Chef/Owner Kevin Fonzo
Early Career and Education
A native of New York City, Chef Kevin Fonzo received his culinary training starting at the young age of fifteen while working in a country inn in upstate New York.
He furthered his education at “The Culinary Institute of America” in Hyde Park, New York, graduating with honors, and interning in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina at the site of the Heritage Golf Classic.
The Peabody Hotel – Orlando
Following graduation, Kevin landed a job as part of the opening team at “The Peabody Hotel” in Orlando, Florida. At twenty one years of age, Kevin became one of the youngest managers in Peabody history to run their own outlet. He quickly was promoted to Chef of the Italian restaurant, “Capriccio”, where he earned the “Best Brunch in Orlando” award from “Glamour Magazine” and was featured on Orlando’s Noon Day News.
Peasant Restaurant Group – Atlanta
After a six year tenure at the “Peabody Orlando”, Kevin was scouted by Bob Amick of the “Peasant Restaurant Group” in Atlanta, Georgia to bring the “Chef” title back to their restaurants. During his stay with the “Peasant”, Kevin appeared in “Cobb Magazine” and “Atlanta Live! At Noon”. While in Atlanta, Kevin worked for Thomas Coohill and Jean Banchet of “Bistango” and “Ciboulette” being awarded the title, “Best Restaurant in Atlanta” from “Gourmet Magazine”. Fonzo then moved on to menu designer/kitchen developer for the “Phoenix Brewing Company”, where he was featured in “Brew Magazine”, “Brewpub”, “Nations Restaurant News”, “Southern Living”, “Atlanta Magazine”, and “The Atlanta Constitution.” In his spare time, Kevin volunteered his time for the Local Food Bank and “Share our Strength” for the “Taste of the NFL” held in every Super Bowl city. He worked side by side with such great culinarians as Susan Spicer, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, and Alan Susser.
K Restaurant – Orlando
Knowing Orlando was “home” for Kevin, he returned after seven years in Atlanta. He quickly found employment in a little restaurant called “Café Allegre” in Orlando’s College Park neighborhood. Falling in love with the restaurant and area, Kevin bought “Allegre” in 2001 and changed the name to “K Restaurant and Wine Bar”. It became one of Orlando’s first “Chef owned and operated” restaurants. K was the one of the first establishments to showcase local ingredients, have a menu that changed daily to reflect the seasons, and offer a full cheese list.
After launching K Restaurant and Wine Bar Kevin has been honored by almost every award in Orlando from “Neighborhood Gem” to “Best Restaurant in Orlando”. As one of “America’s Top Restaurants” in Zagat, his restaurant has been featured in “Bon Apetite Magazine”, “Nation’s Restaurant News”, “Orlando Leisure”, “Florida Trend”, ”The Orlando Sentinel”, and Kevin was added into “Orlando’s Dining Hall of Fame” from “Orlando Magazine”
In 2007 Kevin and the Fonzo family purchased his second restaurant in College Park called “Nonna Trattoria ed Enoteca” where his younger brother, Gregory, was at the helm. “Nonna” was named “Best New Restaurant in Orlando” by “Florida Trend Magazine” and “Best Italian…Critic’s Choice” from “The Orlando Sentinel”.
In February of 2010 Kevin decided to merge his two restaurants allowing for him to focus completely on his work at his premier restaurant. The newly renovated free standing house offers more seating with a wrap around patio and better parking for the guests. This space also allowed Kevin to realize one of his restaurant dreams with the creation of a sizable garden behind the restaurant. The kitchen staff sources a wide variety of herbs and beautiful vegetables picked that day for service in the evening. In addition to providing K with the freshest product possible, Kevin routinely opens the space for wine tastings, chef tables, and special events.
Orlando Junior Academy
The merge also allowed Kevin time to invest further in his community, volunteering his time to Orlando Junior Academy; a small school in College Park. During the 2010-2011 school year Chef Kevin worked in the cafeteria every day preparing fresh, healthy lunches for the students of OJA while creating a program that can be sustained by the school staff including supporting the school’s garden that has been awarded “Best School Garden for the State of Florida” by the University of Central Florida. Kevin’s work at the school was recognized by Michelle Obama as a part of her
“Chef’s Move to School” initiative earning him an invitation to the White House to tour the White House garden. For the 2011-2012 Kevin has stepped out of the cafeteria and is now volunteering his time as an educator. Every Thursday Kevin volunteers for a full teaching schedule for the day. He uses cooking instruction as an integrated education method where the students learn about nutrition, biology, chemistry, practice math skills and practice the cleanliness and discipline necessary for a culinary career.
10 Year Anniversary
On May 1, 2011 Kevin hosted a party in his garden celebrating the 1oth anniversary of his purchase of Cafe Allegre and the start of K Restaurant. He was joined by old sous-chefs Scott Copeland (Antonio’s) and Herald Henderson (Cuisiners) who are now experiencing their own culinary success as well as chefs James and Julie from the Ravenous Pig in celebrating ten years of success as a chef-owned and operated local restaurant.