2/18/2013 10:27:00 AM

Win Tickets to StarChefs Rising Stars Philadelphia Gala

A dish by Jon Cichon, the Rising Star Hotel Chef winner
The recipients of the 2013 Philadelphia StarChefs Rising Stars Awards are an impressive bunch, a sampling of the hottest chefs and drink-makers in town. On Thursday, February 21, lucky guests to the awards gala will get to sample a signature dish from each of them during the 7–9:30 PM walk-around fete at the Kimmel Center.

We’ve got the full list of what will be served that night, and we’ve also got a pair of tickets to give away! (They're available to purchase for $90 each.) Read on to find out how to win.

To enter, check out what all the chefs will be cooking for the event below, and leave a comment telling us which of these dishes best represents “Philly food” and why, in 75 words or less. Important note: you need to be logged in with a gmail address when you comment, so we can contact you if you win. You have until 2:59 PM on Tuesday, February 19, to enter, at which point we'll go through the entries and pick our favorite as the winner. You can take a look at the rules and regulations here - let the best food-lover win!

Nicholas Elmi of Rittenhouse Tavern
Seafood salad: lobster consommé, tomalley, poached lobster, sea urchin, razor clams, caviar, and apple-horseradish marshmallow

Yun Fuentes of JG Domestic
Roasted Australian lamb chop, sweetbreads, fried artichoke, and sherry jus

Chris Kearse of Will
Roasted maitake mushroom, smoked ricotta, madeira jelly, arugula purée, and wild greens

Eli Kulp of Fork
Scallop crudo, fermented parsley, beet-pickled turnips, olive oil, and lemon juice

Josh Lawler of Farm and Fisherman
Bloody beet steak, beet pan jus, yogurt, amaranth, and aged balsamic

Greg Vernick of Vernick Food & Drink
Smoked salmon belly, golden egg, and parmesan vinaigrette

Will Zuchman of Alma de Cuba
Sea scallop, king crab-corn quinoa, and merken vinaigrette

Peter Scarola of R2L
Pumpkin French toast sticks, oatmeal ice cream, and maple-root beer foam

Andrew and Kristin Wood of Russet
Pappardelle, pig's heart ragout, crème fraîche, chanterelles, and leeks

Joe Cicala of Le Virtù
Salumi board

Sara May of Franklin Fountain
Ladies’ choice ice cream soda: raspberry soda, peach ice cream, whipped cream, and raspberries

Davina Soondrum of Shane Confectionery
The Whirly Berley Bar: Soft chocolate torrone, dark chocolate, caramel, and cocoa nibs

Jeremy Nolen of Wursthaus Schmitz (and Brauhaus Schmitz)
Bavarian: smoked bauernwurst, Bavarian cole slaw, horseradish sauce, and fried onions

Kevin Sbraga of Sbraga
Australian beef meatloaf, carrots, hazelnut crust, and mushrooms

Jonathan Cichon of Lacroix
Poached ocean trout, parsnip purée, tangerine, trout roe, fried red quinoa, and black tea vinaigrette

Michael Solomonov of Zahav
Spiced eggplant, harissa, beluga lentils, and garlic tehina

Brian Kane of Zahav
Featured beverage pairings with winners’ dishes

Al Sotack of Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.
Ocelotl: Ocho tequila, Luxardo, Pernod, green apple syrup, and dandelion-burdock bitters


  1. I would love to attend this gala! What to wear? Hmmmm....

  2. Oops...All the dishes represent Philly! Not because of ingredients but because of their style. All different ingredients from luxury to nose to tail, preparations ranging from raw to roasted and all different culinary influences. What could be more Philly than that? We are scrappy folks here.

  3. On first glance Philadelphia is an old working class city that's rough around the edges. Like Josh Lawler's dish that elevates the seemingly humble beet, Philadelphia and its food scene are complex and full of surprises that will satisfy even the most sophisticated palate.

  4. Peter Scarola of R2L
    Pumpkin French toast sticks, oatmeal ice cream, and maple-root beer foam

    Philly is an eccentric brunch city to me and I know the wonders Peter does at his kitchen at R2L. The Pumpkin french toast is absolutely brunch awesomeness and the oatmeal ice-cream represents the crazy flavors Philadelphia is always trying out in any food. Root Beer foam? Say no more. Beer with that too please, which we are good at!

  5. Eli Kulp of Fork's dish shows what a lot of Philly chefs are doing by altering ingredients with fermentation or pickling but not covering them up in heavy sauces... still letting the ingredients shine as the stars of the dish.

  6. While I no longer live in Philadelphia, in my mind Greg Vernick,’s dish truly captures Philly food. The salmon belly honors Philly’s spot the second fattest city (the first would warrant tuna belly) and the fact it is smoked shows his defiance for Philadelphia being named the worst smelling city in the US. The golden egg represents the sixth borough rich food scene while the Parmesan vinaigrette reminds us of Philly’s cheesy, acerbic top layer.

  7. Joe Cicala's salumi board best represents Philly food. on one level, it serves as a bridge from one of the most traditional Philly foods there is - the Italian hoagie. On another it details where the Philly food scene is going with chef-driven restaurants producing their own artisanal products (curing meat, pickling vegetables, etc.).

  8. Solomonov's dish screams Philly foods. Not by the ingredients it's composed of, but rather by its attitude. The attitude of not trying to be like NYC, of not trying to follow the latest trends. No, this dish IS Philly food because it sets its own trend, at its own pace, for Philly, and Philly only.