James Beard Award Semifinalists Announced

james-beard-semisToday at noon, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its 2015 Restaurant and Chef Awards.

Abe Fisher and Townsend were Best New Restaurant nominees. Michael Solomonov and Marc Vetri got nods for Outstanding Chef and Ellen Yin’s new restaurant group received three nominations. Fork was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant and Alex Bois (High Street on Market) and Jon Nodler (a.kitchen) received rising stars nominations.

The nominees »

Garrett Snider Benefit for Marc Vetri Foundation’s Eatiquette

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Last week at the Rittenhouse Hotel Garrett Snider and The Garrett Getlin Snider Foundation hosted a benefit to raise awareness for The Vetri Foundation For Children’s Eatiquette program. On hand to explain how the Eatiquette program works was Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin, co-founders of the Vetri Foundation, who told us that the program is one of its newest methods of bringing healthy choices to the school lunchroom. It’s an effort to make kids lunches less an assembly line and more a relaxed eating atmosphere with healthy choices. The program also teaches kids healthy ways to prepare dishes from locally sourced ingredients. Guests were treated to dishes that you might find at the program, as well as specialty drinks that are not on the menu at the school.

Photos from the Garrett Snider Benefit for Marc Vetri’s Eatiquette after the jump »

Lo Spiedo Reviewed

Murals by "Distort," the same artist who did the much more wild artwork at Alla Spina.

Adam Erace has a new favorite Vetri restaurant and it’s Lo Spiedo. The newly opened restaurant at the southern end of Broad Street impresses the City Paper critic with its cocktails, its burger and its pasta. Surprisingly, he isn’t in love with the entrees that come off Lo Spiedo’s namesake spit but he has does have praise for other dishes coming off chef Scott Calhoun’s wood-fired grill.

Scott Calhoun is a stud that deserves as much of the credit as his mentor. I couldn’t quit the Lancaster native’s smoky spit-roasted cabbage in a crock of Gorgonzola fonduta, or the sponge of cornbread soaked in rotisserie drippings. Al dente rigatoni tossed with spit-roasted tomato sauce and ricotta salata had such depth of flavor, I barely believed him when he told me it was vegetarian.

 

Vetri’s latest, Lo Spiedo is firing on all cylinders at the Navy Yard [City Paper]
Lo Spiedo [Foobooz]

VIDEO: A Look Inside Vetri’s Classroom And Tasting Kitchen

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We’ve talked before about the classes Marc Vetri and his team hold upstairs in the newly remodeled test kitchen-slash-classroom space above his eponymous restaurant. It’s the kind of place where you have the opportunity to get up close and personal with your favorite members of Team Vetri, eat a bunch of awesome food and, as a bonus, learn how to make some delicious pasta (or chocolate, or gnocchi, or whatever) in the process.

What we didn’t know was just how up close and cozy the classes here get. As shown in the video below, this isn’t just about having Marc Vetri teach you how to make dinner, this is actually making dinner with Marc Vetri.

Read more »

Michael Solomonov and Marc Vetri on Being a Celebrity Chef in Philadelphia

Marc Vetri and Michael Solomonov. Photograph by Dustin Fenstermacher

Marc Vetri and Michael Solomonov. Photograph by Dustin Fenstermacher

[Sitting in Vetri’s recently renovated upstairs private dining room]

Michael: Wow, look at this. I used to sleep on a cot in that corner.

Marc: Yeah, it used to be this crappy apartment.

PM: When Michael worked for you, Marc, did you notice his talent right away? Can you spot talent?

Marc: I used to think that I could really figure folks out when they walked into the kitchen. But after a certain amount of time — ya know, two months, three months — they can walk out and you never see them again. They leave their knife bag and everything. They are just gone. So I really don’t think I can say that anymore.

Michael: It’s a generational thing, because when you and I first met, there certainly wasn’t anything like that happening here. Read more »

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