There’s been a persistent rumor running through the restaurant community that Jennifer Carroll‘s NYC project, Concrete Blonde, has fallen apart and that she has come back to Philadelphia. We’ve heard about her consulting, helping out beleaguered bakers, and hanging out all over town. What we didn’t have was any concrete proof (concrete, get it?) that she was back in any kind of permanent way. Until now.
This is the profile page for Jennifer Carroll’s twitter account. See down there in the last line? Where it says “Philly”?
Up until recently, that used to say “Philly / New York”. But not anymore.
Welcome home, Jen.
UPDATE: Grub Street gets word directly from Jennifer Carroll that her Concrete Blonde project in West Village is dead.
Curious about what’s happening with Jen Carroll’s new Greenwich Village version of Concrete Blonde? Even more curious about the events that transpired which drew her out of the confines of Philly and into the deep waters of the NYC restaurant scene? Well, over on the Philly Post, Richard Rys has some of the answers–which include ex-boyfriends, battles with investors, the loss of a damn-near-perfect Center City location (rhymes with Schmarathon…) and the magic of television.
Here’s a taste:
[Carroll] refuses to nail down a target opening date (“sometime in 2013”), and acknowledges that while her Top Chef cachet kept her afloat this past year, it may work against her in a city where jaded gourmands feast on failed celebuchefs. Her plan to avoid that fate is blunt, as usual: “The food has to be fucking amazing,” she says. “I need to live up to it. If not, it’s my fault.”
You can check out the whole interview right now, over on the Philly Post. Just follow the link below.
Jen Carroll Dishes On Her New York Restaurant [Philly Post]
Bravo TV’s Life after Top Chef
is set to debut on October 3rd. The show will follow Richard Blais, Fabio Viviani, Spike Mendelsohn and Philadelphian Jennifer Carroll
in their life after appearing on Top Chef
. Of particular interest to Foobooz readers will be Carroll’s struggles to open her Concrete Blonde
restaurant in Philadelphia.
Life after Top Chef [Official Site]
Jennifer Carroll Bio [Life After Top Chef]
Eater is reporting that Jennifer Carroll’s name has appeared on the agenda of a Manhattan community board, applying for a liquor license for a space in the West Village. Could this mean that Concrete Blonde is happening in New York and not Philadelphia?
Jen Carroll Eyes Restaurant Space in NYC’s West Village [Eater]
You would think that being famous, a proven talent, and having a Bravo TV crew following you around would be a good way to attract investors and get yourself into a restaurant of your own. But then again, this is the restaurant business so, apparently, you’d be wrong.
Grub Street talked to local hero/Top Chef cheftestant Jen Carroll about what was happening with her new restaurant concept, Concrete Blonde, and she let them know that while she was super-duper close to getting everything in line, at the last minute her investors bailed out and left her in Nowheresville. So what happens next?
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Jen Carroll is hosting a private pop-up tasting of her forthcoming Concrete Blonde restaurant tonight. The dinner will be hosted at Meme and will reportedly be filmed by BRAVO for their new series, Life After Top Chef. Carroll’s former sous chef and Open Stove contestent Aaron Gottesman will also be helping Carroll out in Meme’s open kitchen.
Check out the menu of seared yellowfin tuna, black bass and Border Springs Lamb over at Michael Klein’s site. Eater has more on who will be preparing the drinks.
Chef Jen Carroll Test Drives Her Menu [The Insider]
Jen Carroll Previewing New Restaurant, Concrete Blonde [Eater]
Photo via PhillyChitChat
Foobooz Open Stove Night
Last night, we held our first official Foobooz Open Stove Night battle at Cook and it was a killer: Packed house, noble competitors doing glorious combat, special guest judges, surprise plot twists. It had everything anyone could ask for in a serious cooking competition, including enough booze to float a battleship and more ramen than you could shake a stick at.
In keeping with the rules, our two challengers were working guys–sub-chef-level pros willing to step up and face off in full view of the paying public. We had Jim Kenngott, sous chef from La Calaca Feliz and Aaron Gottesman, currently taking a turn through the kitchen at Sbraga, soon to be on the opening line at Jen Carroll’s Concrete Blonde. Both guys knew they were cooking ramen. Both were instructed to bring an appropriate appetizer and a dessert.
But that, in a nutshell, was all they knew.
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