Author Archive | Joy Manning


Executive Director of Fair Food



For the past 17 years, Ann Karlen has been a leader in the local-food movement here in Philadelphia through her work with Fair Food, the nonprofit she founded with the goal of getting more local food to the people who want it.

It all started with connecting farmers with restaurateurs. Judy Wicks, the founding owner of White Dog Café in West Philly, was a huge inspiration to Karlen. “At the White Dog Café, I saw how much selling to just one restaurant benefi ts the farmers. What if more restaurants were buying directly from farmers? I thought this could be a way to keep farmers farming.” Over time, that seed of an idea blossomed. The group’s mission grew to include the Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market, which was the city’s first alllocal food shop when it opened in 2003.

Though her work keeps her extraordinarily busy, Karlen does bring her passion for local food home with her. She treasures the hours she can spend in the kitchen working with farmstand-sourced produce to create vegetable-focused meals for her family. Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is her preferred resource. One of her favorite recipes is for the Winter Vegetable Potpie. “I actually make this recipe all year long and just swap out the vegetables according to the seasons,” says Karlen.


Vegetable Pot Pie

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Typically around this time of year, the calendar tells us spring is coming, but it usually doesn’t feel like it when we step outside. Not so in 2017, when mid-February brought us days warm enough to shuck our coats. I saw a line at old-school ice cream parlor Franklin Fountain grow to a June-like length down Market Street, and noticed people sipping their first cold brews of the year all over East Passyunk.

I have mixed feelings about the early spring. Of course I like ice cream and cold brew and the feeling of warm sun and fresh air on my skin, but the fruits of climate change are ultimately more terrifying than fun.

Our shared responsibility for protecting the earth weighed heavily on my mind as this issue came together. According to EPA data, a fourth of global greenhouse gas emissions are the result of agriculture. That’s why so many of us make an effort to buy our meat, dairy, and produce from local farmers trying to do it another way, a better way. At Edible Philly, we bring you their stories and hope to inspire you to make choices about the food you buy with conservation on your mind.

At Edible Philly,
we hope to inspire you to make
choices about the food you buy with
conservation on your mind.

As in every issue, you’ll find resources here to tread more lightly on our planet, at least when it comes to how what you eat impacts the environment. Starting on page 16, you’ll see our annual Local Heroes Awards feature, honoring six outstanding people, businesses, and organizations that are all doing their part to make our local food scene as sustainable as it is delicious.

This year, we partnered with the Philly Farm and Food Fest on the Local Heroes program, and I’m excited to tell you some of our 2017 winners will be with us at this year’s Fest on April 8th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. I’ve attended this sprawling event for the past 6 years, and I can tell you it is as informative and inspiring as it is fun. There is no better way to learn about where your food comes from and why it matters than having a conversation with the people who make, raise, or grow it. I’ve had hundreds of those talks with farmers and artisans at the Fest, and I know I will discover new favorite food items—not to mention story ideas—this year.

I hope to see you there!

Joy Manning

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Owner, Red Balloon & The Flwry


Her two businesses aren’t overtly food-centric, but Nicole Paloux’s passion for all things culinary shapes both Red Balloon, her boutique public-relations firm, and The Flwry, her flower-subscription service.

“On the PR side, I take on only a handful of clients at a time, but I always like one of them to be a food business,” she says. To that end, she’s worked with Le Bec-Fin, Hip City Veg and Brown Betty Bakery. Meanwhile, her flower service, originally aimed at individuals, is now growing into the food world as Paloux begins delivering gorgeous bunches of flowers to restaurants straight from the local farms where they’re grown.

But it’s when Paloux is off the clock that her passion for food really asserts itself. An avid baker, she tackles at least one ambitious dessert creation a month—and this time of year, she does more than that. “I’ve completely taken over holiday baking,” she says.

Lately she’s been especially drawn to the kind of beautifully decorated layer cakes that are the specialty of Swedish blogging sensation and cookbook author Linda Lomelino. This recipe for apple cinnamon cakes is from the pages of Lomelino’s cookbook, Lomelino’s Cakes: 27 Pretty Cakes to Make Any Day Special.

Paloux puts her own twists on the recipe, of course. “I like to substitute cardamom for most of the cinnamon,” she says. She also uses a scraping technique when applying frosting that lets some of the cake peek through (creating what’s known as a “naked cake”), then douses the cake in homemade caramel sauce.




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Does this time of year bring out your sweet tooth? For better or worse, I know it does mine. That’s why we’ve taken sweets as our theme for this year’s holiday/ winter issue.

