Two weeks back, six Philly chefs made their way up to NYC’s James Beard House to cook the very first collaborative Pig Dinner off their home turf. Chef David Katz, who launched this porky tradition at his restaurant Mémé in 2009, invited John Taus (The Corner), Terence Feury (Fork, until next month), Peter Woolsey (Bistrot La Minette), Michael Solomonov (Zahav) and Jennifer Carroll (Carroll Couture Cuisine) up with him to crank out the multi-course meal, the only stipulation being that every plate had to include a porcine element in some way. Those who couldn’t make the trip up for the occasion should start thanking their lardo-coated stars — on Monday, July 30, Katz is getting the crew back together for a second run, at his spot right here in Philly.
In contrast to previous events, which featured a pair of seatings, 2012′s Pig Dinner 2.0 will have only one, and it’ll be capped at 30 people. All the chefs from the New York field trip are returning, and this go-’round will feature some choice additions to the crew, too. Starting at 7 p.m., Nick Macri, Southwark sous chef and charcuterie assassin, will be slicing his handmade salumi (hearing rumors about an Old Bay salami) along with a whole roast suckling pig and hors d’oeuvres via Katz and his kitchen. And mercenary pastry chef Monica Glass, a past Pig Dinner participant, is joining the fun this year on the sweet side of things. Michael Madrigale, the Philly-boy sommelier of NYC’s Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud, will handle choice wine pairings for the six-course meal, which kicks off at 7:45.
Mémé will begin taking reservations by phone (215-735-4900) this coming Wednesday, June 27. The price is $200 a head. Cancellations must be made no later than 48 hours before the event; guests will be charged $100 a person for cancelling anytime after the two-days-before mark.
Photo: David M. Warren, Philadelphia Inquirer
For the past two Septembers, Philadelphians have been lucky to experience Feastival, an annual fete bringing together Philadelphia’s elite chefs and restaurants to benefit the Philadelphia Live Arts and Philly Fringe, one of the biggest urban arts festivals in the nation. A mainstay of the Feastival is its auction — a number of exclusive packages go up for bidding, with all proceeds directly supporting the arts in Philadelphia. The ultimate food-centric experience offered as part of 2011′s Feastival auction became an opulent reality in March, when seven of the city’s most celebrated chefs created an unprecedented private dinner party for an exclusive group of Philly-based patrons of the arts.
The roster read like a well-informed foodie’s ultimate dinner list — Nicholas Elmi (Rittenhouse Tavern), Jon Cichon (Lacroix), Terence Feury (Fork), Daniel Stern (R2L), Michael Schulson (Sampan and Izakaya) and James Beard winners Jeff Michaud (Osteria) and Michael Solomonov (Zahav) all contributed their immense talents to the evening, with each chef crafting a no-expense-spared course reflective of his personal style and discipline. Wine for this once-in-a-lifetime meal, which took place at a beautiful private residence in Society Hill, was curated by talented Vetri beverage manager Steve Wildy. Legendary Le Bec-Fin chef Georges Perrier even made a surprise appearance to greet guests and sing the praises of the men working so hard to make the night of charitable appreciation and celebration one to remember.
Only a select few had the opportunity to dine with this kitchen dream team, but here’s the exciting news: This dinner party for the ages will once again be offered as an auction item at this year’s Feastival, scheduled for September 12, 2012. The winner will not only have the rare chance to take in this priceless experience — he or she will also lend invaluable support to our city’s vibrant and unmatched performing arts community. So get your bids ready and we’ll see you on the auction floor in September!