Christopher Kearse opened his first restaurant, Will BYOB, 1911 E. Passyunk Ave., after working in kitchens from coast to coast as well as in London.
“You learn a lot over the 10 years — you kind of want to take that experience and do your own thing,” Kearse said Friday.
His friend, whom he met while working at LaCroix, chef Lee Styer of Fond, 1537 S. 11th St., told him about the then-vacant spot.
“The location, the area, this landlord, [Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corp.],” he said of factors that resulted in his decision to open a South Philly restaurant. “I used to work at a small, 30-seat restaurant. It kind of was a no-brainer, natural progression.”
His recipes also have a progression until each is just right. When it came to his Parsnip Veloute creation, which will be featured on his Valentine’s Day menu, he focused on the vegetable, working on the rest of the ingredients until he found the right mix of flavors.
“Taste it and taste it and taste it, and analyze,” the Fifth and Morris streets resident said of the process.
But to taste his version, one must make reservations quickly as Kearse alters the menu frequently. However, he also has revealed his recipe for those who want to try their hand at the winter soup.
1 quart of whole milk
1 pint of heavy cream
3 shallots, sliced
1 orange, peeled and segmented
Kosher salt, to taste Puffed quinoa Pear butter Meyer lemon
Peel six of the parsnips and slice 1/4-inch thick. Place the sliced parsnips, milk, cream, orange and shallots in a medium sauce pot and bring just to a simmer, stirring every few minutes for two hours.
When the soup is done simmering, place the mixture in a blender, and puree on high until completely smooth. Pass the soup through a fine mesh strainer, and keep warm. Take all of the the remaining parsnips, and juice them in a rotary juicer. To serve, add parsnip juice to the soup, and season with the salt.
Serve with puffed quinoa, pear butter and Meyer lemon.
Serves four to six people.
Owner/Chef: Christopher Kearse
Opened Aug. 24, 2012
1911 E. Passyunk Ave.
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