Monthly Archives

February 2012


5th Annual John DeBella Comfort Food Fest at Vie

The INVITE ONLY 5th Annual John DeBella Comfort Food Festival happened last night at Vie 600 N. Broad St Philadelphia, PA 19130 (1 block north of Spring Garden). What a nice venue.
The mood was very spirited, which reminds me these are some of the spirits that will be served at the new Square Peg restaurant. it should be opened in about 4 weeks, Chef Matt Levin tells me. At which time I hope that when I think of Square Peg it knocks this
image right out of my head. Sarah Jessica Parker in her first TV show the 80’s Square Pegs.
Chef Trevor Budny, joins Chef Matt Levin at Square Peg. The two had overlapping careers at Rouge 2 years ago and now will cook alongside each other, and Amanda Stefano serve up
Mac & Cheese Grill Cheese Sandwiches at The Comfort Food Contest. This year it’s awfully warm to be thinking comfort food, but for me with or without frost on my nose I love a good grilled cheese sandwich. Many of the dishes at the Comfort Food Festival are created specifically for this contest and are not on the menu at said restaurants. This dish will be on the Square Peg menu, as will several versions of Rosie the Rivitor, someone mentioned to me last week.Judging tonight’s contest were Ashley Primis, Philly Inquirer, Veteran journalist and eight-time Emmy award-winner NBC10’s Lu Ann Cahn and Beth D’Addono Food Writer with legendary DJ WMGK’s John DiBella. (And I don’t use that term legend lightly. He is a legend, I grew up with him. He played the very first song I heard from Bruce Springsteen, Tenth Avenue Freeze out. I said to myself who the hell is that, and went out and bought an 8 track tape. OK probably not, but I think those things were still around then.)

Chefs from the following restaurants participated in the contest: Brad Spence – Amis
Peter Woolsey – Bistrot La Minette
Anthony Goodwin – Butcher & Singer
Jasper Alivia – Cuba Libre
David Walti – Harvest
Patrick Feury – Nectar
Romeo DiBona – Old Homestead Steakhouse (Borgata)
Giancarlo Generosi, Chef Chris Baulo –Scarduzio’s Steak-Sushi-Lounge
Anthony DiRenzio – Route 6
Matt Levine – Square Peg
Chef Ryan Kirwan – Vie

March is Springsteen Month. Go see the BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN exhibit at the Constitution Center then take me to the Wells Fargo Center to see him on March 28 or March 29, cause I couldn’t get through on the phone.
Cescaphe’s Ryan Kirwan cooks up a little shells & cheese with stewed tomatoes. I do believe he is a contender for Philebrity’s PHABULOUS PHILLY GINGERSErin Como on her second day of freedom, er I mean new job. Marnie Hall broke the news, sorta, about what Erin is doing. I would call it marketing too, but Philly2Philly calls it something else. Then Dan Gross as you know mentioned yesterday that NBC10’s Sheena Parveen (r) dating former anchor Jamison Uhler. I hear that it might not be true anymore. Last week she was in Clearwater, but it wasn’t to visit old friends. Time will reveal ie when Spring Training is over, which lucky player has caught her eye.
Chef Romeo DiBona – Borgata’s Old Homestead Delicious grilled cheese sandwich
Ruth Vitale and Claire Whatley. The gals love to cook and want to replicate Chef Jasper AliviaCuba Libre Pork Belly dish. (This was my favorite to win.)
Anna Schneider, GM of Pacific Prime & Viaiano restaurants at the Valley Forge Casino with Chef Michael Inferrera. You might recall that Anna used to be the GM for Square 1682. She misses everyone, but loves the new adventures she faces working in the Pennsylvania’s newest casino. I can’t wait for it to open. Looks very upscale and entertaining.
Amos Burcy (I can’t read my own writting) Dana Pulli, Arthur “Foobooz” Etchells and Yelp Queen Poobah Michelle Cassidy

