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The BIG Clambake Chefame/Eating Crowe's Giant Clambake   We've had a lot of fun throwing our Open (and now Pro) Chefame events and now we're going to be putting on a whole new crazy night of fun...  A giant clambake...

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Pro ChefAMe #1 - The Details! September 14th has shaped up to be a prolific evening. ChefAMe is proud to present its first pro event in partnership with the Warwick Hotel and Tavern 17.  Pro ChefAMe will be different from our previous...

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Our first Pro ChefAMe! Open ChefAMe has been incredible so far. We've now done five successful events and we feel that we've learned so much along the way. Our next event is something special. We're holding our first Professional...

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More information on Open ChefAMe #5More information on Open ChefAMe #5 The next event is just around the corner.  Ava is an Italian BYOB (so please, BYOB) located just north of South Street.  We're very excited to have both of our ChefAMe chefs cooking for you at Open ChefAMe...

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The BIG Clambake

Posted by Jesse Middleton | Posted in Event Info | Posted on 21-09-2009

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Chefame/Eating Crowe Giant Clambake

 

giant_clams

We’ve had a lot of fun throwing our Open (and now Pro) Chefame events and now we’re going to be putting on a whole new crazy night of fun…  A giant clambake with Eating Crowe, Phoodie.info and Dining by Design!  While we may not have people running around in clam suits (although we are looking) we are going to have a huge amount of clams, mussels, sausage, lobster and crab for each and everyone of our guests.

On Wednesday, October 7th, from 6-8:00 pm we’ll be filming a live episode of Eating Crowe area of Philadelphia.

To grab your tickets to the event (it is pre-sale only), hop over to our ticketing site and grab them while you still can.

Listen to ChefAMe on KYW1060

Posted by Jesse Middleton | Posted in Interviews and Bios, Press | Posted on 13-09-2009

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We always try to keep the press page up to date on our site but we did something pretty fun the other day that we wanted to share with everyone.

I was interviewed by KYW 1060’s Hadas Kuznits outside of the Warwick Hotel and Tavern 17 about the upcoming Pro ChefAMe.  Last week it aired on the radio and a copy of it is also online.  Go ahead and give it a listen and we hope to see you out at a future ChefAMe event!

Pro ChefAMe #1 – The Details!

Posted by Jesse Middleton | Posted in Event Info | Posted on 03-09-2009

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September 14th has shaped up to be a prolific evening. ChefAMe is proud to present its first pro event in partnership with the Warwick Hotel and avern 17.  Pro ChefAMe will be different from our previous  amateur events as three professional Warwick chefs, Chef Cathy Chambers, Executive Chef Ben Young and Sous Chef Christopher Spellman, take to the kitchen and compete against each other in a nine course no holds barred competition of culinary mastery!

As an added extra for the events, we’ve hand picked our prolific panel of local Philadelphia judges to choose the winner of Pro ChefAme #1.  ChefAMe is excited to introduce Hadas Kuznits from KYW 1060, Felicia D’Ambrosio from the City Paper’s , a really awesome party promoter gone restaurateur (a sizzling burger spot called PYT).

victorylogoVictory Brewing Company is back for a second time providing choice pairings for three (3) courses:

  1. Scallop Course – Victory Prima Pilsner
  2. Chicken Course – Victory Golden Monkey
  3. Beef Tenderloin Course – Victory Festbier

Drink specials from the bar include: $3 Victory Seasonals, $4 house wines, and $5 classic cocktails.

Dinner entertainment includes the music styling’s of Louis Brice, local music sensation and ChefAMe co-founder.

In addition, the Warwick Hotel is offering a special deal for people who want to make a whole evening out of the event.  You can grab a hotel room on September 14th for only $99.  Simply call the hotel at 800-395-7046 and request the ChefAMe room rate or hop over to our special ChefAMe/Radisson site and stay over in Philly.

Finally, we want to thank everyone for your support.  We’ve had a great time putting on our ChefAMe events.  There are a few more tickets left for this first Pro ChefAMe so if you have friends that would like to join us, send them over to

Read the full post

ChefAMe loves the community (and the Blame-A-Thon)

Posted by Jesse Middleton | Posted in Event Info | Posted on 01-09-2009

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We love having each and every one of our Open (and now, Pro) ChefAMe events all around the Philadelphia area.  But that’s not the only place you can find us.  We also love being involved in the community.

Bart and I work out of IndyHall on a regular basis.  IndyHall is a “coworking community and space” that allows independent and mobile workers to have a place to call home and a place to breed ideas.  If you’re ever in the Old City area, let us know.  We always love to grab a drink or a bite to eat at one of the fine Philadelphia establishments around this part of town.

