Remember back a couple weeks ago when we wrote about Kevin Sbraga’s No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength charity dinner? Of the five chefs that Sbraga was bringing on to cook with him (Walter Abrams, Shola Olunloyo, Jonathan Adams, David Katz and Nick Elmi), four of them were currently without kitchens, and the joke around Foobooz World HQ was, what does Kevin Sbraga know about Nick Elmi–the sole working chef on the list–that we don’t?
Well apparently he really did know something because word came down this weekend that Elmi was leaving his position as chef at Rittenhouse Tavern to open a restaurant of his own. Which means that Sbraga’s dinner can now function as a kind of support group for Philadelphia chefs without kitchens (including three former Perrier vets: Adams, Elmi and Abrams) as well as raising money for a good cause.
No Kid Hungry [Official]
Kevin Sbraga is hosting a charity dinner benefitting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. The $150 dinner will feature five courses from five different chefs including four who currently don’t have restaurants to call their own (Walter Abrams, Shola Olunloyo, Jonathan Adams and David Katz). The event goes down on Tuesday, May 14th and reservations are available through Sbraga.
If Le Bec Fin became Le Bec 2.0 on the day that Nicolas Fanucci took it over from Georges Perrier and brought it back to the good old days of elegance and opulence that marked its most defining era, then what do we call it now? Is it Le Bec 2.5 because chef Walter Abrams has been shown the door (Steve Eckerd has been standing as interim chef de cuisine ever since) and a new exec has yet to be found? Will it be Le Bec 3.0 when a new big hat is chosen to step behind the stoves?
Or, now that it has been announced that Fanucci has decided to allow a la carte ordering again (the thing that some would argue precipitated the fall of the original Le Bec), do we call it Le Bec 1.5?
Steven Eckerd has been named the interim chef de cuisine at Le Bec Fin. According to a statement released by the restaurant, Walter Abrams and his fiance and executive pastry chef Jennifer Smith remain part of the “umbrella investment group.
Eckerd is from Etters, PA (a stone’s throw from Three Mile Island) and has been with Le Bec Fin since Nicolas Fanucci reopened the Walnut Street restaurant. Eckerd graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and has worked at Restaurant Daniel, Fish, Osteria and Vetri. At Le Bec he networked with local farmers to provide the restaurant with produce and proteins. He has also been responsible for Le Bec’s bread program.
Also announced today, Abigail Dahan has been promoted to pastry chef. Dahan has also been at Le Bec Fin since Fanucci took over. The native of France has also worked at the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia and Orlando while most recently was at Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas.
No word on what Abrams and Smith might do in the future but the titles bestowed on Eckerd and Dahan, leave room for additional hires in the future.
Word came down last night that Walter Abrams–opening chef of Le Bec 2.0 and the guy that new owner Nicolas Fanucci brought in with him from California to right the ship after he bought the place from Georges Perrier last year–has been given his walking papers.
From what we understand, one of the (now former) sous chefs already in the kitchen at Le Bec will be running the show starting tonight.
So what happened?
This Wednesday is Food Day. The name may not be inventive but the nation-wide event does promote healthy, sustainable and affordable food as well as push to reform factory farms.
At Chez Georges beneath Le Bec Fin, Nicolas Fanucci and Walter Abrams are offering a $60 three-course dinner ($35 wine pairing option) that highlights the best that the Philadelphia area has to offer. Local purveyors and farmers for Le Bec Fin will be on hand to discuss their sustainable businesses.
And even if you clean your plates, you won’t leave empty-handed. A CSA goodie-bag will be given to all guests.
Starting this Thursday, September 20th and continuing every week, Chez Georges at Le Bec Fin will be holding a series of wine tastings for just $40 a person. Head sommelier Philippe Sauriat will choose a new set of wines based around a theme each week while chef Walter Abrams will prepare canapes to pair with the wines.
This week’s theme is old versus new world Syrah and Sauriat will be on hand to educate his guests on the 4-6 wines that they will be tasting. The tasting will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sub $100 cost-certainty at Le Be Fin, we’ll be checking it out.
To get in on the action call 215-567-1000.
Chez Georges at Le Bec Fin [Facebook]
Le Bec Fin is back in its new iteration on Walnut Street, with chef Walter Abrams in command of the kitchen. And while much has been said about his California–inflected modern French menu on the main floor, we wanted to talk to him about the less formal, more rustic board being served downstairs in the reimagined Chez Georges. Here’s what he had to say about one of his early menus there.
When Foobooz posted the opening menu for Le Bec Fin 2.0 back in June, commenters had a lot of questions—and snark—about a menu item listing “foraged herbs.” Were foraged herbs delicious, risky (as in, potentially toxic), or just an irritating ploy to sound hip?
Nobody knew, so I asked chef Walter Abrams about it on the phone as I was working on my review. One of the things he mentioned was interesting, but since there’s only so much room on the page (and because I hadn’t eaten this particular thing), I didn’t write about it. But since inquiring minds want to know…