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.