October 3, 2012 |
THE LAST time you saw Jen Carroll on national TV, she was standing in front of the judges on "Top Chef All-Stars. " Carroll, a Somerton native, faced down Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons and Anthony Bourdain. The "cheftestant" stared at them. Hard. She also shared her feelings. Strongly. She was, in a word, displeased. Angry. Frustrated. Pissed off. After winning challenge after challenge on season 6 of "Top Chef" in 2009, and earning a spot in the finals that season, Carroll had come back to Bravo the next year to compete against other top non-winners from previous seasons.
September 28, 2012 |
LOS ANGELES - A chef who told police he boiled his wife's body for four days to hide evidence of her death was convicted Thursday of second-degree murder. David Viens showed no reaction as the verdict was read. The sister of his victim burst out sobbing. In a recorded interrogation presented by prosecutors during the trial, Viens, 49, can be heard saying that he cooked the body of his wife, Dawn , 39, in late 2009 until little was left but her skull. "He treated her like a piece of meat and got rid of her," said Karen Patterson, the couple's best friend who spoke with reporters outside court.
September 25, 2012 |
There's another Garces in this town. Her name is Beatriz, and she's usually an addendum to news items about her husband, the famed Iron Chef-restaurateur Jose. But Beatriz Mirabal Garces, who calls her megastar hubby "Big G" and is known, in turn, as "Little G," is quietly making her own mark in Philadelphia - as a dentist committed to quality dental care for underserved immigrants and as cocreator with Jose of the new Garces Family Foundation with even bigger goals. "We both felt we've been in Philadelphia for more than 10 years, we've been very fortunate with the restaurants doing so well, and it was time to give back to a cause near to our hearts," says Beatriz, 36, who grew up in Cuba, emigrated to the U.S. in 1994, and became a citizen in 1999.
September 20, 2012 |
LOS ANGELES - A chef on trial Tuesday for his wife's murder told sheriff's investigators that they couldn't find his wife's body because he had cooked it for four days in boiling water until little was left but her skull. Los Angeles Superior Court jurors heard David Viens make the statements in a recorded interview with sheriff's investigators that was played in court during his murder trial. "I just slowly cooked it and I ended up cooking her for four days," Viens could be heard saying on the recording, according to the Los Angeles Times . Viens gave detectives the interview as he lay in a hospital bed in March 2011, after leaping off an 80-foot cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes when he learned that he was a suspect in the late-2009 disappearance of his wife, Dawn, 39, whose body was never found.
September 14, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Philadelphia's capital culinary cred was on display here last week, when seven area chefs were named to the American Chef Corps, a new State Department program engaging the country's top toques to foster diplomacy among nations. Chef Joe Cicala of Le Virtú, who was thrilled to be tapped along with some of his "culinary heroes," believes this is an opportunity for him to serve his country with what he does best. Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix, the old-guard French master at the restaurant that still bears his name after his departure, considers it a chance to show the world how far American cuisine has evolved.
September 12, 2012 |
Flying knives and invective? One of the hardest parts of Christina Wilson 's experience on the Fox series Hell's Kitchen was the long year of keeping quiet about the outcome. Monday night, she was named the winner of Season 10 of the Gordon Ramsay cooking drama, and she starts Wednesday on her $250,000 contract as chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas. Suspicions were heightened after her return from taping, when she quit her chef de cuisine job at Mercato, a BYOB on Spruce Street.
September 8, 2012 |
If hometown spirit counted in the scoring, a trio of regular Philly folk would have won $25,000 on Beat the Chefs Thursday night. They wore Phillies uniforms, made cheesesteaks their chowdown-showdown challenge, brought Amoroso rolls and bottles of Yards Brawler, and whooped it up appropriately, despite a not-so-laidback Los Angeles chef snarling about Philly being so angry. Alas, at the end of the Game Show Network program, taped in L.A. in July, the judges shot down the efforts of beer-industry consultant Michael Pearlman, his fiancee, designer Stephanie Singer, and food-cart novice Joe Hardy.
September 7, 2012 |
For the last several summers, Bridget Gray's job could be described as culinary curator. As part of the staff behind the food-focused fund-raiser known as Feastival, she is charged with overseeing the menu items that nearly 90 restaurants and bars will serve Wednesday. She has to keep the selections diverse, to satisfy the 700 or so patrons who are paying upward of $250 a head for the night of entertainment and cocktail-party-style nibbling at Pier 9 on the Delaware River. This third Feastival - whose participants are wrangled by restaurateurs Stephen Starr, Michael Solomonov, and Audrey Claire Taichman - is expected to raise $400,000 for the Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe.
September 6, 2012
Excerpts from Craig LaBan's Tuesday chat: Craig LaBan: Good afternoon, my hungry friends, and welcome back to Philly Food Chat Central. What's been making your plates hum of late? I know I've been eating well, as you can tell from last Sunday's three-bell review of Vernick Food & Drink, one of the best new restaurants in a year that's already been memorable. I've also had a chance to cook some favorite things at home. With leftover pizza toppings I wrapped meaty fillets of fresh cod in a band of sheer prosciutto and basil leaves.
August 23, 2012 |
Christopher Kearse is a chef's chef - a well-traveled Levittown native and 2005 Restaurant School grad who worked at top rooms such as Charlie Trotter's, Tru, Alinea, and French Laundry, and then as a sous chef at Lacroix and Blackfish, followed by 2½ years as chef de cuisine at Pumpkin. Hard worker, meticulous, cool under fire, creative - but not widely known outside the restaurant world. Ask young chefs Jason Cichonski, Chip Roman, Jessie Prawlucki, Lee Styer, and Matt Levin who would be in their top-five around town, and all will drop his name.