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.
June 4, 2013 |
Editor's Note: This column is sponsored by TD Bank. The opinions and analysis expressed here reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of TD Bank, N.A. or its affiliates. It was a serendipitous meeting that could prove to be a turning point for Antoine and Kenosha Skinner and their fledgling spice company. At the very least, it was a really cool encounter for two small-business novices trying to make a name for their Momma Vi's all-natural, gluten-free, free-of-iodized-salt, hand-blended seasonings.
March 22, 2013 |
BANANA bread. Gumbo. Hot browns. Shellfish. Rice. Citrus. No, this isn't a rundown of a culinarily gifted fraternity's refrigerator contents. It's just a few of the ingredients and dishes that have inspired intra-staff cooking duels at Sbraga, where chef-sanctioned battles keep the minds as sharp as the knives. Kevin Sbraga, who opened at Broad and Pine in late 2011, knows about creating on the fly. He won season seven of Bravo's "Top Chef" by adapting to every bizarre challenge thrown his way, from developing a plate inspired by the phrase "bring home the bacon" to crafting a dish that could be eaten by astronauts in zero gravity (seriously)
November 8, 2012 |
As dawn breaks over the city, the meat men pull up at restaurant back doors, dropping off steaks, ground beef, and other cuts. More of these trucks now bear a 201 or 646 area code on their doors. Pat LaFrieda and DeBragga & Spitler - New York-rooted butchers who enjoy cult followings among chefs who rave about their dry-aging - have recently begun nibbling at the wholesale-beef business in the region. Their appearance in Philadelphia has everything to do with the price of real estate in Lower Manhattan.
February 21, 2014 |
Students in Penny Greenberg's culinary-arts classes have a term for the hoagies, pizza, and chicken nuggets served in the cafeteria. "They call it 'freebie food,' " said Greenberg, who teaches at Dobbins Career and Technical Education High School. Almost all of its students are eligible for free lunches - and although some think the food is OK, others apparently feel they're getting what they've paid for. In the next month or so, though, the menu at Dobbins will get a special addition: Louisiana-style spicy chicken with collard greens and served with red beans and rice.
March 14, 2014 |
Years before winning over diners with dishes like chowder-poached oysters and gnocchi with snails, Fitler Dining Room chef Robert Marzinsky had a different artistic vision: He and a group of fellow art-school graduates made site-specific installations using ceramics and other materials. Since the works were temporary, he said, "We recognized that, to some extent, the real work was when you documented it. You'd come back with 500 slides, and spend $300 to process the film. " Today, in his kitchen at 22d and Spruce, Marzinsky is still making things that are ephemeral and beautiful - and he still acknowledges the impulse to document those creations.
September 16, 2010 |
Willingboro's Kevin Sbraga - who's cooked at some of the hottest restaurants in the region - was named winner of the seventh season of the Bravo series Top Chef . Sbraga, 31, watched the taped final episode Wednesday at the North Philadelphia restaurant Osteria among a private party including his wife, Jesmary, and two children. His prizes are $125,000, a spread in Food & Wine magazine, and a showcase at the magazine's annual event in Aspen, Colo. The season, set in Washington, D.C., moved to Singapore for the last two episodes.
September 17, 2010 |
Early mornings are nothing new to a baker's son. As Thursday dawned, chef Kevin Sbraga faced not a hot oven but a media scrum: A dozen media outlets on the line, a photo session for Food & Wine magazine, and promotional videos to be shot for Bravo, the cable network. Wednesday night, Sbraga - who lives with his wife and kids in his childhood home in Willingboro - was announced as the winner of the seventh season of Top Chef after outlasting 16 competitors in the weekly series of cooking challenges.
September 30, 2010 |
On the Bravo kitchen-competition series Top Chef , the cheftestants are charged with creating cutting-edge food on the spur of the moment. Two weeks after his win on Season 7, Kevin Sbraga had us out to his real kitchen - in the childhood Willingboro home he shares with his pastry-chef wife, Jesmary, daughter Jenae, 5, and newborn son Angelo. Mealtime at the Sbragas' place is nothing fancy, and the Top Chef, 31, cooks on an electric stovetop. One of his favorite dishes is a one-pot creation of steamed clams and Italian sausage on top of chickpeas, perfect for Sunday after church.