I promise plenty of suggestions for where to find the very best store-bought treats this season, but we’ve also got some inspiration for home bakers in Alex Jones’s story about local grains and flour (page 16). In our Cookshelf column, Philly PR maven Nicole Paloux shares her current favorite cake recipe (page 38). We also take the plunge into more health-focused sweets thanks to Tenaya Darlington’s profile of Andrea Kyan, who specializes in dairy-, gluten-, and refined-sugar-free desserts at P.S. & Co., just off Rittenhouse Square (page 30).

If all that sweetness is giving you a cavity, don’t worry. Some parts of this issue are sugar-free. Mike Madaio goes on a quest for locally made wine on tap at Philly-area restaurants and bars—and finds some (page 34). Robin Shreeves take us over the bridge for a holiday-centric tour of quaint, historic Haddonfield, New Jersey (page 40). And on a decidedly bittersweet note, we pay tribute to Greensgrow Farms founder Mary Seton Corboy, the local food leader who passed away earlier this year (Page 13).

Besides baking (and eating) plenty of cookies and cake over the holidays, I also try to reflect on the year that has been and look ahead to the year to come. This issue marks Edible Philly’s third birthday, and of all the many things working on it has shown me, what I value most is our food community. Working closely with the writers and photographers whose work fills these pages is a pleasure and an honor, and collaborating with publishers Nancy and Ray Painter is a fun, fabulous adventure.

When I get to meet you, our readers, and hear about how the magazine helped you discover a farmstand or restaurant, a locally made spirit or an artisanal jam, I know that we are all in this together. We have shared values when it comes to food and community. That means the world to me.

I wish you a sweet, happy holiday season and a cozy, restorative winter. Be well until we all meet again in the pages of our spring 2017 issue.

Joy Manning

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This issue of Edible Philly was built around the theme of Chefs and Restaurants. Though we all have an image of the archetypical chef—someone like Marc Vetri or Georges Perrier—it’s only one possible expression of that career. I knew from the outset that I wanted to look at other ways to be a professional chef in today’s changing dining landscape.

One of the most invisible ways is to be the creative cook behind the recipes for packaged foods. Writer Michele Berger spent time with Campbell’s chef Carrie Welt and traces the progression of one of Campbell’s new organic soups from inspiration to store shelf (page 24). (We also have Welt’s recipe for a homemade version.) In our Cookshelf column (page 40), I talk to Dan Giorgio, chef de cuisine for Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s 13th Street Restaurant Group, about the difference between being essentially the private party chef and the guy who runs a restaurant kitchen.

Our food-writing-fellow-turned-contributor Katherine Rapin writes about the surge in “secret supper clubs” around Philadelphia (page 20). During these pop-up events, young chefs have more creative freedom than they would on the line at a traditional restaurant. I was inspired to attend one of these floating dinner parties after reading the story, and it was the most fun I’ve had around the table in a long time. I ate outstanding local food cooked by chef Ari Miller—and made new friends, too.

Also in this issue, Alex Jones explores the special relationship between chefs and the farmers who grow the ingredients needed to make superlative restaurant meals (page 30) and Amy McKeever takes us to Sate Kampar, one woman’s detail-oriented homage to her home country, Malaysia (page 36).

I suspect it will be very tough for you to read this whole issue and avoid making some reservations.

Please use this issue to plan a very delicious fall.

Joy Manning

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Whenever Philadelphia expects a large influx of visitors, I feel a peculiar mix of excitement and dread. It’s the same fluttery mix of nerves and pride I get when I invite people to my house for dinner. I want to show off—and measure up.

This summer, the Democratic National Convention will surely draw more than the usual number of summer visitors to town. I realize there’s history being made here (again!) but the big question on my mind is not really about the upcoming election. I’m mostly wondering where all those conventioneers will end up eating and drinking, and how their meals will inform their impressions of my hometown.

To that end, we commissioned Center City resident and regular Edible Philly contributor Wendy Ramunno to write a “Road Trip” column aimed specifically at tourists who will be staying in the heart of Center City. This sub-neighborhood includes parts of Chinatown and Midtown Village, so the options are a diverse mixture of new businesses and old, with prices ranging from cheap to splurge. I think it’ll be useful travel for visitors to Philly, as well as reminding those of us who live here to get out of our own neighborhoods and into Center City.

Much of the rest of the magazine centers on a more profound theme. This summer we are proud to present our first farm issue. On page 14, you’ll find a story from Michele W. Berger that demystifies the financial side of community-supported agriculture programs and raises the question of whether these arrangements can truly help farmers make ends meet. Alex Jones tells the story of two farmers who are trying to mitigate global warming through the power of biodiversity, seed saving, and sorghum on page 28. And you’ll definitely want to save this issue at least through the fall, thanks to our guide to the area’s finest producer-only farmers’ markets on page 33.

