant at the Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey.
In 2010, Sbraga joined the cast of “Top Chef,” emerging from the season with the win and a zest for opening his own concept. He launched modern American restaurant Sbraga in October 2011, which has since been named an Esquire “Best New Restaurant” in 2012 and repeatedly one of Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best Restaurants.” Sbraga’s second, critically-acclaimed venture, The Fat Ham, opened in December 2013 in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, serving Southern comfort, small plates and a vast whiskey selection.
Sbraga made a return to television in summer 2016, appearing on the celebrity chef judging panel of FOX’s MasterChef, Season 7. He continues to cultivate the Sbraga Dining brand with a diverse array of concepts and consulting projects. Sbraga has two children, Jenae and Angelo, and lives in Philadelphia. He is passionate about giving back to the community, and often supports childhood-related charities such as CHOP, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.