Another great movement that’s started in Philadelphia is Blame Drew’s Cancer.  Here’s a bit more about the organization and my dear friend Drew:

Our first Pro ChefAMe!

Posted by Jesse Middleton | Posted in Event Info | Posted on 25-08-2009

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Open ChefAMe has been incredible so far. We’ve now done five successful events and we feel that we’ve learned so much along the way. Our next event is something special. We’re holding our first Professional (or Pro) ChefAMe on September 14th, 2009.

What’s a Pro ChefAMe, you ask? We’ve taken the idea of our Open ChefAMe nights, where we allow amateur and aspiring chefs to become the executive chef for a night, and we’ve brought in professional chefs to compete head-to-head in a night filled with food, drinks and a whole lot of friends!  We’ll be doing 9 courses from 3 different chefs at the Warwick Hotel avern 17 (map).  The night will start at 6:30pm just like our previous events and will consist of a head-to-head competition to find out who the culinary master at Tavern 17 truly is.

We’ll be releasing more details in the next week or two but for now, grab your tickets now.  We’re already selling out fast and you don’t want to miss this evening.  You can get your

TicketLeap online event registration

Open ChefAMe #5 is underway…

Posted by Jesse Middleton | Posted in Event Info | Posted on 24-08-2009

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More information on Open ChefAMe #5

Posted by Jesse Middleton | Posted in Event Info | Posted on 18-08-2009

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The next event is just around the corner.  Ava is an Italian BYOB (so please, BYOB) located just north of South Street.  We’re very excited to have both of our ChefAMe chefs cooking for you at Open ChefAMe #5.

Dessert from Number 3When:
August 24, 2009 at 6:30pm

Where:
Ava Restaurant at 518 S. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA (map)

Who’s cooking?
Ali Waks and Diana Martignoni

Cost:
$35 per person

We’re all sold out on this event but keep your eyes on the blog or in your email (if you’re not on the mailing list, you can sign up here) for information on the next ChefAMe event on September 14, 2009.

We’ve had a lot of people ask us if they can purchase a subscription to the upcoming Open ChefAMe events and we are happy to announce that now you can!  Just head over to our ChefAMe Subscriptions page for all of the details.  While you won’t be able to get in to August’s event, September is still available.

Update:  The menu is ready.  Check out what we’ll be serving at Open ChefAMe #5:

  1. Amuse-Bouche: Figs — Made Ali’s special way.
  2. Salad Course: Organic Spring Greens with Gorgonzola, Carmelized Spicy Pecans, Dried
    Cranberries and much more. Served with a Raspberry/Orange Muscat Vinaigrette.
  3. Soup Course: Essence of Jersey Corn Soup w/ Truffled Wildflour Brioche,
    Heirloom Tomatoes & Guanciale
    Veg Option: No Guanciale
  4. Entre Courses:
    Enchiladas - A Chicken with Cheddar and a Monterey Jack with Spanish Onion
    Enchilada draped in a deep, rich velvet chili sauce, farm fresh pico
    do gallo, cilantro/scallion pesto and finished with a topping of cool
    tangy sour cream.
    Smoked Coffee & Espresso Rubbed Hangar Steak, Roasted Happy
    Cat Farm Potatoes, Rainbow Chard w/ Garlic & Lemon Confit.
    Veg Option: Smoked Coffee & Espresso Rubbed Portobello Mushroom.
  5. Dessert:
    Local Peaches, Vanilla Gelato, Cherry Balsamic Gastrique,
    Lavender Pistachio Biscotti.
  6. Extra: Earl Gray Lavender Chocolates.

Photo by FriedWontons4U

Oh she can cook! Meet Diana at #5.

Posted by Jesse Middleton | Posted in Interviews and Bios | Posted on 18-08-2009

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We love the fact that Open ChefAMe lets anyone who is daring enough to try their hand in the kitchen.  This time around we have Ali, who has been a professional chef, cooking right along Diana.  Diana is a fantastic woman.  She can cook, she’s got great friends and she’ll be there on August 24th sharing her splendid dishes.

Diana_ChefAMeDiana M. Martignoni: As a child of the 60’s and 70’s I always loved to cook.  My mother, Betty, was my greatest inspiration.  Boy, could she cook.   And both of us were “graduates” of Noni’s (my father’s mother) Italian culinary wonderland created in her South Broad Street kitchen.  She brought it all back from the motherland and it was nothing was short of amazing.

