Philadelphia, PA - You're missing out if you haven't heard of these local culinary icons yet. You can learn more about the work of Marc Vetri, Jose Garces, Stephen Starr, and Michael Solomonov below. Also, read about the careers of the chefs themselves. We've also listed the latest events and specials at their restaurants.
Vetri is the founder of Osteria, a quaint Italian eatery just north of Center City. He later expanded to New York and opened Osteria Alla Spina. The two restaurants are now a staple in Center City, and Vetri has plans to open a pizzeria this summer. He has also made philanthropic contributions to the community. His Vetri Community Partnership aims to encourage healthy lifestyles among at-risk youth.
Vetri has been working in restaurants around Philadelphia since he was thirteen. He once worked alongside the first celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck, at a restaurant in Malibu. The two worked at the pasta station together. They both love cooking and smoking cigars.
The owner of 15 restaurants in the Philadelphia area, Chef Jose Garces, is a name you should know about. He is a Chicago native who started in the kitchen with his paternal grandmother. He attended Kendall College and graduated with a degree in culinary arts. He now resides in Philadelphia with his family. He is also very involved in the community, starting a foundation that helps immigrants and low-income families.
He has also made a conscious effort to support other chefs in the city. His Chefs in Residence Program at Volver will feature the talents of seven emerging chefs. The goal is to highlight the diversity of cooking styles. The chefs will showcase their signature dishes on the Volver menu during the program, which will run for six to eight weeks.
Stephen Starr is a Philadelphia chef who has built a portfolio of diverse cuisines worldwide. His vision for Philadelphia's culinary scene has led to the city's transformation into one of the most vibrant restaurant scenes in the country. He receives multiple awards, including "Restaurateur of the Year" from Bon Appetit and "Outstanding Restaurateur" from the James Beard Foundation.
Starr's vision for Philadelphia's food scene is reflected in his restaurants' namesakes. For example, at his newest restaurant, Tangerine, he pays homage to Moroccan and Mediterranean culture with exotic colors and moody lighting. Another restaurant, Jones, pays homage to classic comfort foods from decades past.
The winner of Bravo's Top Chef Season 11 in 2014, Nicholas Elmi, now owns three Philadelphia restaurants and is getting ready to release his first cookbook. The cookbook will focus on Elmi's favorite dishes from the city's rich culinary history. Elmi is a native of Massachusetts and lives with his wife and two children in Collingswood.
The chef's background is in fine dining. He grew up in a family of five children and discovered his passion for cooking early. After attending culinary school, he worked in French restaurants before opening his restaurant. He is co-hosting a food and wine festival in Philadelphia on September 27 to benefit FringeArts.
Michael Schulson has worked under several famous chefs and restaurateurs in Philadelphia and has several restaurants under his belt. His experience includes stints at the Double Knot, the Harp & Crown, and Izakaya by Michael Schulson. He also opened a Japanese restaurant in Hollywood, Fla., in 2010.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Schulson worked in several acclaimed restaurants. Among these are Peacock Alley at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, David Burke's Park Avenue Cafe, and Le Bec-Fin. In addition, he has been featured on FOX News, TODAY, and the Rachael Ray Show. His work has also been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Men's Fitness.
In addition to cooking in restaurants, Schulson enjoys cooking at home with his family. He still focuses on eating simple, healthy meals for his family. When working at restaurants, he was less inclined to cook at home, but his love for cooking grew as his career progressed.
Nicholas Elmi is one of Philadelphia's most talented chefs. He's a former Top Chef winner who trained with the legendary French chef Georges Perrier. He has a series of restaurants in Philadelphia, including his own Laurel, a BYOB restaurant that consistently ranks as one of the best in Philadelphia. He also owns the bar ITV and a new brasserie in the Old City.
Despite his busy schedule, Elmi still finds time to engage with the public on social media. His feed is filled with photos and updates from his restaurants, and he's accessible. He's a real people person who doesn't mind interacting with guests. The Philadelphia dining scene is developing, and Elmi's East Passyunk Avenue restaurant in Laurel was one of the city's pioneers. It was a time when most diners favored a tasting menu. The 22-seat restaurant was located on a tight block in South Philly.
Erin O'Shea has been lauded as one of the best barbecue chefs in the country. She is one of the few female pitmasters and has made her mark in Philadelphia by opening Percy Street Barbecue. She spent her formative years in Virginia, and her southern roots and love for smoked food have translated well into her Philadelphia cooking.
Recently, she announced her plans to step down from her role as opening chef at the Rooster Soup Co., a restaurant that donates a percent of its profits to help feed hungry Philadelphians. The restaurant has received national acclaim and has been named one of the best new restaurants in the United States. Her departure from the restaurant surprised many, and her fans, who have hailed her for her talent and dedication, are still waiting for her return.
Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran
If you're a foodie, you should know about Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney, two women who own restaurants in the city's Midtown Village. Both women started as independent restaurateurs, renting real estate in the neighborhood for their restaurants. Their restaurants include the Mediterranean Barbuzzo, the modern Mexican Lolita, and the Spanish wine and nibbles bar Jamonera. In addition to their restaurants, Turney and Safran have been busy adopting a baby and are planning a new addition to their family.
Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran have been involved with the culinary scene in the city for the past years. Together, they've transformed 13th Street into a hip and trendy neighborhood. Together, they've opened five restaurants and a gourmet prepared food market, and they've also opened a chocolate shop and desk nameplate business. In addition, they've recently announced plans for two concepts in Philadelphia's South End.
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Food and Event Writer
My joy is aimed at food and foodie lovers. I enjoy covering trends, issues, and all things Philly