That farmers’-market guide is just one contribution from our food writing fellow, Katherine Rapin, who wraps up her time with us with this issue. I hope you have enjoyed getting to know her through the exceptional writing and reporting you’ve seen from her in recent issues of the magazine, in our monthly newsletter (which she will continue writing), and at I am so thankful to the Culinary Trust, a nonprofit organization that focuses on leadership and education in the food world, for funding six of these fellowships in 2016 and for selecting Edible Philly to receive one.

Joy Manning

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A new book takes a fresh approach to drinking local



Fishtown-based author Tenaya Darlington is best known as Madame Fromage, the title of her widely read cheese blog. She branched out into culinary books by partnering with our most famous local cheesemongers to write Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese (Running Press, 2013). Her next book, The New Cocktail Hour: The Essential Guide to Hand-Crafted Drinks (Running Press), cowritten with her brother, André Darlington, is out April 26.

At first glance it seems that a book about spirits is far afield from her usual subject matter, but Darlington’s two passions have always been closely linked in her mind. “Whenever I want to treat myself, I make myself a nice cocktail and pair it with cheese,” she says.

The book was born out of Darlington’s wish to take on a creative project with her brother, a writer living in the Midwest. The two frequently caught up over Skype, often mixing themselves cocktails for the occasion to make it feel more like an in-person hang at a cozy bar. They found themselves talking a lot about what they were drinking—local spirits, forgotten classics or creative potions they invented on the spur of the moment.

Soon, a book idea was born. The Darlingtons dove into their work with relish. The pair studied the evolution of American cocktails during the past 100 years or so, traveled the country to discover new spirits and flavors, and of course tested and refined their own drinking innovations and new recipes.

One of the most inspiring things about this new book is how it blurs the line between the bar and the kitchen. The New Cocktail Hour is peppered with ideas about what to eat with what you drink. “I love Birchrun Hills Farm’s funky Red Cat with a variation on the classic manhattan called An American in Paris. That’s a bourbon drink with dry vermouth, crème de cassis and lemon,” says Darlington. Looking for some more general advice? She loves matching goat cheese with gin. “I’ve moved into the world of the cocktail but I’m taking cheese with me.”

The New Cocktail Hour takes a crafty approach to mixers, with recipes and advice for making homemade versions from whole ingredients. And, best of all, cocktails are viewed through the lens of seasonality. Many recipes, like the ones we excerpt here, are best when their ingredients can be gathered at the farmers’ market or from your own garden. Their flavors will be fresh and vibrant compared to cocktails made with canned tomato juice or without in-season fresh herbs. Gather your friends, the best ingredients you can find, and get mixing. Make sure you raise a toast to drinking local.


Red Snapper

Mint Julep

Gin Basil Smash


All recipes adapted from The New Cocktail Hour by André Darlington and Tenaya Darlington, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group


Don’t miss your chance to explore the world of cheese and cocktail pairings with Tenaya Darlington on the opening day of the Headhouse Farmers’ Market. She’ll be hosting a pairing and tasting event at The Twisted Tail with a focus on farm-to-glass cocktails. The event is on May 1 and runs between noon and 2pm. Tickets cost $45 and include a copy of The New Cocktail Hour. For reservations, call 215.558.2471 or visit

The Twisted Tail
509 S. 2nd St.


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Every year, Edible Communities magazines around the country ask you, our readers, to name Local Heroes in six food- and drink-related categories. Here in the Philadelphia region there is no shortage of worthy candidates for the title. Surrounded by some of the richest farmland in the United States (tended to by some of the most forward-thinking minds in modern farming), we have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to local ingredients. And the delicious stuff our regional chefs and food artisans make from this bounty is another point of Philly pride.

We are also lucky to have many places to shop that go beyond simply curating an inventory of distinctive foodstuffs to provide a genuine culinary education to interested shoppers. And finally, the local nonprofit organizations that spend their time working to solve food-related problems—including hunger and waste—inspire everyone who comes in contact with them to be more active in the food movement. So remember there are many, many more local heroes than the ones you’ll see highlighted here. The spirit of the Edible Communities Local Heroes award program honors them one and all. Featuring these food champions is one of our favorite things we do each year. Meet your Edible Philly Local Heroes 2016—and tell them congratulations next time you see them.


Todd Carmichael, co-founder, La Colombe

“I was walking up Walnut Street
and I just felt like something big
was going to happen here.”

La Colombe

The words “La Colombe” are practically synonymous with coffee, especially here in Philadelphia, the city the coffee roaster calls home. For more than 20 years La Colombe has been producing remarkably flavorful, well-balanced brews. It’s ubiquitous in restaurants, cafés and stores. But in spite of the fact that La Colombe has been around for two decades, the innovations are still coming at a rapid pace. The still-new coffee shop/restaurant/distillery in Fishtown is among the most beautiful and noteworthy destinations in a city whose culinary scene has boomed in spectacular fashion in recent years.

