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‘Top Chef’ Winner Kevin Sbraga to Close His One Remaining Restaurant

It’s been a bumpy road for the Philadelphia-area chef

Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for ChefDance
Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

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 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 “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 [ via EPHL]
All ‘Top Chef’ Coverage [E]