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The elaborate simplicity of restaurant bread A pocket guide to Philly farmers markets

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Dinner Served Nightly â&#x20AC;˘ Sunday Brunch Outdoor CafĂŠ 757 SOUTH FRONT STREET CORNER OF FITZWATER STREET IN QUEENS VILLAGE 215-551-2200 â&#x20AC;˘ www.thevillagebelle.com

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]TbV]aSP`]ORPWba]TTZObbS`gg]c VSO`PO\RWSROP]cbW\OZZa]`ba ]T^`]TSaaW]\a/eWRS`SQSWdS` eV]QcaVW]\aO`]QYSbZOc\QVSR T]]bPOZZeWbVVWaUZ]dSaVOaU]]R VO\RaA]R]SaOaQOZ^SZeWSZRW\U ac`US]\eV]ac^^`SaaSaVWab`S[ ]`a=`O^WO\WabeV]aSTW\US`a P`SShSOQ`]aaPZOQYO\ReVWbS YSgaZWYSbVSXSbab`SO[ Good hands are invaluable in a restaurant, too. Christopher Kearse has them, and they float around the tiny kitchen of Pumpkin with such ease that they may as well be disembodied. Sprinkling an exacting amount of sea salt onto a cube of seared steak, wielding tweezers to locate the precise resting place for a laser-sliced candy-cane beet, wiping an imperceptible smudge off a dinner plate with a sponge scissored into the size of a matchbook. Once his good hands pass a plate off to a server, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re right back at it, rifling through a low boy full of meticulously labeled quart containers for his next dish.

If good hands were all that was required to achieve success as a chef, Kearse would already be a titan. But you need so much more: passion, motivation, inspiration, wits, timing â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and maybe a little luck. Kearseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s journey, burdened by uniquely arduous odds, featured none of the last. But that hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stopped him from excelling in some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best restaurants, and soon, finally, in a kitchen of his own. So much has been taken from him by circumstance, but that hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stopped him from taking it right back.

9SO`aSU`Sec^W\:SdWbb]e\, he and his twin brother the second-oldest of eight children. Father Frank was a veterinarian before retiring last year, mother Christine was a biology major in college, and his siblings all seem to work in scientific fields â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a physician, a Ph.D. candidate in molecular biology, a USDA soil-conservation specialist. Family meals, prepared by Christine, were important in the Kearse house, but the

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clan rarely went out to restaurants. A self-described metalhead, he had long hair and listened to Metallica nonstop while holding down an after-school job at a pizza parlor. In September 2000, a few days after his 16th birthday, Kearse was sitting in the passengerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seat of a friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s car when the world changed. A drunk driver T-boned the vehicle, resulting in massive damage to the high school sophomoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face. He was airlifted to UPenn and immediately rushed into surgery. â&#x20AC;&#x153;First things first,â&#x20AC;? says Kearse frankly, â&#x20AC;&#x153;they put me back together.â&#x20AC;? That involved the doctorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; initial attempt at reconstructing Kearseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jaw with mesh and metal and introducing a soft-tissue graft from his forearm to his face. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I honestly donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t remember much,â&#x20AC;? says Kearse, now 27, of that day. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just remember waking up and seeing my dad there.â&#x20AC;? Kearseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recall many specifics, either. He basically lived at the hospital so he could be as close as possible to updates on his sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s condition. After several tough weeks, Kearse was able to return home, but his fight had barely begun. Due to his fragile state in those early post-accident days, his parents set up a hospital bed in their room continued on adjacent pageĂ­


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so they could constantly monitor his well-being. The injuryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impact on Kearseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mouth and nose required him to use both a tracheal tube for breathing and a stomach feeding tube for a liquid diet. As a result, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He lost a lot of mass,â&#x20AC;? says Frank, whose son, a big 250 prior to the incident, dropped 80 pounds, resembling the much slimmer build he carries today. Only 10 of Kearseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teeth remained intact, all of which fell out in the first month and a half. He has two of his own today. Kearse wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t able to speak a single word for the first nine months following the accident, communicating with his family and doctors by scribbling on a notepad. He had to start from scratch with facial expressions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I remember my dad making a comment on how he could tell [only by how] I wrote if I was upset or calm,â&#x20AC;? he remembers. From 16 to 18, Kearse was stuck in his house, switching to home-schooling and making return trips to the hospital multiple times, both for planned surgeries overseen by a team of craniofacial, soft-tissue and dental specialists and for unforeseen problems, such as ear infections exacerbated by the trauma. Between then and now, doctors have performed a total of 23 surgeries on Kearse, follow-ups that involved everything from taking bone grafts from his hip to multiple skin and tissue grafts that rebuilt his mouth and lips. Today, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

