Chef Kevin Fonzo, a self-described “open book,” is loving life, traveling the world, and serving up seasonal specialties at K Restaurant and Wine Bar in Orlando. When he’s not in the kitchen, he is a food educator at The Orlando Junior Academy and The Edible Schoolyard, and most recently has partnered with Chef Emeril Legasse’s foundation in the creation of The Kitchen House at the Edible Education Experience in College Park. His Kevin Fonzo Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides gardening and hands-on kitchen classes as part of each school day.
What cuisine is your specialty?
I like to call it “Global/Seasonal.” We feature whatever is in season (or what the farmers/artisans have), but are not tied down to a particular cuisine such as French or Italian…. People’s eating patterns change with the seasons, and so should our menu and cooking techniques.
What’s your favorite local restaurant other than your own?
Since I own a restaurant and do a lot of volunteer work, I hardly ever go out for dinner. I prefer a simple BBQ in backyard with family or friends. This is also a “loaded” question as I have the utmost respect for a lot of my chef/friends in this incredible Central Florida culinary community. If you know me, then you know the chefs I am talking about. The Orlando restaurant scene has blown up in recent years. The chefs in this city can definitely compete with any chef I have met in the major food cities!
What’s your go-to meal at home?
I’m always up for some good ol’ Sunday gravy! It brings back a lot of great childhood memories! It’s a simple tomato sauce with homemade veal meatballs, sausage, braciole, and lots of ricotta cheese. And you have to have a kick-ass antipasti platter with pecorino cheese, prosciutto and green olives!
Where do you shop locally for interesting ingredients?
The beauty of having a restaurant is that all of these great interesting items are at my fingertips! I’m very fortunate to have great relationships with all our local farmers/artisans and can purchase whatever I might be looking for! Central Florida is rocking it when it comes to having and supporting these folks.
Which kitchen gadget could you not live without?
I have SO many items, but on the top of that list… a wine key! You’ve got to have some wine with that Sunday gravy! I guess the items I use almost daily would be an 8” French knife and a kick-ass blender! I’ve got to prep that food, and I’m a big fan of smoothies in the morning! Oh and my Nespresso machine. I drink 3-5 cups of those babies every morning!
What was your favorite bagged lunch as a kid?
That’s an easy one. Peanut butter & jelly.
What’s your most guilty junk-food pleasure?
Peanut butter and ice cream mixed together or peanut butter cups!
What 3 things are in your fridge at all times?
- Yogurt for breakfast smoothies
- Ginger beer for Moscow mules pool side
- Old condiments. Living alone you buy these for when friends come over. Do you know how long it takes for a single guy to go through jars of ketchup, mustard, mayo and salad dressings?!