"The Race Street Pier is one of the best things to happen to the Delaware River waterfront in recent memory, and on June 19, you can experience the new outdoor space with fantastic food and drink. With the Ben Franklin Bridge glittering overhead, Wednesday’s Race Street Pier Promenade will feature 14 Philly restaurants at an outdoor fundraiser on the water’s edge. Tickets are still available for the casual-chic gala, and they run $150 per person (here). The donation to nonprofit Delaware River Waterfront Corporation will score you three hours of food and drink - beverages include Yards beer, Ketel One vodka and plenty of wine - plus live music and a fireworks display. Check out the list of restaurants cooking for you below, and make plans for a night under the stars (6-9 PM)."
"With the closing over the weekend of Le Bec-Fin (a year after Perrier's own departure), Vetri wanted to do something to pay homage to Perrier. 'Georges has launched so many careers and brought so much to Philadelphia with his amazing cooking and his big personality,' Vetri told me. 'Even when I came here [in 1998] and didn't know him at all he took me in like I worked for him for years. He gave me so much advice in the early stages of Vetri and sent me in so many customers when I was doing four covers a night. He is a true legend. I just think Le Bec and Georges' legacy should be celebrated.'"
"Before award-winning chef Jeff Michaud ever opened the doors of his acclaimed Philadelphia restaurants, he spent three years in northern Italy as a culinary apprentice to master butchers and chefs, immersing himself in the culture and cuisine of the old country. It is safe to say that he never anticipated the romance that would ensue. Eating Italy is a delicious, funny, and mesmerizing spin through the boot, teaching true heirloom techniques and telling Jeff ’s culinary and personal love story (he met his wife when she came into the restaurant one night for dinner, and to this day, he hasn’t forgotten what she ordered).
Part inventive cookbook, part travel narrative, each chapter of Eating Italy explores a village or town in northern Italy, unveiling the unique culinary and cultural experience it has to offer. The reader experiences his journey from “Paladina: The Butcher’s Apprentice” to “Trescore Balneario: Our Big Italian Wedding” in dishes like Apricot and Chanterelle Salad, Swordfish Pancetta with Fennel Zeppole, Pheasant Lasagne, and Blood Orange Crostata with Bitter Chocolate. Each authentic recipe serves to mark his professional growth, learning from some of the most skilled chefs in Italy. Vivid photography of Italian culture, people, and landscapes are dispersed throughout, allowing the reader a glimpse of northern Italia from a kitchen far away."
Tags: great chefs event
"The Vetri Foundation’s eighth annual Great Chefs Event fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was a huge success last night, raising over $1.1 million for the fight against childhood cancer. While we weren’t able to participate in the live auction - in which generous patrons bid upwards of $12,000 for special dinners and events - we did have a chance to sample the food and drink. More than 50 chefs from around the globe joined Marc Vetri at the Navy Yard for the evening to support a good cause, and they brought with them some very tasty bites. Here are five of our favorites, along with a few fun pics from the party."
Check out the full story and slideshow here.
"Last night’s 8th Annual Great Chefs Event, the yearly eating party thrown by Philadelphia superchef Marc Vetri, was held at Urban Outfitters in the Navy Yard, with proceeds going to help Alex’s Lemonade Stand eradicate childhood cancer, and to the Vetri Foundation for Children. Neuroblastoma took Alex Scott’s life when she was eight, and her parents, Jay and Liz Scott, carry on her goal of helping doctors find a cure for the disease."
Read the post here.
"More than 1,200 people filled the headquarters of Urban Outfitters in the Navy Yard last night for a chance to taste food by more than four-dozen chefs from around the world and raise money for a good cause at the Vetri Foundation's Great Chefs Event. The eighth annual fundraiser for Alex's Lemonade Stand raised over $1.1 million to for the fight against childhood cancer.
Local restaurateurs Jose Garces, Michael Solomonov and others joined notable out-of-towners like Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto), Ken Oringer (Toro, Clio) and Marco Rossi (who flew in from Bergamo, Italy) to feed gourmet bites to a hungry crowd. The team from NYC's Big Gay Ice Cream made the trip down for the first year. Tickets to the sold out event were $350 per person ($500 for VIP)."