fully adapted to it â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he eats, drinks and kisses his girlfriend like anyone else. His primary hindrance is his speech, which can be muffled and difficult to understand if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not accustomed to listening to him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There was a large focus on his needs,â&#x20AC;? says Frank. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The rest of the kids were always being careful not to disturb or jar him. But that wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that big of a deal. It was trying to help him deal with the emotional aspect of it all. Trying to find the positive.â&#x20AC;? Starved for a pursuit to occupy the massive amounts of down time he spent in hospitals and at home, Kearse found that positive in food. He began tearing through cookbooks, watching cooking shows, researching online. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go out on a date. I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go out with friends. I was thinking about [my condition] too much,â&#x20AC;? he says. So instead he channeled his energy into documentation. He still has notepads from those days to go along with a collection of more than 400 cookbooks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how I was raised, or what happened to me,â&#x20AC;? says Kearse of his unwavering focus. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But take life seriously and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll make you who you are. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if the accident set the tone for how I am, but it sure helped.â&#x20AC;? A big, hungry family was his ideal proving ground. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My mom would give me free rein on what to cook for dinner,â&#x20AC;? says Kearse. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I cooked six nights a week for everyone. It was my outlet

[between] being home-schooled and all the surgeries.â&#x20AC;? And his family couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have been happier to support that outlet. Kearse remembers the time they launched an all-out search party for mascarpone cheese because he wanted to try his hand at tiramisu. The most remarkable irony of this time in Kearseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life was that, for a large chunk of it, he was unable to actually consume the food heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d become so attached to preparing, medically relegated to his feedingtube diet â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a chef literally unable to eat. But though his sense of smell has been permanently damaged by the accident and its aftermath, his taste wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t altered in the least. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t eat for a few years, so I had to relearn how,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[But] my taste and tongue werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t affected. I honestly think that solidified my path.â&#x20AC;?

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/TbS`SO`\W\UVWa high school diploma, the path led straight to the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in 2003. Most 18-year-olds see freshman year of college as prime time to get stupid, but Kearse took a contrarian approach â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in lieu of partying, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d dig in at the library, committing culinary classics to memory. Extra effort, repetition, discipline: All were hallmarks for Kearse the student, determined not to squander a situation that seemed implausible for him a few years prior. But his hard continued on page 8Ă­

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work didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t translate to advancement right away. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I hit reality when I got to college,â&#x20AC;? says Kearse, who could tell some restaurants were reluctant to hire him based on his appearance. He had yet to undergo additional surgeries, and was not yet fully comfortable with his face and voice. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was hard to communicate with a chef and show my passion, just because it was difficult to communicate in general.â&#x20AC;? John Patterson attended the Restaurant School with Kearse and cooked with him at Blackfish in Conshohocken. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He was the most serious student in that class, and he was also the most difficult to get to know,â&#x20AC;? says Patterson, who now works at New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gramercy Tavern. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He had a difficult time, which I think is a large part of what makes him so incredibly strong. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never met anyone like him. He was the guy who would show up early and stay late. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d come in on Monday morning and say heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d made 75 omelettes, for no one in particular, just to perfect it.â&#x20AC;? Those whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked with Kearse recognize his intensity. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What sets him apart from most people that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked with is his drive,â&#x20AC;? says Gregory Barr, who cooked with Kearse at Tru in Chicago. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really talented, but heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s [also] going to work harder than anybody else ... the accident made him very focused.â&#x20AC;? Kearse finished as class valedicto-