Dana Farrell, Meredith Trotter and Devon Smith. Dana’s brother is a chef at Table 31 and her sister, Devon, owns Harvest. Restaurateur, Author, and Motivational Speaker Dave Magrogan is proud to announce the signing of a lease with the University of Pennsylvania for Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar’s 2nd location, to be located at 40th and Walnut Streets in University City.
Lauren and Dave Gibson with Katie Silent. Not the dress, just Katie cause she lost her voice yelling at her students.
David Quain and Nicole Qualtieri are both in the forensic field and met at a friends funeral which was at the Mutter Museum. Now that is deep. Nicole’s blog site is called I Heart Autopsy and is not for the faint of hear. (After reading her site I should be dead by the time I’m 50.)
Best Dressed last night: Betty and Carl Lump. Their favorite song on WMGK is anything Bruce Springsteen. They’re going to the Constitution Center next week to see the exhibit.
Classic Rock 102.9 MGK is proud to announce that Anthony Goodwin of BUTCHER AND SINGER was the winner of the Golden Spoon Award at this year’s 5th Annual John DeBella Comfort Food Fest for his Duck Confit & Foie Gras Pierogi with Porcini mushroom crème. The event was held last night at Vie (600 N. Broad St, Philadelphia, PA). Goodwin had the highest scores on the judges’ score cards, earning nearly perfect scores in all categories from all three judges; with Jennifer Martin. There’s no plans of yet to carry the dish on the Butcher & Singer menu, but the trophy will be going with them to every food event they attend.
********Thanks to my sponsor Let Them Eat Cake!! Get your tickets April 2


NBC10’s Sheena Parveen,Jillian Mele, Justin Pizzi ++ Come Out To Bid Erin Como a Fond Farewell

My pocket camera takes the worse photos in dark bars, but the beauty of these women still shine through. Sheena Parveen, Jillian Mele, Aditi Roy, Rosemary Connors , Justin Pizzi , Mike Strug & half of NBC10 Come Out To Bid Erin Como a Fond Farewell at the Kite and the Key in Fairmount on Friday night.Vasiliki Tsiouris, Opa Restaurant, NBC10’s weather peep Sheena Parveen, lovely Erin Como, NBC10’s reporters Jillian Mele and Christine Maddela and photographer/lawyer Lauren Richmond.
Erin and her mom. Dad was there too.
Aditi Roy and Sheena Parveen. Have you seen Aditi’s hair, long and luxurious. (Dan Gross reports that Sheena is dating former Philly reporter Jamison Uhler, but mums the word from me.)
Maria Papadakis, Erin Como and Kristen Johanson. Also spotted at the party: RJ, Brad, Danielle Soyka, oh I can’t remember cause I was really off the clock and didn’t have my note pad. Let’s just say the place was packed. It was a great send off….to where it’s not being reported yet but as soon as I’m given the word, you’ll be the first to know. Oh by the way catch me on Fox 29’s Good Morning Philly at 9:40AM filling you in on the who’s who went where this past week. HughE


Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Korbel Champagne Oscar Party, Philly Style

Hollywood’s biggest night of glamour came to Philadelphia on Sunday as The Ritz-Carlton’s 10 Arts Lounge and Korbel Champagne hosted a Red Carpet Oscar Party with a live Screening of the 84th Academy Awards and the pre-game fashion extravaganza. Special commentary on fashions were doled out by Philadelphia Inquirer fashion writer, Elizabeth Wellington, Vlahos PR fashion specialist Jimmy “Jimmy Style” Contreras and Daily News columnist Jenice Armstrong
On Philly’s red carpet I found Jill Sybesma and Eric Smith looking dapper. I loved the layout of the red carpet. Having been to a few shindigs there, this is the first time someone’s taken a bold step and placed it in the center of the room instead of on the side blocking foot traffic. With a short red carpet people are able to see it clearly, and avoid walking in a picture because they can walk behind you.
The evening also featured a presentation by Saks Fifth Avenue, music by DJ Inga D’Angelo and a “swag lounge” filled with giveaways that include Neuro Drinks, Classified Cosmetics and Maximal Art. (I even saw John Wind there with Joan Shepp.)
Sarah Doheny and John Soden made the drive from their farm house in Hamburg, Pa to check out the scene.

