Jose Garces is a busy guy — he’s running a restaurant empire 14 locations strong in three states and D.C. and serves on the board of directors for his nonprofit Garces Foundation.
Improbably, the acclaimed chef has partnered with Mrs. T’s Pierogies for a limited edition pierogi dish that will be served up this summer at Froman’s, his burger and brat spot at Spruce Street Harbor Park.
Garces has teamed up with the Shenandoah, Pa.-based frozen pierogi manufacturer for chicken-fried pierogies, a dish of battered and deep-fried potato dumplings and pickle chips served with a buttermilk ranch dip. The dish will only be available at Froman’s through July 14.
While we have no quibble with Garces putting out what sounds like a truly crushable boardwalk snack, this move strikes us as somewhat off-brand for him. (It does seem like foodie professionals are teaming up with Big Food more and more these days.)
Despite the recent addition of fast-casual taqueria Buena Onda to the Garces Group lineup, the Garces brand seems too upmarket for this — don’t expect to see his smiling face on a box of patatas bravas in your grocer’s freezer any time soon. And while Garces has recently expanded beyond the Latin American and Spanish cuisine he’s known for with the Italian-focused 24, he’s never dabbled in an eastern European concept.
But the Garces Foundation’s mission — increasing access to education and healthcare services for Philly’s immigrant communities — is clearly near and dear to him. And for every order of chicken-fried pierogies sold this summer, Mrs. T’s will donate $1 to the foundation (up to $2,000 over the season). Now that chicken-fried pierogi partnership makes a little more sense.
Spruce Street Harbor Park [Foobooz]