This is how you do an announcement. Roll in the jet, roll out the red carpet. Nick Elmi at PHL.
Yesterday afternoon, American Airlines, Philadelphia International Airport and airport hospitality firm, OTG put on an impressive show to announce a $30 million overhaul of PHL’s Terminal B. That overhaul will include eateries from eight well known local chefs and restaurateurs.
The event took place at American Airlines huge hanger at the southern end of the airport. The chefs and restaurateurs, including Top Chef winners Nick Elmi and Kevin Sbraga descended the steps of a sparkling American Airlines plane to take their places along with PHL’s CEO Rochelle Cameron, Cedric Rockamore of American Airlines and OTG’s founder Rick Blatstein. After a highly-polished video about the transformation of Terminal B, samples of each restaurant’s food, plus wine and beer were brought out.
The project has been in the pipeline for a number of years old and several of the chefs involved admitted, that they thought their involvement was dead. When complete, the overhauled terminal will have eight new eateries and thousands of iPads from which to order food right to the gate.
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Anne Coll has been named as the new executive chef of the Whip Tavern in West Marlborough, Chester County. Coll has worked for Susanna Foo at the original Walnut Street restaurant as well as Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen in Radnor. Coll also had a successful run at Meritage where she brought the Korean taco rage to Philadelphia, among other successes.
Coll was to be the chef for Foo’s return to Center City, but in taking the exec chef spot at the Whip, Coll will work much closer to her home, where she has a farm and a pet pig named Jenny.
At the Whip, Coll will work closely with Chester and Lancaster County growers to create traditional pub and local dishes. Coll starts June 8th and menu changes will follow.
Whip Tavern [Foobooz]
Susanna Foo’s return to Center City now has an address. A liquor license application recently appeared at 1720 Sansom Street and the application is in the name of Susanna Foo. The former home of Genji has long been shuttered, and also suffered a fire. This morning, the sounds of hammers was clear as renovations are already underway. 1720 Sansom Street is a two-floor space with 1,935 square feet on the ground floor and an additional 1,636 available in the basement for storage and refrigeration. Foo will reunite with her longtime chef Anne Coll, who left Meritage earlier this year at the new restaurant. No word on an opening date, and according to Michael Klein, he’s hearing the name will be Suga. Foo left Center City back in 2009 after a praise-filled run on Walnut Street. The new location will be under three blocks from her original downtown Susanna Foo. She also still owns Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen in Radnor. Suga [Foobooz]
Okay, so first it was Rob Halpern bidding adieu to Marigold, and now we hear that after five years in the kitchen, chef Anne Coll is walking away from Meitage?
Man, it has just been a bad week for restaurant news.
Anyway, the crew over at Zagat broke the story a couple days ago (including the news that Coll is moving on to some totally hush-hush new project tht she can’t even talk about yet), and now it looks like Meritage is going to be re-opening tomorrow night for dinner with a newly re-modeled kitchen and sous chef Adam Ratmoko getting to wear the big hat as exec.
You can check out the full Zagat story below. But here’s hoping that, like celebrity deaths, bad chef news doesn’t come in threes…
Meritage In Rittenhouse Opening With New Chef [Zagat Philly]
Illustration by Alex Fine
What makes Philadelphia different from the other big restaurant cities, like New York or Chicago?
Joncarl Lachman, Noord: “I lived in both of those other cities and cooked in both, so I’ll be talking from real experience. There’s a camaraderie that exists in Philly that doesn’t exist in other cities like Chicago and New York. Not just between restaurants and the people, but between chefs and the other restaurants. Maybe it’s the size of the city combined with the Philly personalities, but it doesn’t quite exist anywhere else that I’ve worked.”
The January, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine is devoted to food. The issue serves up frequently asked questions and insightful answers about Philadelphia’s food scene. Check out the sneak peek online, it includes answers from Peter Serpico, Anne Coll, Scott Schroeder, Joncarl Lachman and others.
Look for the full issue hitting newsstands next week.
A Matter of Taste [Philadelphia Magazine]
Today through Friday November, 22nd Meritage is offering a four-course duck menu for $39. Anne Coll’s menu even manages to get duck into the dessert with duck cracklings on a flourless chocolate torte.
Check out the menu »
Anne Coll, chef at Meritage, has worked with a lot of big names (Georges Perrier, for example). But she learned a lot of her best tricks from Susanna Foo while working at her mentor’s eponymous Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine on Walnut Street.
Now, in honor of that time, she’s putting together a Susanna Foo Tribute Menu at Meritage. It’ll be available from Wednesday, Oct 9 through Saturday, Oct 12, and features versions of “her mentor’s famous dishes from Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine.” The menu is four courses (plus an amuse), and is going prix fixe at just $39 per person. Reservations, of course, are strongly recommended.
Check out the full menu after the jump.
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Yeah, yeah… Everyone is doing farm-to-table these days (except for those who aren’t), and sometimes it’s hard to get excited about yet another menu touting its connections to the local zip code.
But here’s the thing about farm-to-table menus. Every once in a while, one comes along that just feels…inspired. Like the chef really did what chefs are supposed to do when faced with one of these events–looked at the bounty at hand and used both the availability and the scarcity to inspire them in the creation of truly interesting, seasonal plates.
It might help here that Anne Coll was sourcing partly from her own garden. It might help that Meritage is running this thing during one of the true boom-months for Philadelphia-area growers. But it really is a beautiful, poetic board. So take a look and, if the flavors move you, there’s a link at the bottom of the page for making reservations.
Show me the menu
Korea is a hot topic right now, and it’d be really weird of me to try to connect any Philadelphia food-related news to the politically unstable, war-torn region of North and South Korea. I really shouldn’t.
But speaking of Korea…
Meritage’s Anne Coll has innocuously created a Korean inspired menu, because Korean food is off the hook, and because we shouldn’t let whatever is happening out there take away from what’s happening over here. It’s available through Friday, March 15, so you should go eat there right now because it’ll be awesome. And also because if you don’t, they win.
How’s that for motivation?
Meritage Restaurant & Wine Bar will be hosting another game-driven Chef’s Tasting Menu from today through Friday, January 11th. Chef Anne Coll has put together a unique take on rabbit, guinea hen, quail, and wild boar, and all for only $39 (including a fourth dessert course).
The Game »