"If you have an open mind and are able to learn from everyone around you, you’ll find yourself inspired every day."
Kelvin Fernandez grew up in a Dominican family in New York City. While an active high school athlete, he agreed to take a cooking class for his girlfriend and discovered the passion to follow in his father's footsteps and become a chef. Chef Kelvin studied at the Culinary Institute of America with a C-CAP scholarship before working under Chef George Masraff at Water's Edge in Long Island City.
He went on to work the line at New York City mainstay Gotham Bar and Grill, then advanced to an executive sous chef position at Café des Artistes. Chef Kelvin went on to hold executive chef positions at Antipasti, Strand Bistro, Blend on the Water and La Marina, before leaving the kitchen to make healthy meals for a professional baseball player as a personal chef.
In 2016, he returned to Strand Bistro under new ownership until 2018, when he apprenticed in Lyon, France, with another C-CAP scholarship. Upon returning, he invested in Las Lap Rum Bar on New York City's Lower East Side, where he developed a small plates menu, which includes his famous arepas.
With recognition from C-CAP and Forbes' 30 under 30, success on a slew of food TV competitions, and a highly engaged social media following, Chef Kelvin has made a name for himself as a Dominican chef championing young talent and opportunity. His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is an inspiration for ICE students.
"I want to be in the business forever," he said upon joining ICE in 2019. "I wake up thinking about food, I go to sleep thinking about what I can create."
- Associate's in Occupational Studies and Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America, 2005
- Internship, Restaurant Saisons by Davy Tissot at the Institute of Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France, 2018
- Chef/partner, Las Lap Rum Bar, NYC, 2018 to present
- Executive chef, Strand Bistro at Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, New York City, 2016-2018
- Personal chef, MLB player Jose Reyes, 2015-2016
- Executive chef, La Marina, NYC, 2014-2015
- Executive chef, Blend on the Water, Long Island City, NY, 2013-2014
- Executive chef, Strand Bistro at The Strand Hotel, NYC, 2010-2013
- Executive chef, Antipasti, White Plains, NY, 2009-2010
- Executive sous chef, Café des Artistes, NYC, 2006-2008
- Line cook, Gotham Bar and Grill, NYC, 2004-2006
- Line cook, Water's Edge Restaurant, 2004
Awards and Accolades
- Winner, "Man vs. Child: Chef Showdown," 2016
- Winner, "Beat Bobby Flay," 2015
- Runner up, "Chopped" Season 8, Episode 5
- Runner up, "Cook Your Ass Off" Season 1, Episode 8
- Forbes 30 under 30, Food and Wine, 2015
- Audience Choice, America’s Best Young Chef, Forbes Under 30 Summit Food Festival, 2016-2017
- Daniel Boulud Scholarship, 2018
- C-CAP Scholarship, 2003
Specialties/Areas of Interest
- French, Italian, Latin and American cuisines
- Staff training and development