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ENTERTAINMENT
July 21, 2010
9 tonight BRAVO The competition heats up in this "Cold War" challenge for the remaining chefs to create a cold entrée. Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein (right) joins the panel as a guest judge. Padma Lakshmi hosts.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 9, 2013 | BY LAUREN McCUTCHEON, Daily News Staff Writer mccutch@phillynews.com, 215-854-5991
WHEN YOU'RE competing on a hit reality-TV show like Bravo's "Top Chef," and the season (11) has just begun, you can't say much. Local competitors Jason Cichonski and Nick Elmi, both incredibly talented (and not too bad on the eyes, either) chef-restaurateurs, can't say how long they filmed the show (although according to insiders, it's eight weeks). Elmi and Cichonski can't say if or when they got eliminated. They sure can't say if one of them won. On the other hand, if you've already won Bravo TV's "Top Chef," you can pretty much talk all you want.
NEWS
February 21, 2014 | BY LAUREN McCUTCHEON, Daily News Staff Writer mccutch@phillynews.com, 215-854-5991
LAST MONDAY, chef Nick Elmi stepped out the door of Laurel, his 22-seat East Passyunk Avenue BYOB, and exhaled in relief. Four days earlier, the 32-year-old appeared on the dramatically up-and-down finale to a dramatically up-and-down Season 11 of Bravo's "Top Chef. " Had you noticed his sigh, you might have thought he was feeling great. He won. Then again, you might have thought he was happy to be able to talk about the show publicly. ("Top Chef" rules stipulate that only the chef's spouse and lawyer can know the result before the finale.)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philly's Elmi wins 'Top Chef' Nicholas Elmi scored major national culinary cred for Philadelphia Tuesday night by winning the crown on Bravo's Season 11 Top Chef , following in the footsteps of the Season 7 winner, Philly's Kevin Sbraga. Elmi, the owner of Laurel, a new BYOB on East Passyunk, beat his final competitor Nina Compton, the St. Lucia-born chef de cuisine of Scarpetta Miami, in a multi-course showdown in Hawaii. But Elmi, the former chef at Le Bec-Fin and Rittenhouse Tavern, had some sous-chef help from homie Jason Cichonski, the Ela chef who was booted earlier in the show.
NEWS
September 16, 2010 | By Michael Klein, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
FOOD
September 30, 2010 | By Michael Klein, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 23, 2010
I'M KICKING myself because I messed around and didn't purchase tickets for this year's Epicurean Palette at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, N.J. It's a dang shame, since this is an orgy of food and wine the likes of which we don't see all that often around here. This would have been the year to go, too, since Kevin Sbraga will be finishing up his last weekend there as executive chef of Rat's Restaurant, which is a participant. Sbraga, who last week won Bravo's "Top Chef," is leaving Rat's Sunday to realize his dream of opening his own restaurant.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 5, 2012 | BY CHUCK DARROW, darrowc@phillynews.com 215-313-3134
GUILLERMO Pernot may be Argentinean by birth, but his heart and palate belong to Cuba. It's not just that Pernot's wife, Lucia, is a native Cuban whose family escaped Fidel Castro's communist regime in 1959 when she was just 9 months old. The Caribbean island-nation is also home to cuisine that, as far as the 55-year-old chef-partner at Old City's Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar is concerned, is second-to-none. "It's a basic style of food," Pernot (pronounced per- NO )
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NEWS
March 21, 2014
What to eat: Best-seller here is the "walking taco. " We can attest to its deliciousness, but apparently we ate it the wrong way - on a plate while sitting down. A properly constructed walking taco consists of an open Fritos bag or Doritos bag stuffed with black beans, meat (pork confit is owner Jen Zavala's favorite), mozzarella cheese, salsa (watermelon habanero in the summer!), lettuce and Mexican sour cream. Zavala will mix it up, stick a fork in it and send you on your way. "It's not conventional to walk around eating out of a chip bag, I suppose," Zavala said.
NEWS
February 25, 2014 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
MOUNT HOLLY There are plenty of ways to honor Black History Month, but Sunday at Burlington County College was definitely one of the tastiest. Top chefs and South Jersey natives Kevin Sbraga, a Philadelphia restaurateur, and Tim Witcher, a former executive chef who is now a culinary arts teacher, teamed up at the college's Culinary Arts Center in Mount Holly to give cooking demonstrations. Called "A Taste of Soul," it was part of the college's monthlong celebration recognizing the contributions of African Americans.