rian in 2005 while holding down a job at Penne, but he took strides to gain serious experience before graduation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he set up stages (kitchen shadows) that saw him putting in study in both New York (wd-50, CafĂŠ Gray) and England (Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s). The chef admits the challenges heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s faced have caused his patience for less-serious peers to wane. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I almost died. I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t eat. I see others getting every opportunity and not taking them,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All the knowledge is right there. How could you not want that? It amazes me.â&#x20AC;? Kearseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s post-grad plan was simple: He drafted a letter and sent it to 10 top chefs in America, explaining that he was eager to labor in their kitchens. It made no mention of the accident. He started with two months at Thomas Kellerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s French Laundry in California. After another surgery, it was on to Chicago, where he worked as poissonier (fish cook) at Charlie Trotterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. He stayed in the city for two years, his most formative experience coming at the Michelinstarred Tru, where he worked as saucier, poissonier and tournant six days a week for a year and a half. On his only day off? Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d stage at Grant Achatzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s renowned Alinea, one of several stops that helped Kearse develop his modern-cookery skill set. The high-pressure environment caused lesser cooks to crack, but it

had the opposite effect on Kearse and his contemporaries. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was 15hour days,â&#x20AC;? says Barr, now sous chef at Esca in NYC. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You were running every second. If you werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t running, you werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t making it.â&#x20AC;? At Tru, Kearse also eased into an elite kitchen where his condition was an afterthought. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was hard to understand him at first,â&#x20AC;? says Tim Dornon, who cooks at Uchiko in Austin, Texas, and worked under Kearse at Tru. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[But] people still treated him the same. No one shit on him for the fact that he doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look like every other human being. Everybody felt for him, but at the same time they were hard on him.â&#x20AC;? Kearse knew he couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stay at Tru forever. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chicago was Hollywood,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not reality. Fine dining is 1 percent of the restaurant industry, then 1 percent of that 1 percent is the restaurants I worked at.â&#x20AC;? Having his own place was the prize, and the city best suited for that would be Philly. In 2008, he came home. ÂľESeS`S\]b going to hire him,â&#x20AC;? says Matt Levin, the Square Peg chef who held the executive role at Lacroix at the Rittenhouse from 2006 to 2008. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had [his] resume and there was 100 restaurants on it, but they were always small intervals of time. I said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to give me at least a year.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; He agreed.â&#x20AC;? Kearse came on, first as continued on page 10Ă­


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a seafood specialist and then, after about three months, as a sous chef. The promotion forced Kearse into a position that required him to interact regularly with vendors, front-ofhouse staffers and guests. This shift into a more visible role, one Kearse says was challenging ( â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really like attention,â&#x20AC;? he says), came to a head during the restaurantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always-packed brunch service. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was an open kitchen, with 200 people walking through,â&#x20AC;? says Fondâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lee Styer, who worked many of those Sundays with Kearse. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d see people look twice, [and you knew] they were looking for a reason. Anyone who wanted to walk into the kitchen could, and I think that was probably good for Chris, even if it sucked at the time. Interacting with people helped him get more comfortable.â&#x20AC;? Kearse brought with him a mastery of contemporary techniques â&#x20AC;&#x201D; foams, gels, powders, sous vide â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that now complement, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t define, his

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cooking. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were able to incorporate that, [him] teaching us a technique he had learned at Alinea or Trotter that we hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t read or heard about yet,â&#x20AC;? says Elaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jason Cichonski, former chef de cuisine at Lacroix. The peripatetic nature that Levin noted led Kearse away from Lacroix, first to a return stint at Penne, then to Blackfish. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I knew what I wanted out of a job, and a lot of places couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t offer it,â&#x20AC;? says Kearse of his hopping habit. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t better than them. I just had different goals.â&#x20AC;? In 2010, he finally settled down in an unlikely kitchen â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Pumpkin, the small South Street BYOB owned by chef Ian Moroney and his wife Hillary Bor. Âľ1V`WaaS\bcaO`Sac[S, and I said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Why the fuck does this guy want to work here?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Moroney recalls. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, like, two years at Jose Garces and one year at Mercato. It was a laundry list of every great restaurant you could possibly imagine.â&#x20AC;? Observers of Moroneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hire

expressed similar confusion: Why would a successful chef/owner bring in someone so pedigreed, independent and unflinching? Moroney doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand the implication. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For me, it was a no-brainer,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Just a way to make the restaurant better. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s OK, for example, for Jose Garces or Marc Vetri to hire talented people. The minute I do it, I get questioned by [Inquirer food critic] Craig LaBan: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Well, what do you do now?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; You just try to surround yourself with the most talented people you can.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;[He encourages me] to keep an open mind,â&#x20AC;? says Moroney. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He challenges me. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how you get better.â&#x20AC;? Kearse says his food has never grown more than during his time working for Moroney and Bor. The thing people notice before anything else is his plating â&#x20AC;&#x201D; his good hands, working angles, carving out negative space with wily dashes of color and an imbalanced balance thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exacting in its asymmetry. He can be continued on page 12Ă­