Tags: great chefs event
"In the Philly area, I love everything and anything that Marc Vetri does. I'm at Osteria very often. I love Amis. I can't wait to check out the new pizzeria."
Check out the full interview here.
On when he first fell in love with beer:
"Believe it or not I was actually a beer guy first, then spent years pushing what little beer knowledge I had out to make space in my limited brain for wine. The last year and a half I've been doing the opposite (bye bye grape names!), but the beer experience that started it all for me was my first taste of Rodenbach (a Flemish sour) on an internship in Brussels during college."
On pairing beer with food at the Vetri family of restaurants:
"Jeff Benjamin, Marc's partner in the restaurants, is the ultimate pairing maestro, and above all has taught me the value of pairing from your gut. What do you immediately crave when you taste a dish or read about it? Often that's the best possible pairing, and many a time at Vetri Jeff would look at a dish and say "Man, I want a beer with that" and that's what would end up on the pairing. So you'd be halfway through a wine pairing at Vetri and a beer would show up on the fourth course and flip your expectations upside down. Guests seemed to embrace it from the very beginning and now we do a full fledged beer pairing nightly at Vetri."
On what's driven the emergence of the Italian craft beer scene: "The standard theory on why Italians are so distinguished so early on is typically that they don't really have a brewing tradition of their own, so they're not abiding by any rules. But I think it goes a little deepr than that. They're all serious scholars of brewing cultures - more that they're dancing with those traditions and tiling them on their sides in ways that no one ever really thought of before. Sometimes it's so unique but so simple that you're like "oh, duh" - e.g., we have an oyster stout on right now from del Borgo that's brewed with whole oysters and clams (not just the shells) that sounds bizarre but it's downright amazing. What's really interesting about the Italian craft beer movement is where it came from: in the mid '90s a lot of young Italians realized that there was a disparity in their beer habits compared to the wine they were consuming (as well as spirits, food, coffee...) why not have amazing beer too? And even more interesting is that many of these young brewers come from winemaking regions and even families, so it makes perfect sense that they incorporate wine techniques into their production styles. Loverbeer, Del Borgo, Montegioco... tons have emerged alongside those amazing DFH beers." On serving as a judge at this year's BrewVi awards: "Tasting through 49 beers with you guys was the perfect warmup to beer week, and I was seriously overwhelmed with the amount of local talent that submitted this year. I understand the bubble bursting concern, but at the same time you could spend a whole year drinking a different LOCAL beer in this area and never drink the same thing twice. I dont think you can say that about too many places, and I can't imagine that many other places have so much quality among the quantity." On pilsners:
"Pilsner is typically the go-to for professional wine drinkers, especially post shift, and the same holds true for me. There's something really enthralling to me about the clarity and precision of the style when done right, by an exacting and taskmasterly hand such as Mr. Covaleski perhaps..."
On the Teku style glassware used for beer at Alla Spina:
"It's certainly my favourite glass to use in a restaurant setting: it's striking visually, has serious functionality for smelling, tasting, and pouring, and actually holds up through multiple uses. We tasted from a few different styles to see what we liked and continue to do so, and i've found that some really fancy wine glasses can't be beat for aroma, but then you break one of every three in the dishwasher...The glass was actually designed by Teo Musso, the founder of Baladin, perhaps the godfather of the whole italian craft scene, so it's a nice tie in for our Italian approach too."
"What are some other favorite food spots of yours right now in Philly?
Philly's so tough because there's, like, a bazillion of them. Osteria is one of our stomping grounds; anything Marc Vetri does is amazing."
Summers also talked about spending Christmas at Marc Vetri's house:
"My favorite day of the year is Christmas Eve, and as a Jew, that's hard to say. But, every year Marc Vetri invites me to his house and we pig out with his family and friends. For the last 3 or 4 years we've been doing that. And it's just like the best night ever. As good as the food is in his restaurants, it's better at his house. I can't tell you how amazing it is. And he works on it for like 3 or 4 days, making these great swordfish meatballs -- the whole thing's ridiculous, it is so good. So that's like dying and going to heaven."