Fresh off the announcement of her third appearance at COOK, on July 2, Serrano executive chef Gina Rodriguez is emphasizing beer in her new spring/summer menu–part of which was developed for Philly Beer Week. After launching a new seasonal menu and the restaurant’s first-ever cocktail list a few months ago, Rodriguez created the Staff Shot (Ketel One vodka and chilled fresh-squeezed OJ topped with Allagash White) and the Allagash White-battered soft-shelled Crab BLT with lemon aioli, basil, pepper and parmesan mayo (see above).
These offerings add to the recent additions of dishes like spring vegetable curry couscous, heirloom tomato served with house-made ricotta, and watermelon salad with baby spinach, frisee, and bleu cheese vinaigrette. Hand-crafted cocktails include favs like The 6th Thyme (house-made mead with local honey, aperol, thyme and white cranberry), and Jim Dandy In The Everglades (orange vodka, peach bitters, prosecco).
After spending about a year leading food operations at Serrano (after stints at Kokopelli, Max & David’s and working in the mental health profession … good training for restaurant world, we might add), Rodriguez is coming out from behind the kitchen doors to more actively introduce herself to her audience. She first appeared at Cook in March then followed up her presentation with participation in Taste of the Nation, and Philly Wine & Food Fest. Before she shows Cook spectators how to make tacos with exotic meats during her upcoming Taco Tuesdays appearance, she’ll also greet the public at the Chefs Dinner for PAWS on June 24.
Interesting tidbit: In 2008, Rodriguez was the only woman to earn a AAA 5 Diamond Award, for her work at the Ventana Room at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona. She was the first female chef in the restaurant’s history.