One of Philadelphia’s most well-known kitchen-less chefs will have a home for the night when Jen Carroll steps behind the stoves to work as sous chef for Marcus Samuelsson, who is coming to town as part of the First Person Arts festival.
Tonight is the ultimate showdown for the $100,000 on Bravo’s Top Chef Duels. Philadelphia’s chef Jennifer Carroll is going after the bragging rights, a feature in Food and Wine Magazine, and the money in tonight’s all-black dish battle.
After creating a dish bursting with flavor but only black in color, two chefs will be chosen to move onto the final Duel, while the other 8 remaining chefs battle it out for the last two spots by cooking up an all-white dish.
Top Chef Duels Finale [Bravo TV]
Bravo brings back Jennifer Carroll for tonight’s episode of “Top Chef Duels.” The Philadelphia native battles Los Angeles chef, Nyesha Arrington. The newest edition to Bravo’s “Top Chef” franchise is on Wednesdays at 10 p.m.
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.