Taste: Dinner With: David Katz

What you’re cooking for the James Beard dinner on the 23rd: Food that represents Mémé. A lot of chefs from a casual setting will go and bust out the foams and gelées. That’s stupid.

Best burger around: Charlie’s in Folsom. I would eat a Charlie’s burger over any of these fucking eight- or 10-ounce brioche-bunned burgers.

Most annoying restaurant trend: Burgers.

What you drink after a long night in the kitchen: Miller High Life from the neck, baby. Every night.

Last three places you ate: Amis, Vietnam, and Shiao Lan Kung, the best spot in Chinatown.

Food you refuse to eat: Fiddlehead ferns. They look cool, taste like nothing.

Ingredient you want to use at Mémé but haven’t: Lamb brain.

Most unusual kitchen utensil: My hacksaw. I have to decapitate my goats or they don’t fit on the grill.

Whether you’re a hotheaded, arrogant chef: No, but I’m serious and passionate as a motherfucker.

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  • Dana

    It’s refreshing to hear a chef who keeps it real. There’s nothing wrong with foams and gelees in the right settings. I’m with him, don’t give me that s**t at Joe’s Tavern.

  • Bruce

    I’ve eaten at Meme’a number of times and drive down from Maine to enjoy his talent – A great restaurant, in spite of the surly looking chef –

  • Dingle

    Wow, that guy sounds like a tool! Like Tony Bourdain scripted his idiotic answers.. Whoa bad boy!!

  • Greg

    What a phony bologna! Everytime someone interviews this guy my blood pressure goes up. Everyone I know who has worked with him, does work with him and who does business with him thinks he’s an arrogant prick. My favorite thing on earth is driving by on just about any night and seeing Dave sitting in his empty dining room. All the money this guy spends on PR and he’s still dead. Hey Dave, remember when you told Matt Spector from Matyson he couldn’t cook and how much better you were? Well Matyson is still killing it and he’s not even there. And now he has the busiest restaurant in his town out in California. You’re a douche bag Katz, can’t wait until you close this one too. You deserve it pal.

  • Gregsafagg69

    Hey “Greg”. Why don’t you go punch yourself in the face. I’m going to take a stab at the fact that you have absolutely 0 idea what you are talking about. You must be a foodie huh? Just knows everything about everybody in the restaurant world? If Meme is always empty…why is it still open? Retard, punch your Mom in the face too.

  • Anna

    I’ve eaten to Meme quite a few times and always enjoyed the food and atmosphere. I live in the neighborhood so I walk by frequently, the place is never empty when I pass. It sounds like Greg has a personal issue with the chef…perhaps he should find a more appropriate outlet for his anger?

  • Eva
  • Eva

    Greg. Why say things about people in this setting? Why don’t you just go to Meme announced and tell Mr. Katz these things in person???

  • Tessa

    As a young professional, who enjoys many of the amazing restaurants Philadelphia has to offer…I find David Katz of Meme to be one of the most unique, honest, and more importantly (as well as relevant) talented chefs in this city. I have eaten at Meme many times, and each time my meal proved to be more amazing then the last. He has always been so down-to-earth and friendly every single time I have been thereand he even introduced me to someone that eventually became a very close friend of mine. I am not a food critic so I wont try to be one here, but I can guarantee you that if you eat at Meme you will enjoy an amazing fucking meal that you will not soon forget. David’s talent and creativity in the kitchen is nothing short of culinary genius, in my opinion… So you can personally attack THE MAN all you want (although highly inappropriate and not the place to do so) and mistake his raw passion and dedication to his craft as being an arrogant prickbut one thing you cant ta

  • Tessa

    but one thing you cant take away from the man, is that he is a damn fine CHEF.

  • Greg

    Hey Dave, 1 “gregsafagg69”, are you really calling me a fag? Did you really call me a retard? What are you a grown up version of a high school bully? 2 6:15 pm march 3rd, 2010, just drove by, meme is totally empty. 3 not a foodie, a fellow chef with 2 sucessful restaurants in Philly who can’t stand egos. Yours is ridiculous. We use the same proveyors, we’ve worked with same people and we’ve met, I don’t like you because you’re a phony douche bag, that pretends to be some kind of hardass. Does using “fuck” in an interview make you think you’re edgy and keeping it real. I curse a lot too Dave. Why i dont like You’re food is becauase it’s copied mostly from au peid de Cochon. You have no originality. You are a decent cook but far from great. You’ve treated so many people who work in Philly restaurant industry like shit. I can’t wait for you to close and you will and you know it. Punch your Meme in the face.

    Ps gotta get upstairs. Were busy

  • Greg

    And as for the rest of you. You’re either the waitresses sitting in meme’s empty dining room or you’re idiots. Judging from the time of the responces youre waitreses. Either way I’m not exactly sure why this isn’t the place to bash Katz. It’s fine for him to bash most of the hamburgers in the city (pretty sure that was directly aimed at village whiskey) but when I bash Dave on the “hallowed ground” of an Internet comment thread, I’m out of line? Shut up, seriously

  • lisa

    Hey Greg, You can time travel? That’s amazing you drove by Meme at 6:15 and then went back in time to 5:49 to post a comment about it!

