Taste: Dining Out: Dinner With … Walter Staib

Chef/owner, the City Tavern, and author of the new The City Tavern Cookbook: Recipes from the Birthplace of American Cuisine

Why people should give a damn about 18th-century cooking: Simply put, the food was just so superior. Whether the Colonials ever dieted: They ate lots of vegetables. Whether you’ve ever considered dieting: I just dropped 45 pounds! Why you don’t commute via horse-and-carriage: You know, I should ride a horse instead of my gas-­guzzling Expedition. But I have to schlep liquor. Number of times you’ve worn your Colonial garb to a Phillies game: Never. I’ve only worn it once this year. The lace sleeves make it really impractical for sauté action. Whether Mrs. Staib finds said garb sexy: She’s fairly tired of it. She makes all of the costumes at City Tavern herself. It’s a real headache. Thoughts on the perception that City Tavern is a tourist trap: I am the Rodney Dangerfield of chefs in Philadelphia. I get no respect. This is my biggest beef. But I would personally stand against any chef in town.