Friday, October 19, 2012

Famed Chef Tony Clark Leaving Serafina to head up

In the ever revolving kitchen door of Serafina,  
another chef is planning to exit within two years of the eateries opening.
 First it was executive chef Scott Swiderski, who's resume included a long time stint at Buddakan and a New York Minute stay at The Corner in Midtown Village. He was the opening chef at Serafina in April 2011 and then left a year later in April 2012. I recall a sous chef was moved into the position until they found their next big chef name.

Enter Chef Tony Clark (2nd from left) who's resume includes the Four Seasons, The Rittenhouse, Tapestry, his own Tony Clark's restaurant and he still operates The Old Grange by Tony Clark in Cape May. 

Chef Tony Clark will now be the executive chef of the restaurants at Valley Forge Casino Restaurants. They include Pacific Prime, Valley Tavern, Asianoodle, American Grill, Viviano, Nosh Deli and Italian Market.

P.S. I wonder why they keep putting big named talented chefs in this position. Serafina is a chain restaurant, with set successful tasty recipe's.  How much experiment with the food can really go into a menu like that?

Opening Party of American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition - Bootleggers Ball

Opps running late. Enjoy the pixs while I put the content in by NOON. And remember please don't take your photo off for 24hrs. (PS if your photo isn't here, it might show up in another publication as their photographer wasn't on hand when I was there last nite.)

Bathtub gin, speakeasy culture and flapper chic take center stage at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia with today's opening of American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.

Last night the Constitution Center held an opening night party. This event was for invited guests as well as paying guests. It's a great because a lot of my readers always want to know how can I go to one of these parties. If you're not in the media, this is the next best thing to being an insider.
Lauren Saul, Ashley Berke, Kat Maher, Jenna Winterle, Hauyen Ta, and Valerie Tomarchio
Hadas Kuznit in the glow of her pregnancy, Joey Sweeney, Philebrity, John McDevitt, Kyw1060 and Rick Nichols. Sweeney headed out to the opening night of the orchestra after the party (OMG what's happening to him. First the Rittenhouse Ball, now the orchestra?), Hadas, John and I headed over to Twisted Tale to catch The 9S Funk Band. (I adore these peeps in this photo. Mentors in my 5 years as PCC. Missing Michael Klein and Mike Jerrick. I'm getting verklempt now)
David Eisner, the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center greets the guests and chats about the exhibit.
Mr Philadelphia Al Lee shows me his custom suit with his name on the inside. It says "Made for Mr Philadelphia" An apt name not because he won some swim suit contest, but because he's over at the The Independence Visitor Center as the best Philly informed ambassador as well as social media guru.

Amy and Graham Copeland, Margaret Cronan, Chief Communications Officer/NCC and Jim Cuorato, President and CEO of The Independence Visitor Center
Guests shimmied to live jazz music by the Ben Mauger Orchestra, join in ’20s era dance performances and lessons by Mixed Pickles Vintage Dance Company, and enjoy exclusive access to American Spirits before it opens to the public. 
Interactive elements and immersive environments bring to life the sights, sounds, and experiences of the time period.
Jillian Haas and Keara Piekanski check out one of the exhibits. I went through fairly quickly, but I would say to really enjoy the exhibit give yourself at least ninety minutes.

Learn to do the Charleston

Get your mugshot
Check out the NY TIMES article on the new exhibition.

From October 19, 2012 through April 28, 2013, the era of flappers and suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists, and real-life legends like Al Capone and Carry Nation will come vividly to life in the National Constitution Center’s world-premiere exhibition American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.  Spanning from the dawn of the temperance movement, through the Roaring ’20s, to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment, this first comprehensive exhibition about Prohibition will explore America’s most colorful and complex constitutional hiccup. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


After a rain delay of a week, Chestnut Hill will held its 28thAnnual Fall for the Arts Festival on Sunday, October 14, 2012.

