Philadelphia, PA - Chef/owners Andrew Kochan and Tim Lanza of Marigold Kitchen (501 South 45th Street; 215-222-3699) are thrilled to announce that Eric Leveillee will be joining their team as executive chef. Chef Leveillee will be taking over the reins of Marigold Kitchen, as Kochan and Lanza prepare to open the long awaited TALK at 2121 Walnut Street.
"There is little that needs to be said about Eric that isn't already well known by those who operate kitchens - he is a serious guy with some serious goals, explains co-owner Andrew Kochan. "Without a doubt, my favorite thing about him is that he is deliberate and particular - those two things together can yield some incredible results. Whether the goal is to highlight locale or a given season or even to simply inspire whimsy. The nature of Marigold Kitchen has long been to explore boundaries and push limits, and Eric is certainly one who will do just that with his rapidly rotating tasting menus and the other changes that he has in the works."
With a degree in economics from Temple University, Eric Leveillee began his cooking career with Jen Zavala at El Camino Real when the market crashed in 2008. He moved back to his native New England with a stint at James Beard nominated, Cook and Brown and in Providence, RI. But, Philadelphia has always had a strange pull on Leveillee. So, he returned after two years and began working with Greg Vernick at Vernick Food & Drink and most recently with Jeremy Nolen at Whetstone Tavern, as executive chef.
Kieran O' Sullivan, Leveillee's sous chef at Whetstone will join him as sous chef at Marigold Kitchen. Look for a new menu to be rolled out by the end of May.
"I am very excited to work with Tim and Andrew as executive chef of Marigold Kitchen,” states executive chef Eric Leveillee. "The history of the restaurant is humbling to say the least. I remember when we first began talking about it, and trying to imagine my name among the names of all the great chefs that have been through those doors.”
As for the menu, Leveillee plans to keep the chef’s tasting format. Except it will change more frequently, and will evolve as the new kitchen evolves. They also plan to build a non-alcoholic beverage program, for which they are working with some very exciting local and not so local people.
Chef Leveillee’s cooking style is intense and minimal, with aggressive flavors. A precise but somewhat simple preparation. Chef will work very closely with local foragers and farmers. Guests can expect to see ingredients that are new to them.
"I very much believe in cooking with what is available. So, in spring for example, there are so many micro-seasons, something might only be around or at its peak for a few weeks at most. We want the menu to be flexible so we can reflect those changes,” adds Leveillee.
“Chef Eric and I got along really well right off the bat, says co-owner Tim Lanza. "We both have a strong mutual admiration and respect for each other’s style and drive. His food is not only visually appealing, but it’s sincerely delicious. When the time came to think about who would take the helm in the kitchen at Marigold, Eric was my first choice. I’m excited for Eric and his team to have the platform they deserve to share his beautiful food. Big things are happening at Marigold Kitchen.”
Marigold Kitchen serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 6:00pm.