August 22, 2011
Who: The James Beard-awarded Philly chef operates seven local restaurants (Amada, Distrito, Garces Trading Co., Tinto . . . ) and won Season 2 of Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef. " Age: 39. From: Chicago. Where now: Center City and Ottsville, Bucks County. On TV: See him face Tuscan-Italian chef Cesare Casella in a seafood-centric battle in Kitchen Stadium on "Iron Chef America" on the Food Network at 10 p.m. Sunday. Touch that dial: Iron Chef, schmiron chef.
October 5, 2012 |
The lovely aroma of roasted pork and onions rises from the griddle as José Garces prepares carnitas - a favorite recipe from his just-published cookbook, The Latin Road Home - at his farmhouse in Ottsville, Bucks County. While the house itself is charmingly simple, the back deck where he's cooking is anything but. He has essentially installed an outdoor restaurant kitchen here, with a flattop griddle, a charbroiler, a cook top, a deck oven, a fryer, and of course, running water and refrigeration.
March 28, 2013 |
It's Thursday, and your restaurant has 150 people in the book for Saturday night. The meat guy pulls up out back as the produce and beer trucks drive away. Kitchen and waitstaffs are scheduled. Then Friday morning, the weather calls for a storm. It doesn't matter if they're saying "possibly affecting the Poconos," the cancellations pour in. Such is the life of a restaurateur. But not the lot of a caterer, who operates with fewer variables. Head counts: firm. Menu: fixed.
December 13, 2012
First course: Ceviche de Atún (Tuna Ceviche), Ecuador. Second course: Aguadito de Pato (stewed duck with potatoes, peas and chiles), Peru. Third course: Merluza en Salsa Verde (hake fillets in clam and herb sauce) with Calçots con Sapounditxada (grilled scallions with almond sauce), Spain. Fourth course: Lechón Asado (achiote and citrus-marinated roast suckling pig) with Moros y Cristianos (black beans and rice), Yuca con Mojo Criollo (yucca with sour-orange mojo sauce) and Tostones (crispy-fried green plantains)
December 5, 2010 |
Pro athletes hit the gym to train for the big game. Jose Garces works out in the kitchen. In addition to his role as owner of Amada, Tinto, Village Whiskey, and four other Philadelphia restaurants, Garces wears the starched jacket of an Iron Chef, one of seven culinary household names who battle challengers on the Food Network. With its campily scowling "chairman," sparkling Kitchen Stadium, and flashy graphics, Iron Chef America might seem like a prime-time game show.
January 26, 2012 |
A year and a half ago, chef Tim Spinner and manager Brian Sirhal spun out of the Jose Garces orbit, choosing the suburbs (Fort Washington) as the setting of their debut restaurant, Cantina Feliz . Emboldened by success, they've set their second whimsically decorated Mexican bar/restaurant in the city. La Calaca Feliz (2321 Fairmount Ave., 215-787-9930) takes the narrow Fairmount storefront previously occupied by Illuminare. Chef de cuisine Lucio Palazzo, formerly of Xochitl, executes Spinner's menu, featuring tacos and nachos, tlayudas (pizzas)
September 22, 2011
* Slightly crazed, hugely popular Phillies blog zoowithroy.com shares that Iron Hill Brewery's new playoffs beer, Doctoberfest Pumpkin, hits taps Tuesday only at the IHB in North Wales (Shoppes at English Village, 1460 Bethlehem Pike, 267-708-2000). Wear a ZWR shirt Tuesday for some free pumpkin pie. * Today's the deadline to register for the Greensgrow Farms Chili Cook Off during the 4th Annual Subaru Fall Festival at Greensgrow (2501 E. Cumberland St.), 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Oct. 1. The free festival will have local eats, crafts, gardening tips and farm fun for all ages.
April 12, 2013 |
Today - my 20th anniversary writing "Table Talk" - I'll yield the floor to a few old guys. Too often, these veterans are pushed to the side by the flavor of the month. But in an industry famous for quick flameouts, experience counts for something. What has the experience taught them? "The one thing that I have learned is that the only thing that is constant is change," said John Foy, who with his wife, Bernadette, founded East Philly Cafe on South Street in 1978. In 1982, they renamed it for their baby daughter Bridget, who runs it now. "As fast as this business changes or evolves, the more it stays the same," said Kevin Meeker, who with his wife, Janet, has owned a series of restaurants since 1976 and now has Keg & Kitchen in Westmont.
February 18, 2010 |
For his sixth Philadelphia restaurant in less than 41/2 years, Jose Garces has gone ultra-casual with Garces Trading Company , a market/cafe in the Western Union Building (1111 Locust St., 215-574-1099). Counters dispensing cheeses, meats, on-site-baked breads, and prepared foods form a U-shape around the seating area, where patrons can eat their purchases or, during lunch and dinner, order from a waiter. In a first-of-its-kind arrangement with the state Liquor Control Board, there's a glassed-in mini-State Store next to the seating area so patrons can buy one of about 200 selections to drink there or take home.
April 2, 2012 |
The Kimmel Center is getting a beauty makeover, its most substantial since initial construction ended after opening day in 2001. On the heels of a recent acoustical adjustment to Verizon Hall, the Kimmel is renovating two major quasi-public spaces in hopes of becoming more hospitable and profitable. Work on the rooftop garden is under way. Ficus trees atop the Perelman Theater have been cleared to make way for a new glass-and-steel structure - a large glass box within the larger glass bubble - that will shield users from the extreme temperature swings that have rendered the space largely unusable.