Interviews

Jose Garces Is Making a Comeback With Stella. Here’s What He Has to Say About It.

Philly’s Iron Chef has a brand-new restaurant in Bucks County.


stella jose garces

With Stella, Jose Garces is making comeback. Illustration by James Boyle

We opened Stella because … I’ve had a farm in Ottsville, about 25 minutes from New Hope, since 2010. I grew organic vegetables and really embraced the Bucks County lifestyle and the community. For me, that place was a sanctuary.

We’ve made some big changes this year, including … updating every single menu in all of our restaurants. It was a pretty big undertaking.

Returning to cooking … was exciting. I was focusing on business matters for some time, but as a creative person, I had a lot of pent-up food ideas that had been circulating in my head.

Stella’s menu is … 20 dishes that we just felt captured the American spirit, from spaghetti pie finished with warm truffle cream to vegetable fried rice with kimchi and a fried duck egg.

This business is … an ever-evolving learning experience, and I think that’s kept me going for so many years.

Next, we’re focusing on … all of our existing brands and concepts in Philadelphia, down the Shore, and in New York. Our plate is full. If I’ve learned anything, it’s to just stay focused.

Published as “Breaking Bread With … Jose Garces” in the September 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.