Before appearing on Season 7 of Bravo’s Top Chef in 2010, Angelo Sosa was already a giant in the culinary world. The chef had previously earned a Michelin star and worked in renowned New York City restaurants, which is pretty impressive.
To refresh your memory a bit, Sosa was part of the 17-contestant season when the hit Bravo series moved from Las Vegas to Washington, D.C. The chef endured a tough finale that season, becoming ill in Singapore while competing against Kevin Sbraga. Sosa would finish as the runner-up, but he was given a second chance to compete on Season 8 of Top Chef: All-Stars. He finished in seventh place, per BravoTV.com.
Fame came knocking again when in 2020, he was asked to return for Season 17 of Top Chef: All-Stars. Spoiler alert: Sosa faced off against 14 other fan favorites and runner-ups in Los Angeles, but he was the second chef to get the boot. “I don’t think anyone wants to hear they’ve been eliminated,” he told Parade. “Though, to be invited back to Top Chef for the third time, to be among elite chefs, was such an honor.”
Despite this loss, Sosa has many accomplishments under his belt, including successful restaurants and cookbooks.
Angelo Sosa opened several top-notch restaurants
When Angelo Sosa appeared on Season 7 of Top Chef in 2010, he was operating Xie Xie, an Asian sandwich place in New York City. The Connecticut native’s bravado was on full display in the first episode, proclaiming that he would be “the first contestant to win every single challenge,” per The Los Angeles Times. That didn’t end up happening, and Sosa ultimately closed Xie Xie in October 2010.
In 2011, the chef then opened a larger eatery, Social Eatz, in Midtown Manhattan. The Asian fusion eatery earned acclaim for its hamburgers, but it closed in 2013.
Sosa would switch gears in 2012 as he found success with Añejo, a restaurant specializing in tequila and Mexican cuisine in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. He branched out the business into Tribeca in 2014 and added another location in Philadelphia, which was set to open in spring 2020, according to Eater Philadelphia.
Angelo Sosa has capitalized on his 'Top Chef' fame
As if running several restaurants wasn’t impressive enough, Angelo Sosa has also published two cookbooks. In 2012, he released Flavor Exposed: 100 Global Recipes from Sweet to Salty, Earthy to Spicy with Suzanne Lenzer. Sosa included 100 recipes featuring dishes that fit into nine categories of flavors, including sweet, smoky, and salty.
In 2015, Sosa teamed up with radio and television personality Angie Martinez for the cookbook Healthy Latin Eating: Our Favorite Family Recipes Remixed. Sosa and Martinez combined their Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban heritages, reworking classic dishes to make them healthier. Sosa told The Boston Globe that the recipes have a lot of “soul” to them, which is reminiscent of his grandma’s cooking. “Those recipes from the past don’t have to die with the past,” he said. “They can evolve and grow to something healthier and more vibrant.”
In addition to the cookbooks, Sosa launched a line of custom aprons and chef uniforms called AOSbySOSA. He also made appearances on two Food Network shows, Iron Chef America and Beat Bobby Flay.
Angelo Sosa made big changes in his life
Angela Sosa made a big move from the east coast and now lives in San Diego, Calif. When talking to Parade in 2020, Sosa said the move not only brought physical change, but it also inspired a personal one. “I focus on my inner wellness and make meditation a part of every day,” he said.
Upon his return to Top Chef: All-Stars in 2020, he said that there have been many transformations for him since his 2010 debut on the culinary competition series. “The last time I was on Top Chef, I honestly don’t recognize that person anymore,” he told BravoTV.com. He credits his new girlfriend for helping him improve, revealing, “She’s just pure joy and brings a lot of peace and harmony into my life and totally understands me as a person and as a chef.” Sobriety played a role as well, as he noted to the outlet.
The chef also finds joy in his son, Jacob, who endured medical complications at birth, as he noted on Facebook. “He’s my motivation, my inspiration, [to] ready to cook passionately and just put my heart on the plate,” he shared with BravoTV.com.
Sosa was the executive chef for Death By Tequila in Encinitas, Calif., before returning to the Bravo series. He left the restaurant in January 2020 and is “working on a new venture called Wolfie’s Carousel in downtown San Diego.”
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