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Chef Kevin Sbraga Mentors Drexel Culinary Students and Alumni as they Create a Seasonal Four-Course Dinner

November 15, 2013

Chef Kevin Sbraga
Three Drexel alumni and one current student had the chance to be mentored by one of Philadelphia’s top chefs, Chef Kevin Sbraga

Behind every great chef is the mentor that helped him or her get there. At Drexel University, three alumni and one current student from Drexel’s Center for Hospitality & Sport Management (HSM) have the chance to be mentored by one of Philadelphia’s top chefs, Chef Kevin Sbraga.

In the first of a series of Mentor/Mentee Dinners created by Jonathan Deutsch, PhD, director of HSM, Chef Sbraga will guide the four mentees – all of whom currently work at his eponymous Center City restaurant – through menu development and course creation.

The finished product will be served to the public as a four-course dinner on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 5:30 p.m. in Drexel’s Academic Bistro. Proceeds from the event will go toward a Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) scholarship.

The mentees, Chef de Cuisine Greg Garbacz ’04 and line cooks John Boswell ’13, Brandon Zeller ’13 and Noah Williams ’15, will take guests on a culinary journey with the theme “Interpretations of Classic French Dishes.”

Sbraga line cooks and Drexel alumni Brandon Zeller and John Boswell work on the courses they were assignedEach mentee chef was assigned a course to create, with the help of students from the “A La Carte” class taught by professor Chef Michael Traud, formerly of Vetri and Zeppoli. The mentees developed their own menu items based on their skills, and Sbraga helped make their visions a reality by advising on ingredients and flavors to make composed, well-balanced dishes.

“It’s great to be able to work with my old classmates and to work under another Drexel alumnus who has had years of experience,” Boswell said of working with Garbacz and his former classmates. “It’s a fun learning environment in a really great restaurant.”

The night will begin with a complimentary cocktail hour, where guests will have the rare opportunity to meet Chef Sbraga, winner of Bravo’s seventh season of “Top Chef” and owner of modern American restaurant Sbraga, located on Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts, and The Fat Ham, which will open near Drexel’s campus in early December. Guests will then be led to the dining room area where students from adjunct professor and Vetri restaurant manager Paul O’Neill’s “Fine Dining” class will serve the dinner.Greg Garbacz will be creating the dessert course for the event, under the mentorship of Kevin Sbraga

The menu is as follows:

First Course:
Boudin noir, lentils, celery pickle
Prepared by John Boswell

Second Course:
Bouillabaisse, potato confit, tomato jam
Prepared by Noah Williams

Third Course
Duck a l'orange, celery root
Prepared by Brandon Zeller

Fourth Course:
Creme Brulee
Prepared by Greg Garbacz

The dinner will take place in Drexel’s student-run restaurant, The Academic Bistro (101 N. 33 St., sixth floor). The cocktail hour with Chef Sbraga will begin at 5:30 p.m. in The Academic Bistro bar, followed by a B.Y.O.B dinner in the dining room at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased here.

This will be the first dinner of the series as well as the first opportunity for a C-CAP graduate to obtain scholarship funds to attend Drexel University. C-CAP, a national not-for-profit, works with public schools across the nation to prepare at-risk high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. The scholarship will allow the student to attend one of Drexel’s HSM Programs.

Media Contact:

Alex McKechnie