We know Angelo Sosa didn’t win Season 7 of Top Chef, but sometimes doesn’t it seem like he did? In a world where chefs are becoming the new rock stars, one has to appreciate the stand-out personalities that make a chef so much more than just the face behind the food. Sosa – student of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and the first American chef to be asked by Alain Ducasse to create a seasonal menu for one of his restaurants – was the competitor on Top Chef who you hate to admit how much you love. We were all addicted to his numerous quickfire victories, sharp comments, and tendency to win over fellow competitors – who, in reality, he was giving a beat-down to. We waited to see what this chef would do after his on-screen debut, and he hasn’t failed to impress. Social Eatz – his New York midtown spot – serves delicious American comfort foods with an Asian twist. His recently opened Anejo Tequileria in Hell’s Kitchen, concentrates on delicious, eclectic small plates paired perfectly with popular tequilas, making it a neighborhood gem. Before opening his own spots, Sosa worked in consulting for notable greats like Stephen Starr, Alain Ducasse and Morimoto. When it comes to this chef, it’s not just about cooking, but about culinary street smarts – did you know there was such a thing? The New Potato couldn’t help but get a further look into this fan-favorite chef, whose food speaks for itself. But, if you want to hear about it, he’ll definitely tell you.
Can you describe what your ideal food day would be? Where would you go?
I’d need to be able to jump through time and space, but this is ideal, right? First, I’d go to my corner deli in New York and start my day with my usual breakfast – half coffee, half vanilla cappuccino. For lunch, I’d head up to Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven, Connecticut to have a White Clam Pizza. Though, if this ideal day is in August, it would be the Connecticut Indian Tomato Pizza. Then a quick stop in Cape Cod for some New England Clam Chowder, and up to the Finger Lakes for some Ice Wine followed by a nice Dominican cigar.
What are your favorite places to travel for inspiration? Where do you go there?
I’m inspired by the true, authentic character of a place, and I find that to be best represented in the street food of the city. I’m more apt to eat at a street stall than a restaurant; they just have a realness to them. I love Thailand – Bangkok specifically. And Marrakech.
Where would you like to travel for inspiration that you haven’t been to yet?
Oaxaca. It’s the spice mecca of the world. And I’d love to go to Brazil.
What ingredients make everything better? Which do you find overrated? Why?
Salt, thyme and garlic make everything better – an equation for a food epiphany!
What do I find overrated…I don’t know. There’s a use for everything. Everything ingredient has its mate, something it was made to use with.