Local Chef Christina Wilson Wins “Hell’s Kitchen”

Christina Wilson, former chef de cuisine at Mercato, has won the tenth season of Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen”. Wilson quit her job at Mercato towards the beginning of the “Hell’s Kitchen” season but insisted that it had nothing to do with the show. As the season champ, Christina Wilson will become the executive chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas.

While at West Chester and Temple University Wilson waited tables where she began cooking by picking up lessons from the kitchen. The 32 year old Jersey native had previously cooked at Lolita and Carmine’s Creole Cafe in Havertown. She beat out Justin Antiorio in the final round of elimination for the $250,000 gig in Las Vegas.

Since she finished filming the season Wilson has said she was working on a project at the Jersey Shore, and instead she’s off for Vegas. Congratulations Christina!

Philly’s Christina Wilson wins ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ season [The Insider]

Quick Bites

Paul opens this evening opposite Effie’s on Pine Street. Among the menu items, crab spring rolls, wild Atlantic halibut and bouillabaisse. [The Insider]

When the Penthouse Club opens August 7th, chef Bill Elmer will be cooking up more than just steaks. [Meal Ticket]

City Tavern’s Walter Staib is at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello this week filming his new TV series, A Taste of History. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Slate is now doing lunch, brunch and happy hour. Meal Ticket has the deets. [Meal Ticket]

Horizons chef Rich Landau has been selected to cook at the James Beard House. It will be the first vegan restaurant to be so honored. [The Insider]

Coo’s Sports Bar & Lounge is the name of the bar coming to the 800 block of North Broad Street. Not much else is known but the coming soon banner sports a Coors Light logo, so probably not going to have Chimay on draft.

Jim’s Soft Pretzels, a mini-chain in town is coming to South Street. [Meal Ticket]

JD McGillicuddy’s is going into the former Freehouse location in Wayne. Expect an August 1st opening. [The Insider]

Just a degree of John Mims separation away, Carmine’s in Bryn Mawr has closed and will return as Verdad, a Spanish tapas restaurant. [The Insider]

The Saxby’s at the base of the Comcast Center has closed. For now the coffee shop is serving as a promotional display for Table 31.

Creole Trolling


“Carol,” commented on our story about John Mims being out at Carmine’s and Les Bons Temps. We put her name in quotes because who knows if there really is a Carol out there. This “Carol” also posted at PhillyMag.com on the original post as well as on the Main Line Restaurant Guide.

“Carol’s” email address is also invalid and bounced when we attempted to contact her.

Also, a comment from “Mysterio” came from the exact same IP address as “Carol’s” comment indicating it could be the same person.

“Carol” seems to has an axe to grind here, whether it is legit or not, remains to be seen.

Let’s not forget the Arbol Cafe fiasco.

John Mims Out

According to Philadelphia Magazine, John Mims, chef and owner of Carmine’s in Bryn Mawr and of Les Bons Temps in Center City is out at both places.

Philadelphia attorney Howard Taylor, confirmed the split, saying, “He’s not with us anymore, but otherwise, the staff remains intact.”

Reached this morning on his cell phone, Mims declined to get into specifics, as did Taylor, but made it pretty clear that things aren’t exactly civil: “The lawyers are involved. It’s going to be a really ugly divorce.”

And if you believe our commenter, Mims hasn’t been in the kitchen much at Les Bons Temps.

Exclusive: John Mims Out at Les Bons Temps and Carmine’s [Philadelphia Magazine]
Carmine’s Creole Cafe [Offical Site]
Les Bons Temps [Official Site]

Quick Bites

John Mims, the man behind the popular Carmine’s Creole Cafe is promising to come on down to Center City with a new Cajun-Creole spot, Les Bons Temps on 12th Street where TPDS once lived. [Food & Drinq]

Isaac McCrimmon is looking for a cool half million to get his Heroes concept off the ground. He wants to turn the old Engine 46 Steakhouse into a comic book themed restaurant with arcade gaming and Belgian beer. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

Manayunk Tavern is the first of a slate of new Manayunk restaurants gearing to open up in the next few months. The tavern will aim to attract an older crowd than many of Main Street’s bars by plying customers with 24 microbrews and affordable comfort food. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

Philly Chit Chat was at the 10 Arts presser and has photos to prove it, including a couple of shots of what Eric Ripert’s spot will look like when complete. [Philly Chit Chat]

There’s Friday brunch on the horizon at Las Bugambilias, Saturday and Sunday too. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

Carmine’s On The Move…. Again

Carmine's Creole Cafe
Carmine’s Creole Cafe which had moved from Havertown to Narberth in early 2005 is now heading up the Main Line to Bryn Mawr.

Success is the reason for the move. Bigger digs, the former Citron, will allow Carmine’s to offer a full service bar, bar menu and live music five nights a week.

Opening is scheduled for Thursday, January 11th, 2007.

Carmine’s Creole Cafe & Blues [Official Site]