Mikey Il and Allie Harcharek were definitely contenders in the best dressed couple contest
Sue Stauffer and Shawn Murray
The Oscar party had a great gifting suite. You grabbed one of those silver bags, and I use that term lightly as these bags were very good quality lined bags for the beach or a picnic. Then you went from station to station picking out fun items that you wanted in your bag. Great idea.Carol Drumstas, Brown-Forman and Kristin Conrad, Capital Wine and SpiritsPretty in pink: Priya Kothari and Christa Blumenthal
Nathan Volz, Executive Chef and Miguel Hernandez, Director Food & Beverages. Nathan tells me he’s headed up to NYC to spend a few days at Le Bernardin and cook with Eric Ripert in preparation for the Spring Menu. Look for a joint dinner back at 10 Arts with the two chefs at the helm. Good news it looks like contrarily to the rumors floating around that 10 Arts has signed on for another year.
Monique E Maubert and WOGL producer Jamyra Perry. I was sad Monique didn’t know where she got those fly shoes from; kinda matched her necklace.
Camille Laboy, with Philly Photographers Al B and Nell Hoving hang out during the cocktail party. Nell was enjoying her night off, while Al got right to work after this photo.
Stuart Field, with Dara and Ross Donolaw
Hanging out in the VIP balcony area, I ran into Johanna Blyth, Karen Galvin and Joanne Wachman enjoying baby bottles of Korbel
Mac Francis and Megan Stetcher. Megan was paying extra special attention to the show as she was doing a re-cap on Harrisburg’s Fox 43 the next morning.
Here’s the bag in orange. So cute.
Rose Cruz, John Kuntz and Jeff Francis check out the menu. I’d recommend the cheese plate.
Neena Santiago & Robert Johnson
Sarah Cooper Bobersky and Jennifer Delany.
Tanya Schade shows off the VIP pass. What was interesting that at the bottom was 2 blank boxes. Each guest was allowed to glasses of champagne. The bartender would check off the boxes to keep track. So much easier than handing out drink tickets. Love it.
Fairies Christina Klaproth and Jessie Radlow. Look I’m just writing what they told me. They said they were fairies. I love that show “What A Wonderful Life”, so I’m gonna take it on their word just like Clarence.
Lex Wainwright, Lea Wainwright and Thomas Finnegan, R2L manager
Rakia Reynolds, James Claiborne and Kristyn Aldrich.
These were the prizes for the best dressed Male, Female and Couple. Hello winners let’s hope you didn’t give up drinking for Lent, cause it’s gonna take 40 days to drink this monster. Elizabeth Wellington, Jeniece Armstrong and Jimmy Contreras

The Best Dressed Couple: Lex and Elizabeth Terenchin with Carol Drumstas. A star is born. This Oscar event has to be an annual event. It was a golden winner.


Dancing With The Philadelphia Stars – A Few Of the Stars Rehearsing Videos

The Sickle Cell Disease Association, Philadelphia/Delaware Valley
Presents the 4th Annual Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars

Nine Local Notables Compete To Raise Sickle Cell Awareness throughout the
Philadelphia/Delaware Valley
-Sunday, April 22, 2012, 5:00pm-10:00pm-

Nina Tinari

Benefiting the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Philadelphia/Delaware Valley
Chapter, the 4th Annual Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars boasts a lineup of fancy-
footed media folks, political bigwigs, and lifestyle and hospitality leaders. Burning up the
floor with everything from the Argentine Tango to the Foxtrot are Councilwoman Marian
Tasco; Julie Dorenbos, co-owner of Skin Palette and wife of Philadelphia Eagle Jon
Dorenbos; Marisa Magnatta, associate producer of WMMR’s Preston & Steve Morning
Show; Anastasia Karloutsos, co-owner of Water Works Restaurant; Nina Tinari, partner
at T2 Consultants LLC and former special assistant to Governor Rendell; Kharisma
McIlwaine, CW Philly/CBS3 reporter; Mike Days, managing editor of The Philadelphia
Inquirer; Eric Cortes, marketing and promotions coordinator/producer for Telemundo
Philadelphia; and Kevin Gatto, owner of Verde Salon and lifestyle correspondent for
CBS3’s Talk Philly.

Eric Cortes

Each participant is partnered with an instructor from the Society Hill Dance Academy
to perform a two-minute dance routine before a panel judges. This year’s panel includes
LaDeva Davis, Director of Dance at the Philadelphia High School for Creative &
Performing Arts; Shawn Lamere Williams, Artistic Director at Eleone Dance Theatre;
and ‘celebrity’ judge and 2010 Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars participant,
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.


Philly’s Getting A Kosher Food Truck

I ran into Joshua Katz a few weeks back at The Heart Ball, and he told me that his family’s restaurant, Max & David’s kosher restaurant which opened in Elkins Park in 2007 , was rolling out a Kosher food truck.

He says that getting the truck up and running wasn’t too difficult as it used to be an operable Mexican food truck. All that was necessary was transferring the licenses, cleaning and sanitizing the truck so that it could serve kosher food and a few minor mechanical adjustments. The truck is just about ready to roll, look for it on a street near you by March 15.
PS Readers: I have a funeral this morning, but will post my Oscar Night Extravaganza and it will go live at 1PM. At 11AM check out Philly Mag for the Trailblazer Award winner and luncheon. See who the new GM is at the Bellevue Hyatt.


