Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Philly Mag Confirms: The Burgers At Village Whiskey Are Going To Be Worth The Wait

jose garcesLauren McCutcheon delivers an epic profile on Jose Garces in the July issue of Philadelphia Magazine (4,000+ words).

Among the juicier revelations: 1) the burgers at Village Whiskey are, indeed, going to "rock," 2) the Garces commissary with a PLCB assist in Wash-West will be called the "Garces Trading Company," and 3)
where Garces was when he won — in absentia — at this year's James Beards Awards remains an unsolved mystery.

As for the aforementioned burgers at V-Dubs:
The same sort of thing happens when Garces attends a tasting for Village Whiskey. Dave Conn, chef de cuisine at the new restaurant, has been working all day in Tinto's kitchen to present his boss with a trio of smothered and covered burgers (tip: do not miss these burgers), a dish of decadently crispy duck-fat-fries, and a neat pair of cheese and charcuterie plates. Garces quietly samples each item with Tinto GM Robert Scully (Melissa's husband) — a bite here, a bite there. It takes him 10, maybe 15 minutes to assess the entire menu.

When Conn emerges for the critique, Garces, who hasn't written down a word, offers feedback that's relaxed yet unambiguous. The burgers, obviously, rock, but the cheddar sauce for the fries needs rethinking. Garces offers up an alternative recipe — which, shockingly, includes Cheez Whiz. But it's what he doesn’t do that's interesting. He doesn’t preach. He doesn't insist Conn follow his orders. He just listens, and encourages. He's the boss. But he's not bossy.
Sounds good. Let's get that effer open already.

And regarding the no-show at the Beard Awards:
Welcome to the Beards. They're not called the "Oscars of food" for nothing.

Philadelphia's culinary stars are here, too: Stephen Starr, Jeff Benjamin, Michael Solomonov — hoping to win "Outstanding Restaurateur," "Outstanding Service" and "Rising Star Chef of the Year," respectively. Only one local nominee is absent. And in a Murphy's Law sort of way, He Who Is Not Here is the only Philadelphian who'll receive a coveted brass medallion imprinted with Beard's bald head. He's nominated for "Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic" in a five-person field stretching from D.C. to Hoboken, but prolific chef-restaurateur Jose Garces is nowhere to be found.
[...]
To these musings and more, Garces's publicist, Clare Pelino, says, somewhat mysteriously, "Jose is away on important business that we can't disclose at this time." Hmmm …
Hmmm, indeed.

Read the article in its entirety here.

Related:
Who is Jose Garces? And Why Are You So Crazy About His Restaurants? [ Philadelphia Magazine ]

Previously:
Jose Garces To Enter Burger Fray; Two Semi-Intriguing Burger Options On Menu At His Forthcoming Village Whiskey
Third Time's A Charm: Jose Garces Wins First James Beard Award, Named Best Chef Mid-Atlantic
Opposition Builds To PLCB Proposal For Boutique Wine Stores Inside Gourmet Food Shops/Restaurants

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