  • greg

    dont know why it posted my time that way. i saw it when it happened and figured someone would catch that. what i wrote was the truth, 100%. i know it and am now done with this. dave katz is a medium talented, arrogant prick. fuck him. adios.

  • greg

    its 10:08 right now

  • sam

    Well Greg I don’t believe a word your saying because I know that restaurant wasn’t empty at 6:15…You know how I know? I was there! I’m not Dave Katz and You are an idiot.

  • harry

    Meme beef tartare
    Tea Sandwiches: duck liver mousse w/ radish and cornichon & wild mushroom w/ truffle cheese.
    Parsnip-apple soup w/ clove oil

    with Celler el Masroig Les Sorts Rosat 2008 (Montsant, Spain)

    Watercress-Red Cabbage Salad, red grapefruit, crispy leeks.

    with Pares Balta Cava Brut NV (Penedes, Spain)

    Anson Mills Onion Grits, braised pork belly, apple-celery salad, foie gras sauce.

    with Petit Metris Savennieres Les Fougeraies 2005 (Loire, France)

    Slow Cooked Steel Head au poivre, meyer lemon, brussel leaves, sea urchin.

    with Rolly Gassmann Pinot Gris 2004 (Alsace, France)

    Strip Steak cooked Pittsburgh, broccoli puree, potato-blue cheese croquette, braised shallot.

    with Meinert Synchronicity 2004 (Stellenbosch, South Africa)

    Coffee Gelee, almond cream, chocolate puffed rice, orange powder.

    with Onyx Noble Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 2008 (Darling, South Africa)

  • harry

    5th. Coffee Gelee, almond cream, chocolate puffed rice, orange powder. with Onyx Noble Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 2008 (Darling, South Africa)

    10 bux says its sea urchin foam!!!!

  • vernon


  • All The

    What fine establishments do you run? I would like to personally come out there and put my foot up your fucking ass.

  • Tessa

    So after reviewing all your hater posts on here…I did a little research on you “phillygreg”, and I have to say you have a bit too much time on your hands to keep up with all the bullshit you comment on. While your hiding behind your computer…David Katz is probably in his kitchen cooking his ass off… Most “real” chefs that work in resturants, don’t have time for surfing the web all day…it’s obvious you have never stepped foot inside a kitchen other than your own…I feel bad for you, and maybe one day David Katz could teach you a few things about beng a real life chef…

  • Real badass

    That’s funny

  • Arthur

    That 5th course is simply jello. I think he was commenting a little more generally about tech food that doesn’t represent what people normally do in their kitchens. Like a savory gelee for example…The word gelee means jello essentially. Looks like that dessert is a coffee jello. Pretty basic unpretentious food from where I’m standing. No “burn”. Just because you saw the word “gelee” I think it’s meaning was slightly different. I’m sure it’s JELLO.

  • harry

    I guess the most unpretentious thing to do, then, is write jello on the menu. Why try to make it sound all fancy when it is just “jello”……

  • Arthur

    Okay than Harry, why don’t you go police everybody that writes “pomme puree” on their menus? And just tell them to write potato puree.

  • Sherlock

    Greg, I am not an employee of Meme. But you clearly have an axe to grind. Are you just upset that you weren’t in Esquire? Philly Mag? This is all very telLING.

  • Drew

    This thread is something else. Mm and Dave rule.

  • Drew

    Make that Meme. My Es didn’t show up!

  • harry

    Not trying to police anyone. Just saying it’s a little contradictory when someone busts on a gelee when one is on the menu. Maybe Mr. Katz has changed it since. I was just calling it to attention. Nobody that puts pommes pure on their menu and says pommes is stupid.
    Also, I wouldn’t have called it out if, what seems to be Mr. Katz, didn’t insult “foodies” which I happily claim to be

  • Cathy

    Jello is actually just a brand name/trademark. A gelee is a jellied substance. Katz is using the proper term on his menu. Calling it Jello would be the equivalent of calling every cola in the world a Coke.

  • Patrick

    Jello is gelee, Coke is cola…. Blah blah blah
    but it’s still stupid, right?

  • bob newhart

    i once heard katz say, “fuck thomas keller.” who would say that? do you know him? have you eaten at his restaurants? are you afraid of him? only a douche

  • Realistic

    Do you people like Greg and Bob Newheart realize actually how NON believable the dumb shit you are saying is/sounds? Do you? “I heard him say”…Come on. Really?

  • Fran

    everyone in the biz knows he’s a douchebag. even the ones who are nice to his face and whose last name rhymes with “wet tree” says it he’s very happy in his own little fantasy world of “i’m the only one who can cook” alot of us think it, he just says it.

  • ken

    My girlfriend cooked next to David Katz at the Chefs and Champagne charity event in the Hamptons. Not only was he a super nice guy in 93 degree heat he cooked and served an awesome braised pork. If you haven’t tried Meme you should, he’s a talented chef for sure.