Ange Branca grew up in her grandmother’s kitchen where she learned the traditional techniques of Malaysian cooking, a cuisine that bears the influence of multiple cultures dating back to the 14th century when Malaysia was a spice trading hub. Though she grew up in a culinary family, she spent the first part of her career in business consulting for international corporations like Deloitte, Fujitsu, and IBM, which landed her in the US. After years of living abroad, her nostalgia for the flavors of home coupled with what she perceived as a dying appreciation for humble Malaysian cuisine back home inspired Ange to open Saté Kampar, a restaurant focusing on saté (skewered meat grilled on coconut shell charcoal) and traditional Malaysian cooking made from scratch with unique ingredients specially grown for the restaurant or imported from Malaysia. The restaurant quickly became one of Philly’s top restaurants, voted Best of Philly in 2016 for Best New BYOB, and in 2017 for Best Coffee Drinks. Zagat named Saté Kampar the top 10 most important restaurant openings. In 2017 Saté Kampar was nominated for the James Beard Award. She is a member of the Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international organization of woman leaders in the culinary field.
The diversity of food and culture that Ange grew up eating in Malaysia inspired her charity project, a dinner series, Muhibbah Dinners. Muhibbah— when people of multiple cultures, races, and religions come together in peace and tolerance — is best appreciated when a good meal is shared. Ange started Muhibbah Dinners to bring together chefs of different backgrounds and cultures to celebrate diversity with diners in Philadelphia and raise funds for nonprofits that work with immigrants and refugees.
After Sate Kampar closed in the middle of the pandemic, Ange founded Kampar Kitchen at the end of 2020, a platform for food makers and diners to come together to bring back the vibrant and diverse restaurant scene Philly had before the pandemic. Kampar Kitchen is an extremely new concept. It is not a single restaurant, but multiple ones, and it is not simply a small business incubator, as that term is too generic and does not take into account the kind of curation that goes into the initiative as a whole -- not quietly incubating but engaging an entire community to build something together. Kampar Kitchen aims to be the platform for a very diverse food scene to be noticed, a platform for Philadelphians to come and be part of the experience, to listen to the stories, to share different cultures and have amazing delicious moments together.