This week, I had the awesome opportunity to go to the Comfort Food Fest hosted by John DeBella (Philly radio personality). Uh… yes. Comfort Food Fest. Can you think of anything that would be more perfect for a foodie and blogger like me?
The comfort food fest was started by a conversation had between John DeBella’s wife, and Chef Matt Levin (Square Peg). She asked him what he makes at home, which inspired John to put together this event where the greatest and hottest Philly chefs create their take on comfort food.
My co-worker Matt invited myself, Dave, and his client Jeff to come with him to the 5th Annual event. The Food Fest was held at Vie, a beautiful banquet hall onNorth Broad St inPhiladelphia. I happened to get this wrong and drove us to SOUTH Broad- Whoops! The setup was almost exactly like what I’d imagine the “catering” episode of Top Chef to be. Each of the ELEVEN Chefs had tables setup around the perimeter of the room, waiting to serve the crowd. MMM!
Here’s the lineup…
Old Homestead Steakhouse – Borgata – Atlantic City, NJ
Chef: Romeo DiBona
Dish: Five-Cheese Grilled Cheese w/ Tomato Soup
Square Peg – 10th & Walnut – Philadelphia, PA
Chef: Matt Levin
Dish: Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese w/ Drunken Tomato Marmalade
Cuba Libre – 10 S 2nd St – Philadelphia, PA
Chef: Jasper Alivia
Dish: Crispy Pork Belly Slider w/ Slaw (Chinese BBQ Marinated Pork Belly, Steamed Bun, Pickled Green Papaya Slaw)
Vie – 600 N Broad St – Philadelphia, PA
Chef: Ryan Kirwan
Dish: Brisket Shells & Cheese w/ Stewed Tomato Compote and Crispy Parmesan
Amis – 412 S 13th St – Philadelphia, PA
Chef: Brad Spence
Dish: Sal’s Old School Meatball Sandwich w/ Burrata Cheese
Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar – 549 Wilmington West Chester Pike – Glen Mills, PA
Chef: David Walti
Dish: Slow Braised Beef Shortribs Sliders, Onion Poppy Seed Roll, Sweet Potato Aioli, Celeriac Slaw
Route 6 – 600 N Broad St – Philadelphia, PA
Chef: Anthony DiRienzo
Dish: Crab Deviled Eggs (American Classic Stuffed w/ Blue Crab)
Butcher & Singer – 1500 Walnut St – Philadelphia, PA
Chef: Anthony Goodwin
Dish: Duck Confit & Foie Gras Pierogie – Porcini Mushroom Crème
Nectar – 1091 Lancaster Ave – Berwyn, PA
Chef: Patrick Feury
Dish: Steamed Pork Bun
**BOOOOO!!! My picture didn’t turn out!!**
Bistrot La Minette – 623 S 6th St – Philadelphia, PA
Chef: Peter Woolsey
Dish: Gratin de Pate “a la Peggy” (Macaroni and Cheese)
Pacific Prime & Vivano – Valley Forge Casino – King of Prussia, PA
Chef: Michael Inferrera
Dish: Hot Dog & Baked Beans featuring an Applewood Bacon & Caramelized Shallot Baked Bean Puree, Yellow Mustard Fondue, Gherkin Chip
WOW! My mouth is watering just talking about all of this decadent food. The dishes were judged by local Philly foodies, and the winner was announced… drum roll please! The winner is: Chef Anthony Goodwin of Butcher & Singer!
The winner’s dish was unbelievable. It was one of the only ones I could go back and get seconds of. However, if I had to pick, my absolute #1 favorite dish would have been the Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese from Chef Matt Levin from Square Peg. I mean seriously… Mac. And. Cheese…. GRILLED CHEESE?! Matt’s favorite dish was… and I quote… “Hands down the Five-Cheese Grilled Cheese w/ Tomato Soup” by Chef Romeo DiBona from the Old Homestead Steakhouse. Dave’s favorite was the Crispy Pork Belly Slider w/ Slaw from Chef Jasper Alivia from Cuba Libre. Anyone who’s been counting, this is now the second time in two weeks Dave has REALLY enjoyed pork!
All of the dishes were just more amazing than the one before it, and we had such a great time walking around tasting everyone’s creations.