March 26, 2013
YOU CAN spend years toiling in obscurity, hoping for a shot at the big time. Then, one day, someone taps your shoulder, and suddenly it's time to show the world what you're made of. That happened to Elijah Milligan earlier this month when he was named executive chef at Stateside, on East Passyunk Avenue. Just 24, he joins an exclusive club of executive chefs at standout restaurants in our city's lauded food scene. Milligan replaced hotshot George Sabatino, who had guided the now 2-year-old Stateside from obscure neighborhood spot to best restaurant in the city, according to Philadelphia magazine.
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.
July 18, 2012 |
SAN FRANCISCO - California's new ban on the production and sale of foie gras took eight years to go into effect, but restaurants have wasted little time in finding creative ways to duck the law. The delicacy sparked the ire of animal rights' activists because it is made from the engorged livers of ducks or geese that are force fed through funnel-like tubes. It became illegal in the state this month to make or sell food derived from force-fed birds. Restaurateurs and chefs, however, are using loopholes and clever wordplay to keep the dish on the market, a sign that passions run high on both sides of the issue.
July 14, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Taking aim at California's pioneering efforts to bolster animal safety, the House Agriculture Committee has moved to block states from imposing their own standards for agriculture products on producers from other states. That could jeopardize California laws to protect chickens as well as one to ban foie gras, which took effect this month. The panel's amendment to the farm bill was a response to a California law, which will take effect in 2015, that requires that all eggs sold in the state be produced by hens held in cages big enough to allow the chickens to stand and spread their wings.
May 25, 2012 |
DOES ANY foodstuff carry as much baggage for Americans as escargot or foie gras? When it comes to escargot, it can be hard to move beyond the old pop-cultural image of snail as "snob food. " Plus, for many newbies, there's a primal, knee-jerk repulsion to the animal itself or to the presentation that, when done badly, can look like boogers. And when it come to foie gras — the third rail of the food world — it's difficult to steer any discussion of fatty duck or goose liver away from the ethical or political and back toward the culinary.
October 7, 2010 |
Montreal, it's often said, is as close to Paris as North America gets. And there's no denying that first impression: I could feel a frisson of old France slide into my mind as we rumbled along cobbled Rue St. Paul past charcuteries and cafes up to our charming hotel in Vieux Montreal. But from the opening bites of our first meal at Joe Beef - broiled razor clams Casino and sublime raw Stanley Bridge oysters with bracing Prince Edward Island brine - it was clear that chefs in this Francophone city had eagerly embraced the touchstone flavors of their Canadian DNA. But that go-local impulse, thriving in Philadelphia and along the East Coast, hits a lusty high gear in Montreal, where the meat-centric kitchens cook for winter all year long, and even warm-weather meals come laced with rich poutine gravy and foie gras.
March 11, 2010 |
In patisseries across France, delicate sandwich cookies in every color of the rainbow take their place beside elegant eclairs, tarts and other works of pastry art. French macarons - not to be confused with chewy coconut macaroons - are tiny dome-shaped pastry shells filled with ganache, buttercream or fruit mixtures. They're gently crunchy on the outside, light as air and chewy inside. But these days, there's no need to hop a plane to enjoy them. You can find the dainty treats in various pastry shops and in the freezer case at Trader Joe's.
January 10, 2010 |
A curious gust of chestnut soups has settled in this season, without apparent rhyme or, well, who needs a reason, overstaying the normal autumn run. No shared motive emerges. And sometimes stuff just happens - like the sudden uptick in local, house-made hot dogs and the remakes of, yes, scrapple (with crab, with just vegetables, and with foie gras, or partly foie gras.) At Meme, the corner spot at 22d and Spruce Streets, chef David Katz made a batch of his abidingly simple puree (just chestnuts, onion, chicken stock, and a dab of crème fraîche)
May 14, 2009 |
Le Bec-Fin alum Pierre Calmels and his wife, Charlotte, are about a week into Bibou (1009 S. Eighth St., 215-965-8290), their homey, cash-only BYOB in the tiny corner storefront near the Italian Market that previously was Pif. The French-born and -trained Calmels' first U.S. job was in the 1990s at Daniel in New York. He relocated to Switzerland, where he met Charlotte working at the same hotel. In August 2001, he got a job in the United States and asked her to follow him. She's worked at Brasserie Perrier, the Restaurant School as an instructor, gourmet grocer Assouline & Ting, Patou, and Bistro St. Tropez.
April 19, 2009 |
Only a comma separates local from seasonal, at least in most applications, which tend to involve this time of year the signage on soggy farm stands and above sparse market bins and the fine print on the back of menus, suffixed with the legalistic disclaimer "when possible. " But early April - especially a rainy, raw one like we endured last week - can make the distance seem less a pause than a stand-off: Seasonal is one thing. Local is another matter. So you find yourself at Cafe Estelle, devouring a plate of grilled scallions with a roasted red-pepper and ground-almond romesco sauce in the venerable rite-of-spring Spanish tradition.