Of all the wandering Philly chefs without a kitchen to call home, Jen Carroll may have been kitchen-less the longest.
Ever since her post-Top Chef exit from her gig at 10 Arts (and a couple of abortive attempts at opening restaurants of her own here and in NYC), she has been consulting, doing guest chef gigs and, now, is headed back to the small screen to compete on Top Chef Duels.
Curtis Stone is hosting, Gail Simmons and Hugh Acheson are at the judge’s table. Wolfgang Puck is hosting the Duels version of Last Chance Kitchen (called “The Knockout”) which will be available online. Bravo is bringing out the big guns and trying to really make this new spin-off a thing.
Yes, there’s a video
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.
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Photo via COOK
Michael Klein posted his 2014 Philadelphia Restaurant Forecast with all sorts of juicy bits of news and rumor.
Stephen Starr and Aimee Olexy are going to be collaborating on another new restaurant. Not many details are revealed but we know Starr has been hiring for a new Italian concept in Philadelphia. Whether this is it or not isn’t so clear. But we have heard whispers of not one but two wood-fired ovens.
UPDATE: Michael Klein is now reporting that Starr and Olexy are going into business together in Fishtown. The next collaboration will be at 1526-30 Frankford Avenue, next to Philadelphia Record Exchange. The project will contain a vegetable garden and will open this spring.
More opening dates and rumors »
Photo by HughE Dillon
COOK, Bonfire/Electric Factory are kicking off the first in a series of visiting chef appearances at Underground Arts this evening. The concept is that chefs have become the new rockstars and Underground Arts is bringing food and music together with guest chefs whipping up playful and affordable bar food for concert goers. Tonight’s show is a first Thursday club night and will feature Tennis, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Savoir Adore and On and On. Jen Carroll will be behind the burners for the inaugural event. Admission is $15 and all food proceeds benefit Philabundance.
Jennifer Carroll’s menu »
In case you’ve been living in a highly air-conditioned cave, it’s been like a thousand degrees outside lately. It’s true: we’re officially embroiled in the throes of summer. But fret not, because everyone knows that the only cure for those dog days of summer is … hot dogs!
On Saturday, July 20th from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., the South Street Headhouse District, in conjunction with Hot Diggity, will host the 2nd Annual Dog Days of Summer Hot Dog Cook-Off contest and celebration. The event will be held at the historic Headhouse Shambles, located on 400 block of South 2nd Street between Lombard and Pine.
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After 9 p.m. at Emmanuelle tonight is a special industry fundraiser. The Northern Liberties cocktail bar will be offering special cocktails made with Philadelphia Distilling products. Jen Carroll will also be lending a hand, whipping up free snacks. The cocktails are $5 and the night is also a fundraiser for Wine to Water, a charity that aims to bring clean water to people around the world.
Emmanuelle [Official Site]
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.
Saturday Night was ACHIEVEability’s Food for Thought charity event, where more than thirty local restaurants prepared tasting plates for guests of the event.
HughE Dillon was there and in this photo captured just about all the news to be had at the charity event. Chip Roman, owner of Blackfish, Mica and Ela was on hand showing off his new line of Bluestone candies. Jen Carroll was helping out Phoebe Esmon as Esmon served a couple of different punches for the assembled, but Carroll couldn’t help but come to the aid of Karl Isaiah, of Cake Boulangerie, who was serving solo next to Esmon’s cocktail stand.
Our favorite dishes »
Been a big day in Eric Ripert news. First came word that he was stepping away from the Ritz-Carlton’s Westend Bistro in Washington D.C. effective January 1st. And now the Insider is reporting that Ripert is also ending his association with 10 Arts at the Ritz-Carlton here in Philly–the place that made Jen Carroll famous before that whole Top Chef thing. The reason? Some mystery restaurant in NYC affiliated with his celebrated fish palace, Le Bernardin.
For the time being, 10 Arts staff (including sous chef Nathan Volz) will continue to operate 10 Arts as 10 Arts, but what we’re wondering over here is whether a recent visit by Jose Andres (who recently began a partnership with Ritz-Carlton at their new, ultra-luxury property, Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico) to the kitchens at 10 Arts while he was in Philly has anything to do with anything.
Because, seriously, losing The Ripper sucks. But trading him for Jose Andres would go a long way toward making me feel better…
Eric Ripert Leaving 10 Arts [The Insider]