Now some time in the early 70’s, I went out into the world on my own, and, that’s when it started.  Cooking for myself – my own way – always under the influence of Betty and memories of Noni – but definitely with my own spin. It seemed that my contribution to any event was to organize and make the food. I guess it was my way of nurturing the world around me. Weddings, funerals, births, deaths, birthdays, holidays, graduations, you name it – I was in the kitchen. I favored the Italian dishes in the beginning, but, in the early 80’s I met Bea, who continues to be one of my very best friends.  Her family is from Mexico and between her and her mother….well a whole new world was opening up.  You’ll get to meet her on the 24th. Enter Gayle, the third amigo, and you have the makings of too much food and expanded waist belts.  Really, we’d be talking about what was for dinner while eating lunch.

I actually had a real job working in the printing industry as a Sales Rep.  Got to pay the rent! But the minute I got home from work, I’d find my way to the kitchen.  Frankly, that’s how my mornings would start too.  I just love the place.  All those pretty pots!  And let’s not forget the stove.  It took me 30 years to get her!

During the next 25 years I watched, listened and read everything and everyone that knew about cooking.  I questioned them all and learned through osmosis (the best way, really).  I could put out a spread for intimate gathering, small groups – even a good sized crowd.  But, to have control of a real professional kitchen – just a passing dream!  Or is it?

I guess I’m getting what I wished for. You know what they say about that. Oh Boy!

What?  Really… It’s just an intimate dinner for 8 on steroids!

As you now see, I’m a novice at this.  Not formally trained in a culinary school, not vetted in a professional kitchen but certainly well seasoned at home.

I am lucky to be joined by Bea Lisi (my very dear friend), Sean Casey (the son I never had), Lisa May (who got me into this in the first place) and Merissa Martignoni (my lovely daughter who was actually listening when I tried to teach her everything I knew about food).  They continue to encourage my joy for cooking and gladly eat everything I make.

Meet Ali Waks – A local foodie extraordinaire

Posted by Jesse Middleton | Posted in Interviews and Bios | Posted on 18-08-2009

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We’re super excited to have Ali cooking at our next Open ChefAMe.  Her menu sounds delicious and her culinary experience should make this night one incredible night.  Meet Ali:

Ali WaksAli Waks baked her first cake on a rainy Saturday in Fair Harbor, Fire Island in 1977, by the end of the summer she had mastered the fine art of salami & eggs with green peppers and muenster cheese. By 1979 she became proficient in ordering nova lox, all by herself (Thin, so you can see through it!).

Since then she’s eaten roasted corn in Pune, India, bialys in Brooklyn, baguettes by the Seine, lobster rolls in Montauk, kishke in Lower Manhattan, fresh figs in the Napa Valley and a whole lot more.

Ali was a Theatre Arts Major at Syracuse University, where she cooked gourmet delights based on tuna, pasta, and various interpretations of Ramen noodles. She left Syracuse to pursue a career in the theatre, returning to her beloved pierogies of the Lower East Side.

Ali moved from NYC to Philadelphia 1999 to further a career in event planning. In 2002 she jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, opening Bella, An American Bistro, a 52-seat restaurant, named for her late grandmother. Despite critical acclaim, Bella closed in late 2003.  She did a brief stint in the kitchen at Tria (YAY! Cheese!) before becoming PR maven for The Smoked Joint a Barbeque Experience where she had a whole lot of fun, sang karaoke and ate fantastic ‘cue.

Ali abandoned the world of restaurants for a few years to sell signs and graphics, which was pretty awful, though gave her time to cook, and cook and cook at home. Circumstances caused the company she was working with to close its doors in February of 2009. Choosing passion over practicality Ali has returned to the objective of a culinary life. She worked with Bebe’s Barbecue during their opening and is now at work on a food related writing project whilst serving at Le Virtu and developing a Personal Chef/Kitchen Keeping Business.

Ali is dedicated to the local food movement, and can be seen sniffing melons and sighing over baby eggplants at farmers markets around town. The menu for Open ChefAMe is a homage to her culinary heroines: Alice Waters, Julia Child, Marlena Speiler and Aunt Sandy, who taught her the joy of heirloom tomatoes.

Ali lives in South Philadelphia with her boyfriend Christian and their two enormous cats, Hank & Jerry; they are growing tomatoes, mint, figs and horseradish.

Bon Appetit

A call out to chefs for Open ChefAMe #5

Posted by Jesse Middleton | Posted in Event Info, Letters | Posted on 03-08-2009

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Once again the ChefAMe crew is busy planning the August 24th event. We hope to bring you another night of great chefs, great food and of course lots of fun.

We haven’t themed this next event so we are open to your original ideas. If you would like a shot in the kitchen Email helloThere@openchefame.com with the subject “I want to cook at #5”. Give us an idea of who you are, why you think you should cook, and what kind of menu items you would consider making.

We will be considering all emails received by August 10th at 5pm. We hope to hear from you soon so that we can make this next Open ChefAMe fantastic.