Because Every Great Party Needs A Turkey-Shaped Shot Luge…

Such a noble creature...

Such a noble creature…

This showed up in my mailbox over the weekend. An email from Nick Elmi at Laurel and ITV, titled “Wild Turkey from a turkey’s ass.” It begins:

Jason,

I think we have a really great/really stupid idea for Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Since its the “biggest drinking day of the year” and we( I mean us) all need a reason to wind down we figured ITV could do something fun.

What came next was possibly one of the best ideas I’ve heard so far this holiday season.

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More Collaboration: San Francisco’s Coi Taking Over The Laurel Kitchen

Cocoa-cured foie gras at Laurel | Photography by Jason Varney and Samuel Markey

Cocoa-cured foie gras at Laurel | Photography by Jason Varney and Samuel Markey

Yesterday, we were pleased to announce the return of something we haven’t seen in a little while–a collaboration dinner between the teams at Will and Jaxon. It was interesting to us because it has seemed like the collaboration dinner has been a fading trend lately, something overwhelmed or forgotten under the summer’s glut of food events, tasting menus, bar takeovers and whiskey, wine or beer dinners.

And that’s fine. These kind of things? They come and go. But collaborations are almost always exciting because unlike some special event menu or pairing (where, generally, the same crew is working in the same kitchen they always do, with all their influences and biases intact), the collaboration introduces a chaos element into things: The arrival of a whole new chef (or a whole new crew) with their own ideas about what food is supposed to look and taste like.

So one collaboration dinner? That’s good news. But two is (we hope) starting to look like the return of a trend. And the one that’s coming up at Laurel looks like it could be a good one.

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Fried Chicken And Donut Pop-Up At ITV

ITV | Photo by Ted Nghiem

ITV | Photo by Ted Nghiem

Here’s some big news for those of you enamored of the intersection between science and junk food. Alex Talbot of Ideas In Food is coming to Nick Elmi’s ITV for a one-night-only pop-up. And he’s bringing his fried chicken and donuts with him.

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Local Chefs Star in Redo of Terminal B at PHL

elmi-american-phl-terminal-b-940

This is how you do an announcement. Roll in the jet, roll out the red carpet. Nick Elmi at PHL.

Yesterday afternoon, American Airlines, Philadelphia International Airport and airport hospitality firm, OTG put on an impressive show to announce a $30 million overhaul of PHL’s Terminal B. That overhaul will include eateries from eight well known local chefs and restaurateurs.

The event took place at American Airlines huge hanger at the southern end of the airport. The chefs and restaurateurs, including Top Chef winners Nick Elmi and Kevin Sbraga descended the steps of a sparkling American Airlines plane to take their places along with PHL’s CEO Rochelle Cameron, Cedric Rockamore of American Airlines and OTG’s founder Rick Blatstein. After a highly-polished video about the transformation of Terminal B, samples of each restaurant’s food, plus wine and beer were brought out.

The project has been in the pipeline for a number of years old and several of the chefs involved admitted, that they thought their involvement was dead. When complete, the overhauled terminal will have eight new eateries and thousands of iPads from which to order food right to the gate.

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Nick Elmi Is Opening a Bar

Photo by Claudia Gavin

Photo by Claudia Gavin

Last May Nick Elmi went to work on securing a liquor license and expanding into the former coffee shop that is next door to his Laurel. The initial plan was to add some seating and install a bar. But here we are more than seven months later and that hasn’t happened.

So when we caught up with Elmi at Philly Cooks, we asked him what was up. Elmi, whose Laurel has been named the top restaurant in the city for the past two years, has decided not to mess up the good thing he has going at Laurel. So Laurel remains BYOB though he does now offer a $60 wine pairing for those interested.

About the bar »

The Fall Menu at Morgan’s Pier

View from the Crows Nest at Morgan's Pier

View from the Crows Nest at Morgan’s Pier

The fall menu at Morgan’s Pier debuts tomorrow, Wednesday September 23rd. Among the fall bites from chef-in-residence Nick Elmi, tater tots poutine, smashed local squash with pumpkin seed, smoked kielbasa and more.

Also there’s been a change in Morgan’s Pier Guest Chef Series. Will’s Chris Kearse replaces Michael Solomonov on the weekend of October 10th and 11th.

Full Fall Fest menu »

Morgan’s Pier Is Keeping It Going Through Fall

morgans-pier-fall-400Labor Day has come and gone but Morgan’s Pier is keeping things interesting down on the Delaware River. The bar and restaurant remains open through Halloween and is adding some new programming to keep people heading to the riverfront.

Chef-in-residence Nick Elmi is creating a new fall menu; the venue will also be hosting Popeapalooza while Pope Francis is in town; Philadelphia chefs will be making appearances as part of a guest chef series; and after a transformation of the space into Fall Fest, the outdoor season will end with a Halloween bash on Saturday, October 31st.

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We Tried Out Nick Elmi’s Crow’s Nest

The Crow's Nest. Photo by Jason Melcher

The Crow’s Nest. Photo by Jason Melcher

You can head to Morgan’s Pier for a drink and any of the delicious options on chef Nick Elmi‘s menu any time you want. But now you can also grab a group of 20 and get seated above all the ruckus in their newly opened chef’s table, the Crow’s Nest, lofted over the bar.

We checked it out this past Monday. Curious to know what it was like? Read on…

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Nick Elmi Releases His Morgan’s Pier Menu

Philly knows it's close to summer when Morgan's Pier re-opens for the season, and this Thursday, you can get a little taste of the warm weather and sun to come as the outdoor beer garden welcomes back guests. This year, Chef Nick Elmi, from TV's Top Chef, will be at the helm, creating memorable snacks and meals that you'll be able to enjoy throughout the venue. Opens Thursday, April 30th, various times, Morgan's Pier, 220 North Columbus Boulevard.

So you guys remember that Morgan’s Pier is opening tomorrow, right? And that Nick Elmi–our newest Top Chef winner, the man behind Laurel, the best new restaurant in Philly according to our most recent 50 Best Restaurants list–is in charge of all the food you’ll be stuffing yourself with this summer?

This is all very important information. But what’s most important today–just a scant few hours before Morgan’s Pier lights up for the season–is that we just got a copy of Elmi’s full menu. And that now we’re showing it to you.

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