While his backstory could pass for that of someone from South Philly, Jeff Burke, the chef for McFadden’s Ballpark, 1 Citizens Bank Way, hadn’t cooked in Philly until he landed his current gig six years ago. Growing up outside of Scranton, he learned his passion from his mother, who spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing family meals.
New York City native Christopher Lee made his Philly debut in 2004 at the Stephen Starr’s now defunct Striped Bass. During his time there, it received rave reviews, and Lee won the James Beard Rising Chef of the Year Award.
Chinamoto, the newest ground-level addition to 777 S. Broad St., rolled out the red carpet May 21 to welcome guests for its official grand opening. It was a chance for rising 26-year-old chef Sunny Lin to put his international sushi skills on full display.
Sitting in the middle of his 38-seat restaurant at 1046 Tasker street, chef Joncarl Lachman is a hot topic of neighborhood conversation as Noord, his classic bistro, opened earlier this month. The former Southwest Philadelphian most recently spent time running the Chicago-based Home Bistro, which he still owns. Coming home, however, always has been on Lachman’s mind.
Last week, my friend Howie told me he enjoys reading the South Philly Review over coffee at La.Va Café. He is a fine theater critic and was my favorite editor when I covered ballet and dance for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nora Ephron, who died last year, was a newspaper reporter, essayist, screenwriter, director and playwright. She also was an excellent home cook and was constantly on the New York City new restaurant radar screen.
More than eight years ago, Café Du Laos, the city’s first Laotian restaurant, opened on South 11th Street. I had never tasted this Asian cuisine, but found it similar to Vietnamese in its delicacy and Thai, which always brings bold flavors.