So, sure. It’s important that a chef be able to cook and run a kitchen and write a menu and do all that other stuff. But, in this image-obsessed age, if you’re gonna make the big time it also helps to be pretty. Why? Because when the national media run out of nice things to say about your food, they will inevitably turn to a high school-style ranking of your relative hotness.
To wit, today brings us not one, but two completely separate lists of hot chefs. And Philly has a representative on each of them.
Totally Bullshit List #1: USA Today’s “The Hottest Up-And-Coming Chefs To Crush On”
America’s most trustworthy hotel-based news source tagged Greg Best of Atlanta, Nashville’s Trevor Moran, Sara Kramer out of Brooklyn, William Preisch from Portland, David Nayfeld from L.A.and our own Peter Serpico as their hottest up-and-comers. Here’s what they said about Serpico:
Head to the City of Brotherly Love, where James Beard Award winner Peter Serpico sets hearts alight at his eponymous South Philly spot. Opened in June 2013, the industrial chic, Stephen Starr-backed space is warmed by a buzzy open kitchen. The 31-year-old chef serves creative fare like deep-fried duck legs and smoky ravioli filled with his play on Cope’s corn, an old school, Pennsylvania Dutch classic.
Totally Bullshit List #2: Urbanspoon’s “America’s Top Sexy Single Chefs”
We like Jen Carroll as much as anyone, and we’re happy to see that she’s still getting press despite the fact that she doesn’t have a restaurant and hasn’t been regularly employed anywhere since she left 10 Arts. But none of this slows Urbanspoon down in their fawning.
This Top Chef competitor has it all – she’s opening her own restaurant, with both impeccable cooking skills and the angling prowess to bring in the Catch of the Day without the help of the local fisherman. Renowned chef Éric Ripert personally selected this beauty to lead his kitchen at 10 Arts Bistro & Lounge, located in The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia.
I’m not sure if that whole “angling prowess” thing was just a really clunky double entendre or whether they’re actually talking about her skills with a rod and reel, but whatever. She’s on the Urbanspoon Top Ten list alongside Rocco DiSpirito, Emma Hearst, Danny Boome, Katie Lee and others.
So there you have it, Philly food nerds: Today’s installment of Stupid Lists That National Media Write When They Don’t Have Anything Better To Do, in which Philadelphia’s chefs are hot, even if we, as a city, are not.