Reserve, Old City’s hottest new steakhouse at 123 Chestnut Street – Party Pictures

Party Rock is in the house tonight, everybody just have a good time It’s been quite awhile since a restaurant has had such a big time opening as RESERVE, Philadelphia’s newest steakhouse and only Bourbon bar and lounge located at 123 Chestnut Street in Old City. I arrived a little late as I was shooting a cocktail party at the law offices of Zarwin, Baum, DeVito, Kaplan, Schaer & Toddy with City leaders, and I don’t say that lightly as almost every council person was there, the mayor and other power people in the City. Check out my coverage on Philly Mag today as well as on Fox 29 on Tuesday. When I arrived at Reserve it was packed, I got whiplash catching all the good eye candy I wanted to capture through my lens. But I was sidetracked by the shrimp so I captured a few of them first.
CBS3 crew: Kristen Johnson, Jim Donovan, Erika von Tiehl and Nicole Brewer.
Where have you been Erin Elmore, she’s on the fast track to the alter after having meet Craig M. Spitzer last year. The duo just got back from Florida where Erin introduced him to the ‘rents, and the always cheerful Ray Pennacchia, Novacare
Erica Soltoff and Jen Sherlock. Jen tells me her client Philly Sports Cave is having another signing on Saturday at the Shops of Liberty Place in the rotunda. Meet 1980 World Series Championship Shortstop, Larry Bowa will be appearing at The Sports Cave on Saturday, February 25th from 1:00 to 2:30PM
Gus Calabrese, Ashley Batiste and Shante CurryLoved the delicious steak tasting can’t wait to come back in for more of the menu. Culinary team led by Executive Chef Ken Deiner (r) and Executive Sous Chef Adam Brod (l), Reserve features a local and sustainable menu using purveyors in Lancaster and Montgomery Counties.
What a beautiful space. That’s Philly Daily News columnist Dan Gross in the foreground on the left. Congrats to him for his new column in Sunday’s Inquirer. I get Inquirer and ever since Mike Klein left there’s been a hole in good Scene coverage and Dan’s the perfect guy to fill that position.
Gary DeVito, Zarwin Baum and Chris DiGeorge
Tempe Barish, Sabrina Tamburino and Kristen Foote. It would be hard to believe that Sabs had a sweet tooth with that rocking body, but for Lent she’s giving up sweets. OK sweets be gone.
Tali Mazzola and Jeff Tubbs who both are involved in Urban Roots is a Youth Workshop in collaboration with ACE Mentor Program, whose Goal is to Engage, Excite, and Enlighten high school students to pursue careers in urban redevelopment
Nicole Cashman and Nigel Richards. Nicole (Cashman & Associates) late for her own party, she was busy getting details done for her upcoming nuptials with Nigel. Everything went smooth as she had her team in place.
Paul Devine and Ryann Richardson. Ryann tells me that tonight, Friday night, they’re hosting a fundraiser dinner to benefit Philabundance ( It’s a very important cause of combating hunger in the Delaware Valley and would like to invite you out to enjoy this special evening that starts 7PM. There’s a price fixe dinner. Contact them for info.
Comcast Sports Marshall Harris, 6ABC’s Ali Gorman and Bill Burr. Talk about burrrr, Ali is participating in the Keenan’s Leprechaun Polar Bear Leap February 25th, 11:00 AM at 15th Street Beach, North Wildwood, NJ. She’s not plunging she said, cause it would be cold if she had to MC the event on the beach soaking wet. I was going to do it once, but then the thought quickly left me thank god.
Megan Stecher, Christine Vuocolo and Cari Brescia. You’ll see these folks Sunday at the Ritz for the Korbel Oscar Party.
Philadelphia Red Carpet Party
What: Dress in cocktail gear for the Oscars; Jimmy Contreras and Philadelphia Inquirer’s Elizabeth Wellington give yays and nays to the actors’ looks.
When: Sun., 6-11 p.m.
Where: 10 Arts, The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, 10 Ave. of the Arts (215-523-8273). R.S.V.P. by Sun., noon, (mention DailyCandy) to 267-687-0223 or
Jamil Rosenberg and James Boney, 215 Magazine. Also spotted: Mitchell Kaplan, Dave Monzo, Tom Killeen, Ted Schaer, Tina Carr, Jennifer Caro, Brian Jesiolowski, Stacey Kracher, Aida Strata, Dave Warren, Ali Frick, Sean Edwards and Monique Andes
6ABC’s Team: Shirleen Allicot, Melissa Magee, Jasmine Ellis and Niki Hawkins. Also spotted Matthew Nadu and Kharisma McIlwaine (CW Philly duo). Kharisma’s particpating on a panel tonight called “If Men Are Dogs” at 740 South St 7PM. RSVP: (Darn that emails taken now.)
LinkMia Christine Colona, PR for Nicole Miller. Today I am having a contest to give away a pair of tickets to the 3rd Annual Belluve Gets Engaged. Look her to enter.
Drew Degen, Lianda Swain, Kyle Keating and Arthur Kade (King Kamelot) . Drew and Lianda are co-chairs for the upcoming Young Friends of Arthur Ashe event. Friday 4/27
I should get all these events down in my own calendar too cause my it’s filling up. PLUG HERE: To guarantee me coming to your event you can hire me to shoot it, advertise with me or beg me, but if someone hires me away you know that saying I gotta follow the money. Plus if you noticed all the live links, that are events, are reserved for my advertisers or people who have hired me in that calendar year.

