This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Chef Angelo Sosa.
Award-winning Chef Angelo Sosa is a two-time Bravo “Top Chef” ‘cheftestant’ appearing on Season Seven and “Top Chef” All Stars. He is the author of a cookbook, “Flavor Exposed: 100 Global Recipes from Sweet to Salty, Earthy to Spicy,” released in 2012. Now he has introduced his first Las Vegas-based restaurant, Poppy Den, an Asian gastropub that features unique combinations of spices, herbs and other fresh ingredients.
Chef Sosa was born in Connecticut and raised in a family where meals were serious affairs. Sosa, the youngest of seven, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with high honors after running the kitchen at the Escoffier Room in Hyde Park, New York, one of the institute’s highly acclaimed restaurants.
Throughout his career, Sosa has worked with culinary masterminds including Christian Bertrand and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. After opening Acqua with Bertrand in 1998, Sosa served as executive sous chef at TanDa and worked in the Bahamas at the Ocean Club at Dune restaurant. It was Bertrand who referred Sosa to Vongerichten, with whom he worked at his celebrated New York restaurant, Jean Georges. Following his time at Jean-Georges Sosa opened Vongerichten’s highly notable and trend-setting eatery, Spice Market, as executive sous chef. Sosa then became the executive chef at Yumcha in New York’s West Village, where his interpretation of modern Chinese cuisine gained widespread acclaim.
In 2005, Sosa turned his attention to consulting, working for noted industry players including Stephen Starr’s Buddakan, Asian-Mediterranean hot-spot LOFT, Morimoto, Alain Ducasse’s Spoon Food & Wine in Paris, among others.
In 2009, Sosa launched his fast-casual restaurant, Xie Xie (shay-shay) in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. This venture won him StarChef’s “New York’s Rising Star” award for “Best New Restaurant Concept.”
He then formed Sosa Consulting Group, then launched Social Eatz as executive chef and owner, designing a menu that reinterprets American cuisine with flavors from across Asia. Sosa’s Bibimbap Burger at Social Eatz earned “Best Burger in the Nation” from Eater.com. In January 2012, Sosa unveiled Añejo Tequileria in Hell’s Kitchen to rave reviews. Añejo has since earned “Best Margarita in New York” from the Village Voice, as well as a Michelin Recommendation in early 2013.