Billed as an event where “Karaoke Meets the Kitchen,” Philly’s inaugural Open Chef A Me night was a big success. Founded by four friends over beers at a local bar, this dinner event brings amateur chef’s into the kitchen of an area restaurant to create a meal for forty of their closest “friends.” So, if you obsess over shows on the Food Network, cringe at the clueless on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares or crave to unleash your inner Jacques Pepin, then here’s your chance. Oh yeah, if you like random experiences with fun people this is for you too.
Monday night’s event was held at South Philly’s Langostini and featured Chefs Bart Mroz and Magda Kozak who prepared a delicious, polish-inspired feast. The evening began with light hors d’ oeuvres and refreshments provided by Victory Brewing. (Shameless Plug: Victory’s Baltic Thunder Porter was especially tasty). As the meal progressed, our Culinary Tour Guide Jesse Middleton announced each course, which included:
- Fresh Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries, Candied Walnuts with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Victory Thunder Porter Braised Beef
- Four Cheese Mac and Cheese
- Kalafior z Bulka Tarta – Polish Cauliflower with Browned Butter and Bread Crumbs
- Sernik z Jablkami – Polish Cheesecake with apples
The entire meal was delicious and the crowd was a diverse mix of the founders’ families, friends and miscellaneous other characters. Planned and executed in less than a month, the event was reminiscent of a culinary flash mob. Frankly, I couldn’t help feeling that we were all privy to the newest Philly food secret…
But now that the cat’s out of the bag, Open-Chef-A-Me is inviting everyone to participate. Whether you’re a wannabe chef, food officionado or just in the market for meeting new people and having a good time, Open-Chef-A-Me is for you. But you better hurry, our own PhilaFoodie David Snyder was stalking the event too, so all of Philly may soon know about it!
Special thanks to go out to the four Open Chef A Me founders who made this happen: Bart Mroz Jesse Middleton , Evan Kaplowitz and Louis Brice, not to mention the night’s sponsors Victory Brewing and Bridge Market Group.