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elaborate â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a spring salad heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offering now features almost 25 elements, from pickled cauliflower and shaved watermelon radish to confit baby potatoes and caramelized tomato powder. And he can also deliver classic flavors in an unexpected package â&#x20AC;&#x201D; see the smoked quail he put together in the colder months, combining wintry chestnut and salsify onto a plate that featured both agar-thickened mulled red wine and an artful puddle of albufera sauce, a foie-and-cognac classic thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been around since the days of Escoffier. Philly diners can be resistant to left-field food, but Kearse balances old and new to compound generational disciplines. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what I respect the most about his cooking,â&#x20AC;? says Patterson. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s classical French â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he roasts, he confits, he glazes. But what brings it to the next level is this newer-age cooking and how he ties the two together.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want it to be an experience,â&#x20AC;? says



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Kearse. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fun, emotional, satisfying. For me, to eat a big steak, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the same thing bite after bite. It gets old. But to have every other bite be different? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what makes a great meal.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked for some of the top chefs in Philadelphia. None of them ever inspired me the way Chris has,â&#x20AC;? says Leah Kaithern, the general manager of NYCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Caffe Storico who worked with Kearse at Blackfish. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[His food] is so beautiful, so precisely plated, just gorgeous. I think that attention to detail is so rare.â&#x20AC;?

9SO`aS¸abS\c`S at Pumpkin is coming to an end, but for the first time heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not moving on to work for someone else. In August, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll open Will, a BYOB at 1911 E. Passyunk Ave. Since almost all the places Kearse could envision himself running are chef-owned, he knew he had to branch out on his own. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want a special restaurant â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not special-occasion, a special restaurant,â&#x20AC;? says Kearse. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to push it. A lot more finesse. A lot more labor in the

prep. I want to give customers what theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to get anywhere else.â&#x20AC;? The moniker has multiple meanings. Will is Kearseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s middle name, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what his family calls him. But it also represents the will heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tapped to kick down the obstacles placed in his way by the accident. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want people to feel bad for him,â&#x20AC;? says Kaithern, â&#x20AC;&#x153;because he doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel bad for himself. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s much easier to wallow in your self-pity than to rise above it. Chris Kearse has risen above it.â&#x20AC;? Hearing him talk about food and watching his good hands at fast, fastidious work, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sometimes easy to overlook what Kearse has faced. But fathers donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It breaks my heart every day,â&#x20AC;? says Frank. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m definitely cognizant of it. But on the flip side, you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be more proud of someone who can overcome something like that. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t control everything, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for damn sure. But he is in control of today.â&#x20AC;? (drew.lazor@citypaper.net)


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NHS^^]ZW At 10 every morning, Joey Baldino starts the dough at his cozy Collingswood BYOB Zeppoli. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We let it rise, bang it down at 1, let it rise again, bake by 3, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just coming out of the oven for start of service at 5,â&#x20AC;? he says. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just for the crusty, cake-like semolina/durum loaves speckled with sesame seeds. Baldino also bakes rosemary-embroidered focaccia and on occasion even adds savory anchovy-and-mozzarella zeppoli to the bread service, attended by olive oil and marinated olives. Why all the work? â&#x20AC;&#x153;When people come here, I want them to experience that my food, from the bread to the gelato, is made by hand,â&#x20AC;? says Baldino. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can tell a lot about a restaurant by the bread it serves.â&#x20AC;?