 The free festival offered more than 165 artists and craftsmen specializing in oils and watercolors, sculpture, photography, drawings and fine crafts, plus live musical entertainment on two stages, food and fun for the whole family.

 Tari Zarka Glassworks. So adorable
 Patricia Totton of P2Ware Art Tile. Cute coat

Musical performers include Dukes of Destiny, The Rich Posmontier Orchestra, The Tom Sartori Band and Zydeco a Go Go.  
Chestnut Hill was recently named one of 10 best neighborhoods in USA by the National Planning Commission, after being nominated by the City of Philadelphia Planning Commission.  It was named one of 2010’s Distinctive Destinations in the nation by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and 2012 Best Main Street Shopping by Philadelphia Magazine.
  Lynn Fleming of Fredricka
NEXT WEEK There will be wizardry and wonder in the air as Chestnut Hill once again transforms itself into Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley for Harry Potter Weekend, while Chestnut Hill College hosts the 3rd Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Quidditch Cup Tournament.
On October 26-27, the Chestnut Hill neighborhood will play host to a weekend’s worth of spellbinding events that will keep children and adults, and wizards and muggles, entertained.
All weekend long, shops and restaurants will magically change into places right off J.K. Rowling’s pages. Visit the Leaky Cauldron, Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheeezes, Hogwarts Greenhouse and many more.
The complimentary Knight Bus Trolley in Chestnut Hill will help you stroll the avenue to catch magic shows, costume contests, movie screenings, shopping and more.
Last year’s Harry Potter Weekend was sensational, and we can not wait for its return.
I might be this for Halloween. All the Big Bird costumes are gone.

Friday, October 26
Dumbledore will open the festivities on Friday evening at 6 p.m. at the Top of the Hill Fountain Plaza with a parade of Quidditch teams. Later that evening, adult wizards and muggles can join the Harry Potter pub crawl and (new!!) “The Hunt for the Horcrux” scavenger hunt. Meanwhile, the younger set can enjoy the Diagon Alley Straw Maze at Woodmere Art Museum, then jump on their broomsticks and fly to the Chestnut Hill Hotel at 7 p.m. for a showing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. For a nominal fee, others can brave the darkness on a scary Ghost tour leaving from the Chestnut Hill Hotel, 6:30-8 p.m.
Saturday, October 27
On Saturday, cheer on your favorite Quidditch team at the 3rd Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Cup at Chestnut Hill College from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on the softball field. Free and open to the public, the tournament showcases 16 college Quidditch teams from the Philadelphia area and beyond and will feature two Quidditch pitches with games played simultaneously for spectators to view. The best three teams will compete for the Cup in the final bracket of the tournament.
Sunday, October 28
Quidditch 101, coached by Chestnut Hill College Quidditch players, will be offered on Sunday on the estate lawn at SugarLoaf at 11 a.m. Trick-or-treating and a costume parade in Chestnut Hill will follow later in the afternoon. Meanwhile, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. the stables at Northwestern Equestrian Center will be open to the public for their annual Halloween costume parade, open house and arena games. Meet Tenebrus, a Thestral from Hogwarts, and more.
How to Get There
Taking public transportation to Chestnut Hill is encouraged for wizards and muggles alike. On Saturday, October 27, the complementary Hogwarts Express Shuttle will be making stops at the Chestnut Hill West Station all day, with stops at Chestnut Hill College and the Top of the Hill. More info soon.
Check out a cool video preview of the Quidditch Tournament, below.
Harry Potter Weekend 2012
When: October 26-28
Where: Throughout Chestnut Hill
Cost: Free; some activities carry nominal fees
Please visit for more information. 

(Thanks to Chestnut Hill for having PhillyChitChat shoot their event and to photographer Mike Hirata - I was off shooting a few Design Philadelphia Events which you can read about on Philadelphia Magazine)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Event: Rittenhouse Row annual Halloween Celebration 10/27/12

On Saturday, October 27, Rittenhouse Row will host our annual Halloween Celebration. The event includes a children’s party and costume contest at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel from 10AM until noon and FREE public trick-or-treating at participating Rittenhouse Row member locations. 


