Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga will close his King of Prussia, PA restaurant, the Fat Ham, after service on June 18. The restaurant was the last remaining component of his once-growing empire, which also included Sbraga, Juniper Commons, multiple locations of the Fat Ham, and Sbraga & Company in Jacksonville.
He broke the news to Philly.com saying, “Ultimately, I grew too fast and wasn’t prepared for what I had in front of me.” Sbraga, who had never owned or operated his own restaurant prior to winning Top Chef, is facing some financial challenges, reportedly, including “outstanding debt” and repossession of his truck. “I’m disappointed in how many people I’ve let down,” he says.
The plan now is for Sbraga to “consult and go to work for someone else.” “I won’t say that I won’t but I don’t know if I’ll ever own my own business again,” Sbraga — who describes his track record in the business as “oh-for-five” — tells Philly.com. “If I do, I’ll have to own it 100 percent, including the real estate.”
But now, Sbraga joins a small coterie of Top Chef winners without restaurants of their own. Kristen Kish and Mei Lin, for example, are free agents. But perhaps most similar to Sbraga’s story is the journey of first-ever winner Harold Dieterle, who opened a trio of well-regarded New York City restaurants (and enjoyed a nine-year run with Perilla), and then closed them all.
• Fat Ham to Close, Ending Sbraga's Restaurant Empire [Philly.com via EPHL]
• All ‘Top Chef’ Coverage [E]