Reserve is a 10,000 square foot venue, housed in the historic Corn Exchange Bank building at the 2nd and Chestnut Streets in Olde City is home to the Pennsylvania’s largest selection of Bourbons and a private, elevated cigar and Bourbon lounge aptly named, “Bourbon Heaven”. Our philosophy is simple, quality local foods paired with an unprecedented dining experience. Reserve is truly a unique space, where old world sophistication meets modern elegance. With a rich and extensive drink list, Reserve is a favorite among beer lovers and brown liquor aficionados. Live jazz combined with our signature cigar lounge creates an ambiance of comfortable decadence.
Nicole Rossi and Shelton Mercer, Twit Change.
Photographer Chris Gabello and Sabrina Tamburino
Brynne Ashton, Fox 29’s Mike Jerrick and Lauren Richmond
Bon voyage Erin Como as she leaves NBC10 and heads to, I’m not supposed to say. Now that I know alot of news makers I find out good inside scoop, but I’m sworn 2secrecy. It satisfies my nosy self but irritates my gossip side. Sgt John, Camille Cwienkala, NBC10 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen


Contest: 3rd annual Bellevue Gets Engaged on March 4th 2012

The Third Annual Bellevue Gets Engaged. I’ve gone to all of them, and it’s always a great time. Take your mom, go with a girlfriend, and make plans for your dream wedding.Tickets are only $50 , for a fantastic day of making dreams come true. It’s the bridal event of the season. Cocktails, champagne and elegant hor d’oeuvres. Guests will receive a fabulous goody bag and more! I’m giving away a pair of tickets. Just tell me your engagement story and I’ll enter you into the contest. Here’s my email I’ll pick a winner on Tuesday at 5PM. Thanks


My Philly Cooks 2012 Column, More Details On Hop Sing Laundromat & Random Shot

Good morning
Bear with me I had a late night.

Hop Sing Laundromat is on the tip of our tongue ready to open
Lee is everyone’s friend by now. We’ve been all rooting for the opening of his new bar, which I always joke with him is like Willy Wonka’s Factory. There’s so much to look at, and it’s cloaked in secrecy and surprises. Even after he opens it, sometime in this century, you’ll notice new sights and sounds, cause if you know Lee he always has something up his sleeve to keep his guests intrigued. I stopped by yesterday to see the progress and noticed this interesting ladder. “It’s for the bar back” Lee told me. He can climb to any shelf and pull down the desired bottle; and it’s on a sliding system (that’s my word by the way for lack of a thought in my head today.) The bar back can slide the ladder from one side to the other cherry picking bottles off the shelf. He then puts it in a metal slide which hugs the ladder. The slide has felt like material that will dust the bottle as it drops into the bag at the bottom. Right before it drops it goes through a brush that finishes off the dusting before the bottle is served. Of course the bartender will give it a once over too. There’s lots of other nooks and crannies that pertain to the bar, like the spit toon looking bowl, but it’s not a spit toon.

Stopped by Reading Terminal to check out my food selections for Saturday night. It’s like when you win a shopping spree and you want to see where all the Polo Shirts are so you can go there first. Saturday Night is the Valentine to the Market
for $125 you can eat from any of the vendors, but the Amish, dance, drink, and have the run of the place. It’s a lot of fun I covered it last year too. Mike actually goes with me, so that says a lot.


Last night was Philly Cooks 2012.
DANIEL REINHERZ and KYW’s HADAS KUZNITS . Hadas was a judge, but had to run out afterwards to her photography class.
Dave Maser, Allison Young, VP of Public Engagement at the Constitution Center and Jenine and David Neff, Neff PR
Eater’s Hottest Chef of 2012, Jason Cichonski (Ela) getting a smooch from his biggest fan Nicole with Ilana Waber and Sam “is that an IPhone in your Pocket” Shoap. Check out my full column in Philly Mag coverage of the event HERE