"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."
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"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."
"Being that it's the first Monday of the month our pals at Alla Spina (1410 Mt. Vernon St.) are hosting their monthly Industry Night and this one is a can't miss. For the June/Beer Week edition of Industry Night they're welcoming three special guests: Joey Baldino from Collingswood Sicilian spot Zeppoli, Colorado's Great Divide Brewing and Perennial Brewing from St. Louis.
Beers from both breweries will be flowing along with Sicilian Gin Fizzes and a rum-blueberry-Sambuca cocktail. And the menu? Well, it's looking pretty sweet. Think Sicilian classics like arancini, seafood fritto misto and pistachio sausage."
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"The huge Renato pizza oven has been installed, and photos of test pies have been popping up all over Twitter. So far we’ve seen square pies in marinara and other flavors like brassica rabe and sausage, plus pans of spiraled savory strudel. We still don’t have a target date for the new pizzeria from Marc Vetri, which is in the Granary Building directly across from The Barnes, but word is it will be sometime this summer."
Read the article here.
foobooz has the scoop:
"Baldino is serving up a Sicilian feast as Alla Spina also welcomes St. Louis’ Perennial Brewing and Colorado’s Great Divide Brewing to the house for Philly Beer Week. The breweries will be offering discounted drafts and Baldino will be preparing a feast of dishes like pistachio sausage, swordfish spiedini and much more.
As always, the food is free and the drinks are cheap. It all gets started at 10 p.m., a hospitality pay stub is required for admission, or visiting Beer Week peeps can get in with a business card."
Check out the menu and more here.
"The most memorable meal I ever ate … was at Alain Ducasse’s Louis XV in Monte Carlo. A friend made a reservation for me. The only table they had was in the kitchen. I ate there alone, and after the meal, they told me, “Your meal is compliments of Mr. Ducasse.” Which was weird, since I’ve never even met him."
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