NBOZcZO¸a5O`RS\  â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bread service is all about making people feel cozy, warm and invited,â&#x20AC;? says Aimee Olexy, whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been getting cred for bread since

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she baked it in little terracotta flowerpots at Django. At Talulaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Garden, she wanted her carbs to possess the same â&#x20AC;&#x153;personal nature,â&#x20AC;? so she developed the buttery baby brioche buns servers brush with seasonal compound butter (often ramp in spring, apricot-thyme in summer) before delivery. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a gift to the diner that sets the precedent right away that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing something special,â&#x20AC;? says Olexy. On busy nights when the restaurant is in full swing, that can mean more than 600 of Olexyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;mouthfuls of goodness,â&#x20AC;? all shaped by hand.

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! â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Portugal, instead of a knife in your left hand, you have a piece of bread,â&#x20AC;? says Carla Goncalves, who handles the baking at Koo Zee Doo, the Portuguese BYOB she owns with chef and husband David Gilberg. Her reputation as a carb whisperer goes back to the ethereal biscuits she once baked at the Ugly American, but at KZD she serves something a bit more thematic: rustic white sourdough and broa, a fine-crumbed Portuguese cornbread, with salted butter and snacky you-peel-â&#x20AC;&#x2122;em lupini beans.

N0Wab`]b:O;W\SbbS "Only the baguette will do for bread service at Peter Woolseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spirited, traditional Bistrot La Minette. â&#x20AC;&#x153;On a dry day, we have the best baguette in the city,â&#x20AC;? Woolsey deadpans. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rain is the only thing that fucks us up.â&#x20AC;? Baguettes are temperamental creatures, requiring precise levels of humidity to create the correct crumb, brownness and thin-skinned crust. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bakeries in Paris have computers that automatically calculate the humidity in the air and adjust the recipe so the baguettes come out the same every time.â&#x20AC;? Woolsey (unlike, say, Parc) doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have the proper oven, but with guidance from Marcel Baud, a retired third-generation French continued on page 16Ă­

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baker who also happens to be his father-in-law, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been able to perfect Bistrotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s baguette, sliced and paired with soft Plugra butter dusted with fleur de sel. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the first impression,â&#x20AC;? Woolsey says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you get really good bread at a restaurant, you know what the kitchen is capable of.â&#x20AC;?

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N1VWTO #Tropical Chifa is the seersucker suit of the Garces Group wardrobe. The house bakers nail that breezy vibe with the fittingly exotic pan de bono. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pan de bono is a South American bread traditionally made from yucca flour,â&#x20AC;? explains chef/owner Jose Garces. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We use tapioca starch for ours, which lends it the same elastic, glutenous texture, but is gluten-free.â&#x20AC;? Enriched with manchego and queso fresco, these starchy, round powder puffs have just enough savoriness to balance their addicting schmear: sweet guava â&#x20AC;&#x153;butterâ&#x20AC;? kissed with black vinegar and sriracha.

N9O\SZZO $â&#x20AC;&#x153;You could remove everything under the sun from my diet, but if you remove bread, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll die.â&#x20AC;? Never one to exaggerate, Konstantinos Pitsillides says this with conviction, stressing the importance of bread, olive oil, lemons and olives on the dinner table when he was growing up in Cyprus. At his breezy BYOB, Kanella, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all about preserving tradition, even if it means importing olives from his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farm for olive bread or fermenting under-ripe grapes to give his sourdough its tang, a trick from the medieval days. These are just two of the breads in Pitsillidesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; wheelhouse; they rotate along with complimentary dips like nutty tahini, a caper/garlic/olive oil setup and sweet Armenian tomato reduction scented with coriander, clove and cinnamon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This shows a commitment to the customer,â&#x20AC;? Pitsillides explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even factor it into my food costs.â&#x20AC;? (adam.erace@citypaper.net)

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=OY[]\bj Darby Road, just west of Eagle Road, 3-7 p.m.

EOZ\cb6WZZj 4610 Market St., 3-6 p.m.

A3>B/j 1234 Market St. on concourse level, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. every other week

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ESab=OY:O\S j 72nd and Ogontz, 2-6 p.m.

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4OW`[]c\b>O`Yj 33rd and Diamond, 2-6 p.m.

1SQWZ0;]]`S j On Cecil B. Moore between Broad and 13th, 2-6 p.m.

4`O\YT]`Rj Frankford and Bustleton, 2-6 p.m.