WHO:                     Rittenhouse Row

WHAT:                   The 2012 Rittenhouse Row Halloween Celebration and Trick-or-Treat

WHERE:                  The Radisson Plaza Warwick Hotel Philadelphia (Halloween Celebration)
220 South 17th Street
Trick-or-Treat all over Rittenhouse Row

WHEN:                   Saturday, October 27th from 10AM until 12PM (Halloween Celebration)
                                Trick-or-Treat from 10AM until 5PM

WHY:                      Families will enjoy a children’s costume contest with prizes, a mini brunch buffet and fun Halloween themed activities from Rittenhouse Row member businesses.

                                Please bring a book to donate to The Gift of Life House and remember to grab your map for Trick-or-Treating at Rittenhouse Row member locations.

HOW:                     Tickets for the Halloween Celebration are $15 for adults and $10 for children and can be purchased in advance by visiting

PS I'll be there taking photos for so I hope to see you!!

Anna Schneider on the move....

Anna Schneider named General Manager
At Chef Terence Feury's
Tavro Thirteen
Opening on Monday, October 22


Chef Terence Feury announced the appointment of Anna Schneider to the position of general manager at his new restaurant Tavro Thirteen in Swedesboro, New Jersey. "Anna is an incomparable addition to the stellar Tavro team," says Feuryl "We are thrilled to be working with her."

A native of the northeast, Schneider has spent the past 18 years in the hospitality industry. After pursuing a promising dance career, Anna found her true calling as a drink-slinging bartender in New York City in 1994. Quickly working her way up through the industry ranks to GM, she has worked with many world-renowned chefs, including James Beard Award-winners Barbara Lynch and Guillermo Tellez. She helped to open Philadelphia's Square 1682, and most recently she spent five years with hospitality leaders Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants.**

Located at 1301 Kings Highway in Swedesboro, NJ. Tavro will open its doors on Monday, October 22, 2012. The former Old Swedes Inn has been transformed to house Tavro's fine-dining room, a lounge with live music, and expansive bar and a gorgeous private party room. The restaurant is set to become a centerpiece for dining and entertainment in South Jersey. Just 20 minutes from Center City Philadelphia, the new restaurant has a thoroughly modern approach to hospitality while maintaining the building's old world charm and class that made it a destination for locals and visitors for almost a quarter century.

With a blend of big city finesse and neighborhood familiarity, Schneider is a true hospitality professional. Be sure to say hello if you're stopping in for a drink with friends, enjoying live music in the lounge, having a romantic dinner, or hosting your next big party. The entire Tavro Thirteen team is dedicated to providing an incredible experience.

**Oddly the press release doesn't mention her last job which was GM of Valley Forge Casino restaurants Pacific Prime and Viviano. She left that job on October 3.  Good luck Anna.

A FEW Observations from Around Town and my life

Ugh I ran out of time today. I was working on my philly mag column and I have gym time at 11am. NOW that wouldn't have been the case but I left in the middle of my work out with Steve Hoffman yesterday to chase a Chris Brown lead. It didn't pan out. Then I had assignments and well ran out of time cause I had to sleep. So here are a few pixs from around town some are storied.

I love The Corners new signs. I LOVE that they seem to be doing well. CONGRATS to Chef John Taus and Tony Rim.

I wish I could match up these paragraphs with pixs but I'm posting this from my phone.

Check out Philly Magazine online about noon for my column on the Rolling Stones. It's under The Philly Post section then under the Scene.


Thanks to Morris Gosial for the trip on the sailboat down the Cheseapeak last week.

Chef Jennifer Carroll, Cole Hamels, The Philles, and Moi on "Life After Top Chef" Tonight on Bravo - