Watch: First Look at New Season of Top Chef

Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and Sylva Senat | Photo via BRAVO TV

Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and Sylva Senat | Photo via BRAVO TV

The 14th season of Top Chef is set to begin on December 1st and Philadelphia’s culinary scene is set to have ample representation.

Sylva Senat, the Philadelphia-based chef who pioneered Dos Tacos and opened Tashan, will appear as a contestant. His dynamic resume includes working at Buddakan, graduating from Philadelphia’s Careers Through Culinary Arts Program and remaining a mentor. He is part of the team currently planning Maison 208Michael Solomonov, too, will appear as a guest judge this season.

Bravo released its first preview of the season yesterday and though Senat isn’t featured prominently in the preview, a back MRI and Padma flirting with the chefs make up for that.

Watch the preview »

Sylva Senat to Compete on Top Chef

SylvaSenatTop Chef is back for a 14th season and the still-popular Bravo show has plucked another Philadelphia-based chef to compete. Sylva Senat, who came up with Dos Tacos and was the man who opened Tashan on South Broad Street will be competing on this season from Charleston, South Carolina.

Senat’s resume is deep and varied. The Haitian native has cooked across the world including at Aquavit in New York and with Jean Georges’ restaurant at Trump Hotel. He also was chef de cuisine at 66 Leonard Street and Mercer Kitchen.

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Operators Announced for PHS Pop-Up Gardens

The PHS Pop Up Garden will return to the 1400 block of South Street | Photo via PHS

The PHS Pop Up Garden will return to the 1400 block of South Street | Photo via PHS

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has announced its designers and culinary teams for its two PHS Pop Up Gardens this summer. PHS returns to 15th and South for a third year on June 1st. The garden is being designed by Karen Regan of Tallulah & Bird. Regan created last year’s garden and this year is planning aged woods, inventive planters, antiques, flea market finds and curiosities to conjure a magical retreat. Plantings will include roses, fragrant herbs, cocktail cucumbers, a canopy of pink crape myrtles, climbing vines of hops, wisteria and clematis. As a centerpiece, there will be an illuminated, towering mulberry tree.

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Tashan Is Closing

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The tandoor ovens will cool after September 7th.

Tashan, the high-end Indian restaurant from Tiffin founder Munish Narula will close after dinner service on Monday, September 7th.

The attractive restaurant opened almost exactly four years ago to excellent reviews but never became the hard-to-get a reservation, must-be-seen-at restaurant that Narula envisioned it would become, and many, including this site practically demanded it be.

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Sylva Senat to Open Taco Shop at 15th and Sansom

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Thanks to HughE Dillon for the rendering of the interior of the new Dos Tacos

Everyone needs a project to distract them from the slings and arrows of daily life. Some people (shoutout to my dad) collect stamps. Others (also, shoutout to my dad) build model trains. And some people, the best people, open taco shops.

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Letto Deli To Be Razed, Replaced by New Restaurant

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Letto Deli, which has been reported to become everything from a Jose Garces wursthaus to a branch of the buzzed about Umami Burger is now slated to be demolished. But on the good side, the replacement for the single story building will house a restaurant. Michael Klein is reporting that Sylva Senat, who was the praised opening chef of Tashan will be in the kitchen.

Sylva Senat in deal at Letto Deli [The Insider]

Sylva Senat On The Books At Spice 28

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Sylva Senat was rather unceremoniously dismissed from his gig at Tashan back in June of this year, ending his critically-acclaimed run that won him love from just about every critic in town and three stars from our own Trey Popp. He went into consulting after that, taking on the task of helping to right the ship at Michael Schulson’s Saint James after it got savaged by pretty much every critic in town.

He finished up his tour in Ardmore at the Saint James in November. And now, according to the Insider, he’s come back to Center City to step in as a consultant at Spice 28–the two-chef Sichuan/fusion joint which got a two-star review from Trey in October. The Insider reports that Senat will be starting his tinkering on the fusion side and working forward from there.

Sylva Senat Consulting At Spice 28 [Insider]

Sylva Senat Lands at Ardmore’s Saint James

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: Modern Indian Cuisine with Sylva Senat of Tashan

Good news for fans of former Tashan chef Sylva Senat. Michael Klein reports that talented chef has landed at the Saint James in Ardmore. We feared the chef might head back to New York City but hadn’t considered the connection between Senat and the Saint James’ Michael Schulson. Senat cooked for Schulson when the energetic Schulson was Buddakan New York’s executive chef.

No word yet on a new menu but we’ll be following carefully.

Chef Sylva Senat lands on the Main Line [The Insider]

Photo by Yoni Nimrod

UPDATED: Sylva Senat On “Unofficial Vacation” From Tashan

SylvaSenat

The rumors have been circulating for a few days, but now we know for sure. Sylva Senat is no longer the chef at Tashan. Or Tiffin, Tiffin Bistro or any other of owner Munish Narula‘s properties.

I chatted briefly with Senat this afternoon, and while he didn’t have much to add (other than a confirmation that he is, in fact, no longer chef at Tashan), he did say that he was now a “free agent” (meaning that he doesn’t have another gig lined up yet), that his tenure in the kitchen at Tashan was “cut short” (meaning that he didn’t walk out on his own, but was asked to leave), and that he thinks the reason he was let go was because he “care[d] too much” (though, honestly, I’m not entirely sure what that means).

“It’s still a surreal moment,” Senat told me. “Articles are still coming out with my name on [them] for Tiffin Bistro, Groupon, et cetera.”

Narula hasn’t returned calls for comment on the loss of the chef that opened Tashan to critical acclaim. But needless to say, if there’s anyone out there looking to open a modern Indian restaurant (or, really, any other kind of restaurant) and is in the market for a blooded, veteran, award-winning chef, Senat would probably be happy to take your call.

UPDATE: According to the Insider, Kirti Pant, the chef brought in by Narula to run his new Tiffin Bistro, is now the chef at Tashan.

Tashan Review [Philly mag]

Tashan Does Delivery: Not Your Average Indian Take-Out

“What we are doing at Tashan will be more like elegant Dinner At Home experience. Everything about the service will have get a special touch of style, including the packaging and serving containers, napkins, and even utensils.”

So says Munish Narula, owner of Tashan, in discussing the brand new carry-out / delivery service the restaurant will be rolling out starting this Thursday. The kitchen will be offering the entire menu to-go (including all of the new dishes recently added by chef Sylva Senat), which means that you can now sit around on your couch in your underpants eating gol-gappa, tandoori lamb chops, baby octopus in red pepper sauce and screw-pine scented palak tikki in a saffron-morel mushroom cream sauce–which is just classy.

Right now, the delivery area includes Center City, Rittenhouse Square, Graduate Hospital, Bella Vista, Washington Square West, Queen Village and University City. And while that’s already a pretty sizable region to cover, Narula is saying it will probably get even bigger as the new service hits its stride.

Tashan Review [Philly mag]

Tashan [Official website]

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