1ZO`Y>O`Yj 43rd and Baltimore, 3-7 p.m. (year-round) 4OW`[]c\bj22nd and Fairmount, 3-7 p.m. =fT]`R1W`QZSj Oxford Circle Mennonite Church, 900 E. Howell St., 2-6 p.m.

5`SS\aU`]e4O`[abO\R j2501 E. Cumberland St., 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. 1ZO`Y>O`Yj 43rd and Baltimore, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 4WbZS`A_cO`S j 23rd and Pine, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (year-round) =dS`P`]]Y j Lancaster and City, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. 6]\Sg0`]]Y j Wyebrook Farm, 150 Wyebrook Road, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

>OZ[S`>O`YjFrankford and E. Palmer, 2-6 p.m. 5`SS\aU`]e4O`[abO\R j 2501 E. Cumberland St., 2-7 p.m. ESOdS`¸aEOg;]c\b/W`g jGreen and Carpenter, 3-7 p.m. 4O`[# j 51st and Chester, 4:30-7 p.m. C`PO\5W`Za>`]RcQS j The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Port Royal and Ridge, 2:30-6:30 p.m. @WbbS\V]caSj South side of Walnut, west of 18th, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. A]cbVO\R>Oaagc\Y j Passyunk and South, 2:30-7 p.m.

AcPc`PO\AbObW]\j16th Street concourse between Market and JFK near 16th Street elevator, noon-6:30 p.m. (year-round) 1S\bS`1WbgjCourtyard at 19th and Market, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 8STTS`a]\j 10th and Chestnut, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

EOZ\cb6WZZ j 4610 Market St., 3-6 p.m.

6c\bW\U>O`Yj W. Hunting Park and Old York, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. @WbbS\V]caSj South side of Walnut, west of 18th, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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1VSab\cb6WZZj Winston between Germantown and Mermaid, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

0`]ORO\RA]cbV j Broad and South, 2-7 p.m. 1ZWdSRS\>O`Yj Chew and Johnson, 2-6 p.m. 6ORRW\Ub]\ j 52nd and Haverford, 1-5 p.m.

0`SeS`gb]e\j27th and Girard, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

AQVcgZYWZZ@WdS`>O`Y j 25th and Spruce, 3-7 p.m.

0`g\;Oe`j Municipal Lot 7 at Lancaster and Morris, 10 a.m.-noon

6S\`g5]b1`]^ajSaul Agricultural High School, 7100 Henry Ave., 2-5 p.m.

AeO`bV[]`S j In lot across from 341 Dartmouth Ave., 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

9W\UaSaaW\Uj 58th and Chester, 2-6 p.m. =Z\Sgj Broad and Olney, 2-6 p.m. ESOdS`¸aEOg1VSab\cb6WZZ 8424 Germantown Ave., 3-6 p.m. C\WdS`aWbgA_cO`Sj 36th and Walnut, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. BVS>]`QVOb!bVAb`SSbAbObW]\j Between south side of 30th Street Station and Market, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. BVS4]c\bOW\Ob>Oaagc\YA_cO`S E. Passyunk at Tasker and 11th, 2-7 p.m.

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:O\aR]e\Sj150 Lansdowne Ave., 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

0OZO1g\egRjGSB building parking lot at Belmont near St. Asaphâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, 2:30-6:30 p.m.

3Oab4OZZaj Under Route 1 overpass between Kelly and Ridge, 3-7 p.m.

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6ORRW\Ub]\j52nd and Haverford, 1-5 p.m. 5S`[O\b]e\j 6026 Germantown Ave., 2-6 p.m. BVS<Se;O`YSbjHeadhouse Shambles, Second and Lombard, 3-9 p.m. @]fP]`]cUVj Gorgas Park, Ridge and Acorn, 2-6 p.m.

6SORV]caSA_cO`S j Headhouse Shambles, Second and Lombard, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 6]\Sg0`]]Yj Wyebrook Farm, 150 Wyebrook Road, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 2WQYW\a]\A_cO`S j Southeast corner of Dickinson Square on Moyamensing near Morris Street, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


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PAT’S KING OF STEAKS 9th & Passyunk Ave.


Philadelphia City Paper, Meal Ticket, May 17th, 2012