Former "Top Chef" competitor Angelo Sosa has come a long way from quickfire challenges and judge’s table on Bravo's popular reality cooking show.
Since 2010, he's been busy expanding his New York City restaurant empire with the launch of his new Hell's Kitchen-neighborhood tequileria called Añejo (which means 'aged' in Spanish as in cheese or tequila), expanding on critically acclaimed Social Eatz restaurant, and amid all this, released his first cookbook Flavors Exposed.
Not bad for a boy who grew up in small-town Durham, Conn. Sosa has used his reality show appearance to propel his career in and out of the kitchen.
“Never did I think I’d be writing a book,” Sosa told FoxNews.com's Kitchen Superstars. “It’s basically about how I delved into flavors and how I put flavors together.”
Each chapter of the book is dedicated to a different flavor, but also features personal stories about Sosa’s life and the people who helped shape him into the chef he is today.
Sosa’s first restaurant, Social Eatz, is a standout restaurant in Midtown East neighborhood serving Asian-fusion cuisine.
“Dining is a social atmosphere,” Sosa explains. “We do have an amazing bar and awesome cocktails, but the food is really playful. We have an awesome ramen and we make the ramen in house.”
Sosa draws much of his inspiration from his travels, especially to countries in Asia.
“I recently traveled to Korea. Totally inspired. When I came back I’m like, let’s change the menu, let’s redo the design, let’s kick it up a notch,” Sosa said. “New Yorkers really appreciate flavors of the world.”
And New Yorkers appreciate Sosa’s restaurants. Añejo was recently voted Best Margarita in the city by the city's Village Voice newspaper and Social Eatz is a favorite among critics.
“I think what keeps people definitely coming back to both of our restaurants, especially Social Eatz, is that as soon as the customer comes through the door, this is our home. You’re greeted at the door, you’re seated with appreciation,” Sosa said. “Food tastes better with love.”