NEWS
February 21, 2014 | BY LAUREN McCUTCHEON, Daily News Staff Writer mccutch@phillynews.com, 215-854-5991
LAST MONDAY, chef Nick Elmi stepped out the door of Laurel, his 22-seat East Passyunk Avenue BYOB, and exhaled in relief. Four days earlier, the 32-year-old appeared on the dramatically up-and-down finale to a dramatically up-and-down Season 11 of Bravo's "Top Chef. " Had you noticed his sigh, you might have thought he was feeling great. He won. Then again, you might have thought he was happy to be able to talk about the show publicly. ("Top Chef" rules stipulate that only the chef's spouse and lawyer can know the result before the finale.)
FOOD
February 14, 2014 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
Last week was something of a watershed for Nicholas Elmi: His victory on Top Chef New Orleans aired on Bravo, and - even more important, according to Elmi - his 3-month-old Passyunk Avenue restaurant, Laurel, was reviewed by The Inquirer's Craig Laban. Though Elmi had said he would "give up everything" for four bells, he had to settle for a three-bell rave. Over the past season, we learned that Elmi is both intense and intensely talented, that his desert island foods would be bread, butter and Pont l'Évêque (the latter, a cheese, appears on Laurel's dessert menu with chestnut honey)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philly's Elmi wins 'Top Chef' Nicholas Elmi scored major national culinary cred for Philadelphia Tuesday night by winning the crown on Bravo's Season 11 Top Chef , following in the footsteps of the Season 7 winner, Philly's Kevin Sbraga. Elmi, the owner of Laurel, a new BYOB on East Passyunk, beat his final competitor Nina Compton, the St. Lucia-born chef de cuisine of Scarpetta Miami, in a multi-course showdown in Hawaii. But Elmi, the former chef at Le Bec-Fin and Rittenhouse Tavern, had some sous-chef help from homie Jason Cichonski, the Ela chef who was booted earlier in the show.
NEWS
January 17, 2014 | By Jennifer Lin, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Standing on the top deck of a parking garage he hopes to replace with the Provence casino, developer Bart Blatstein on Wednesday introduced two high-profile New York chefs who want to join him as restaurant partners. TV personality Tom Colicchio of Top Chef and Manhattan restaurateur Andrew Carmellini said they would open restaurants if Blatstein's project is selected for the city's second casino license. Both chefs declared Philadelphia "a great food city. " Blatstein "didn't have to sell me very hard," said Colicchio, Top Chef's head judge and owner of the Craft restaurants in New York.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 9, 2013 | BY LAUREN McCUTCHEON, Daily News Staff Writer mccutch@phillynews.com, 215-854-5991
WHEN YOU'RE competing on a hit reality-TV show like Bravo's "Top Chef," and the season (11) has just begun, you can't say much. Local competitors Jason Cichonski and Nick Elmi, both incredibly talented (and not too bad on the eyes, either) chef-restaurateurs, can't say how long they filmed the show (although according to insiders, it's eight weeks). Elmi and Cichonski can't say if or when they got eliminated. They sure can't say if one of them won. On the other hand, if you've already won Bravo TV's "Top Chef," you can pretty much talk all you want.
FOOD
September 27, 2013 | By Alexandra Jaffe, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two young talents are the latest Philadelphia chefs to try their luck at reality TV in hopes of launching themselves as culinary stars before a nation of celeb-hungry viewers. Jason Cichonski and Nicholas Elmi, both of whom have cooked at some of the finest restaurants in the city, will be competing against each other and 15 other contestants from around the country on Top Chef , Bravo's popular cooking show that returns for its 11th season on Oct. 2. Cichonski, 29, is the chef and co-owner of Ela Restaurant in Queen Village and previously was executive chef at the Rittenhouse Hotel.
NEWS
April 26, 2013
* Eating well to fight hunger is also the theme for a six-course dinner "Top Chef" Kevin Sbraga is putting together at his restaurant Sbraga (440 S. Broad St., 215-735-1913, Sbraga.com ) with a stellar lineup of local chefs May 14. Nicholas Elmi, Walter Abrams, Shola Olunloyo, Jonathan Adams and Dave Katz will join him in support of Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. Tix are $150 each. * Food-truck operators stake their claim to be the city's best at the Philadelphia Vendy Awards' third-annual competition from 2 to 6 p.m. June 8. A limited number of early discount tix, $45, are available now at eventbrite.com . The event raises funds for the nonprofit Food Trust.
NEWS
April 19, 2013
WHAT'S with all the beer and food pairings? It's getting that you can't down a mug without someone shoving a plate of ale-braised Brussels sprouts under your chin. Wednesday night, Nick Macri, the chef at Southwark, at 4th and Bainbridge, laid out a four-course menu pairing imaginative dishes (seafood stew and hot-pepper relish) with suds from Ardmore's Tired Hands Brewery. Friday, the new Victoria Freehouse, on Front Street in Old City, will throw down a variety of British-style bitters and complementary English-themed plates.
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