There was this moment, shortly after the finale of Top Chef: New Orleans had aired, shortly after Nick Elmi had been named the winner, when another chef walked up to him at one of the big food events in town, shook his hand, congratulated him, and asked him what the hell he was thinking, opening a 22-seat restaurant.
Because, seriously? When you win Top Chef, you suddenly become one of the most famous chefs in America. At least temporarily. Shoot, even losing on the show can be enough to raise you up out of obscurity and turn you into a brand — a known name who can draw down the dollars just by having been featured on the jumping box for a few hours. Cookbook deals, product endorsements, cruise-ship gigs — it all comes to you. And a big-ass restaurant with high-volume turnover on the floor? Of course. That’s just a given.
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Junto | Photos by Courtney Apple
“Do you know of any deserving young beginner lately set up,” members of Ben Franklin’s mutual aid society would ask one another, “whom it lies in the power of the Junto any way to encourage?”
They’d ask the same thing about “deserving stranger[s] arrived in town since last meeting.” And while neither description exactly matches MacGregor Mann, who’s cooked in Philadelphia for more than a decade, they’re close enough. Before naming his solo debut after Franklin’s eclectic club, the Garces vet went on a culinary walkabout ranging from an Idaho fly-fishing lodge to a stage at Denmark’s Noma—often named as the best restaurant in the world. And when he returned, he was bent on digging deeper into his home turf.
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It’s been a long day at the beach and you’re craving seafood. Something simple, but which will still impress whoever you’re serving. Which is exactly why this recipe is perfect.
Peter Serpico of South Street’s Serpico has you covered with his grilled sesame shrimp with corn and tomatoes. It’s a surefire crowd-pleaser, and a dish even those inexperienced in the kitchen can tackle. So take advantage of the ocean’s bounty and take this recipe with you the next time you go down the shore.
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Over on Be Well Philly, they’ve put together a list of the best chilled soups that you can eat in Philly right now. And you should get over there and check it out because A) it’s still super-hot outside, B) the chilled zucchini soup with squash blossoms, crab and curried yogurt at Fitler Dining Room sounds awesome, and C) the spicy chilled cauliflower vichyssoise at Noord sounds just as good.
And that’s only two of the cold soups on a list that runs to almost a dozen. Go check it out now.
The Most Mouthwatering Chilled Soups In Philly Right Now [Be Well Philly]
Celebrate Best of Philly and summer with the Best of Philly Bash set for Tuesday, August 12th. The event is being held at Citizens Bank Park and will feature past Best of Philly winners serving up their summer favorites. There will also be summer-inspired cocktails, live music and outdoor games.
Tickets are $90 for general admission, $150 for VIP tickets which get you in an hour-and-a-half early.
Get your tickets now.
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Jose Garces’s Bar Volver is offering an alternative to Center City Sips. Starting today, Bar Volvér Wednesdays will be mean $8 cocktails and wine, $2 oysters and $1 tartines and a $7 tuna tartare.
Volver Wednesdays run from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m every Wednesday.
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Last week we told you about Rittenhouse Row’s cool Culinary Collective, where eighteen restaurants were pulling out all the stops to create unique experiences between August 5th and the 7th. One of those special experiences will be at Crow and the Pitcher. Georges Perrier, who is often spotted relaxing at the Rittenhouse restaurant of Alex Capasso, will be in the kitchen preparing some of his most popular dishes from Le Bec-Fin’s past. A four-course prix fixe dinner will be available for $60 or a seven-course extravaganza will be $120. Seatings are available at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
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Starting this week until the end of the summer, Il Pittore will introduce a new menu dedicated to the hot season and all of its offerings. Chef Chris Painter, who was just awarded Best Chef by Philly Mag’s Reader Poll, is taking advantage of the summertime produce in his Pennsylvania and New Jersey Farmers’ Menu. Using products from Green Meadow Farms in Lancaster and other local PA and NJ farmers, Painter will create a 4-course tasting menu.
Guests will start with a Chilled Cucumber Soup, followed by Pennsylvania Pride Beef Ravioli (see picture), Striped Bass, and, to finish it all off, Peach Upside-Down Cake.
Guests are encouraged to make early reservations because each night, there are only 20 available dinners. The menu is priced at $45.
Il Pittore [Foobooz]
Noord’s brunch menu is usually supplemented by weekly specials you probably won’t find on another brunch menu in Philly—like Zurkool & Eggs (beer-braised cabbage, smoked sausage and eggs) or Whole Trout Amandine. But usually, those specials include a frittata, and Joncarl loves frittatas.
This recipe can be done with any sort of seasonal vegetable (you can get your ingredients at any of these places), and you’ll be able to impress your brunch friends before you go out on the water for the day.
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On August 23rd, the 7th Annual BBQ at the Ballpark happens at the Jetro lot next to Citizens Bank Park. From 2 to 7 p.m., there will be barbecue, beer, and games. Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse will be serving the food while Conshohocken Brewing, Neshaminy Creek Brewing, Philadelphia Brewing, Sly Fox Brewing, and Weyerbacher Brewing will be pouring the beer. Plus for the kid inside all of us, or the actual kid you bring, J-Dogs Amusements will be bringing the games.
This year, all proceeds will go to the Marianne E. Mebert Memorial Fund. The charity is close to the hearts of Rolling Barrel, as one of the co-founders recently lost their mother, Marianne Mebert, to Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Tickets will be $48.50 per person, $28.50 for designated drives, or $22.50 for kids under 12. To purchase tickets, click here.
BBQ at the Ballpark [Official]