November 23, 2014 |
Who are the most important chefs in Philly? Some, like Keith Lucas and other cooks in the region's nonprofit kitchens, may not be names you've heard. But for thousands of Philadelphians suffering from AIDS, cancer, cardiac disease, or diabetes, Lucas - and the 15,000 free meals he oversees each week from the Center City kitchen at MANNA - is an essential lifeline to the nourishment and dignity of a proper supper. With 2,000 extra meals for Thanksgiving, Lucas, 53, a Chestnut Hill resident, paused to chat about a career cooking behind the scenes, his star turn on reality TV, and why hospital food is awful.
October 17, 2014 |
Brigantessa on E. Passyunk Walk into the new Brigantessa (1520 E. Passyunk Ave., 267-318-7341) which opened Tuesday on a Passyunk Square corner. Pass by the hand-cranked slicer on the marble counter and the salumi hanging behind the bar. There's a wood-burning oven handmade outside of Naples by the well-regarded Gianni Acunto, who finished it with mortar made with ash taken from Vesuvius. Peek back farther into the kitchen and you'll see a rotisserie and grill, fueled by wood and coal.
July 3, 2014
The deal: The South Philly corner spot's been there since 1947 and still feels like a best-kept neighborhood secret. When owner, pastry chef and neighborhood kid John Conlosi bought the biz in 2010, he kept the recipes - and resurrected a summertime tradition: the plain doughnut, sliced in half and filled to order with vanilla or chocolate Jack & Jill ice cream, and dusted with powdered sugar. Conlosi said that he remembered the treat "as a child, growing up right across the street, at 9th and Jackson.
February 14, 2014 |
Along with the drugstores' heart-shaped boxes, they should probably offer free first-aid kits on Valentine's Day, because no other holiday inspires so much well-meaning, overambitious, and underexperienced cooking. Still, if it doesn't send involved parties to the emergency room, the right home-cooked meal could be an important turning point in a relationship, the moment of dawning realization that this thing could actually last. Food legend is filled with such recipes - engagement chicken and marry-me lasagna and kiss-me kugel - dishes that are supposedly so delicious that they inspire proposals or at least romantic escalation.
February 7, 2014 |
Brandt-Lee doubles up John Brandt-Lee is now chef of two Italian kitchens in West Chester: at his popular BYOB Avalon at 312 S. High St. and now at Nonna's , about four blocks away, at 116 E. Gay St. The arrangement will culminate this spring when Brandt-Lee takes over the Nonna's space, setting it up as the new location of Avalon. It will be twice the size, with a bar. At that point, Nonna's will close after four years. Brandt-Lee, who also owns Avalon Bistro in Downingtown, said he was talking to the landlord about keeping his High Street location, while changing to a more casual concept.
November 24, 2013 |
Alf Ake Winte, 83, a lifelong pastry chef who emigrated from Sweden and later owned a pastry shop in Havertown, died Friday, Oct. 18, at his home in Newtown Square from a stroke brought on by heart disease complications. Mr. Winte honed his culinary skills as an apprentice pastry chef in Stockholm and Sala, which is about 65 miles outside the Swedish capital. By 1951, Mr. Winte and his future wife, Britt Lundvik, had opened their first bakery in Stockholm, Grev Ture. The two married a year later, and in 1955 they came to America, settling in Denver, where one of his sisters was living.
November 1, 2013 |
ANGELA Ranalli's Abruzzese grandmother was born with a veil. If you're from the old country, or simply believe in signs and portents, you know about second sight. When a baby is born with a caul - a portion of the amniotic sac covering the face - the child is believed to have special gifts. Because she was from an untamed region in Italy known for its deep reliance on folklore, legends and superstitions, Ranalli's great-grandmother not only welcomed her daughter's gift, she took the caul down to the Philadelphia waterfront and sold it to a fisherman, who believed it would protect him from drowning.
November 1, 2013
BONES OF THE DEAD (OSSI DEI MORTI) 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1 1/4 cups sugar 1/2 lemon, zested 1 egg white 1 3/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 cup ground almonds 1 teaspoon ground cloves Powdered sugar In medium-sized bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar, lemon zest, egg white and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk: flour, cinnamon, almonds, and cloves. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the mixing bowl until a ball has formed.
October 4, 2013
What to eat: Ice pops! Any of them. They're all good. The truck: Bright and striped, the Lil' Pop Shop truck is the mobile arm of Jeanne Chang's brick-and-mortar operations in West and South Philly. The truck's selection of fresh, handcrafted ice pops is seasonal and always changing. The details: We tracked the truck down at the Navy Yard and were particularly impressed by the coconut cherry lime - made with juicy cherries, not the dead, flavorless cherries you'd find in store-bought ice cream, for example.
July 19, 2013 |
For a generation, the main spot to answer the scream for local ice cream in Philadelphia was Bassetts at the Reading Terminal Market. Then Italian-chic Capogiro entered the scene with its flavor-forward gelato, followed by Franklin Fountain, with its old-timey soda fountain. But over the last few years, those three big names have seen increasing competition as more small-batch, locally made ice cream appears in neighborhoods around the city. Weckerly's in West Philadelphia, which debuted this year, offers French-style ice cream with a luscious, custardlike quality from the inclusion of egg yolks.