La Colombe owner Todd Carmichael isn’t surprised at the other cafés and restaurants popping up alongside his Fishtown flagship and indeed all over the city. He saw it coming decades ago, when he traveled the Eastern Seaboard trying to choose a city to call home for the coffee business he had dreamed up. “I was walking up Walnut Street and I just felt like something big was going to happen here. I looked into a window and saw a guy welding a giant fish to a wall,” says Carmichael.

That was 1994. What he saw was the final touches being applied to Striped Bass, a restaurant that helped spark a new food revolution here in the city and revitalize restaurant row. “I was afraid I was going to miss it,” he says. He returned to the South of France, where he was then living, packed up his things, and started La Colombe that same year with his cofounder JP Iberti. He definitely didn’t miss the food boom just then starting. Turns out he has been one its most important players. Incredibly, more than two decades later, that surge of energy he sensed around local food and drink is still going strong.

Coffee is no longer the only beverage produced under La Colombe’s umbrella. Since 2014, the company has also been making a rum called Different Drum. “I went to Florida, got the best sugarcane, juiced it and distilled it, and combined it with coffee,” says Carmichael of the process. The result is a high-end sipping rum that has taken on the flavor nuances and aroma of coffee beans.

Another recent addition to La Colombe’s list of innovations is the company’s new approach to iced lattes. “I realized that what we were serving—what everyone was serving—wasn’t really a latte but more like a café au lait,” says Carmichael. The problem, he says, was one of texture.

A hot latte gets its character from the steaming of the milk; the texture becomes lighter, frothy, luxurious. The minute you add ice to steamed milk, it goes flat. The magic is gone. Carmichael’s ingenious solution to this problem was to put the milk under pressure with nitrous oxide. When the pressure is released, the milk fills with tiny bubbles, like foam. You can serve it cold, over ice, and retain the mouthfeel and texture of a hot latte. Though there’s no added sugar, the milk tastes sweeter thanks to this process.

Coffee beans, though roasted locally, are an imported product, and so is the cane that goes into the rum. You can’t get that stuff from around here. But when it comes to ingredients that can be locally sourced, Carmichael makes it a priority to do so. All of La Colombe’s milk, for example, comes from Balford Farms in New Jersey. Carmichael is so committed to working with that farm, in fact, that the size of the production run on his new line of canned lattes is determined by how much milk is available from Balford. It’s just one thing that makes La Colombe a local hero in our eyes.

La Colombe
1335 Frankford Ave.



Lancaster Farm Fresh

Back in 2006, two farmers pulled up in their trucks at the same time to the delivery door of a popular West Philly restaurant famous for its commitment to local food. It was the height of summer, and both had plenty of the season’s marquee produce: zucchini, eggplant, corn and tomatoes. The farmers were friendly with each other, their farms were near one another. They didn’t necessarily expect to see each other that day, but it wasn’t an uncommon occurrence either.

“What happened was, the restaurant bought zucchini and eggplant from one guy and corn and tomatoes from the other,” says Casey Spacht, director of Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative. “Both had spent the time and gas money to travel there separately and thought there was something we could do to get the farmers organized so that we could make the process of selling to restaurants more efficient.” The farmers looked to Spacht, whose background was in nonprofit management, to organize them and other interested farmers into a formal group that could work together to get organic, local food to the people who want it.

During the past ten years, Lancaster Farm Fresh has grown from the original seven farmers to the 150 member-farmers who make up the cooperative today. And they’re selling not just to a handful of hippie-ish restaurants but to the best and most influential chefs in the area, including those at Vedge, Fork, A.Kitchen, Urban Farmer and many others.

The farmers have an even larger reach through their CSA, which has thousands of members. The CSA program goes through all four seasons thanks in part to greenhouses. There are more than 50 pickup locations serviced by a fleet of refrigerated trucks. The operation has come a very long way from those two farmers whose pickups were laden with the same produce in 2006.

By banding together as a co-op and building a network to supply stores, restaurants and individuals, Lancaster Farm Fresh has given many farmers a lifeline, a way to reach their customers; lots of ways, in fact, they might not have had the resources to handle on their own.… Read More

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Win Tickets to the Philly Farm and Food Fest


Want to beat the crowds at the Philly Farm & Food Fest on Sunday, April 10?

Enter to win a pair of VIP tickets to the fest by leaving a comment below this blog post by midnight on April 4th. The winner and a guest will get to explore the fest an hour earlier than the general public and have the opportunity to mingle with 300 other VIPs, including chefs, press, and food industry insiders. The winner will be chosen at random and notified on April 5. Don’t miss your chance! 

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