Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga says he got "two and a half, maybe three hours" sleep last night between between a finale-viewing party at Osteria and the start of a round of media interviews in New York.
Asked what the win would do, he said: "First and foremost, it will help me get my own restaurant, which is what I've always wanted to do. That was the major reason I went on the show."
Since returning to the Philly area in 2004, the Willingboro native, now 31, has worked for Georges Perrier and Jose Garces, and is still listed as executive chef at the Stephen Starr-managed Rat's in Hamilton Township, N.J. I say "still listed" because he was due to leave on Sept. 26, but given the media circus, likely won't be back much.
"The show was a very humbling experience," Sbraga said. "It taught me to become a better chef, to dig deep. I was playing it safe for a very long time. I'm not scared anymore."
The finale-viewing party drew a collection of Sbraga's family, including his father, wife Jesmary, 5-year-old daughter Jenae, and 3-week-old son, Kevin Angelo (they call him "Angelo") and friends (including the Eagles' Winston Justice).
Adding star power were Osteria restaurateurs Marc Vetri, Jeff Michaud, and Jeff Benjamin, and for good measure Garces himself, with his wife, Beatriz.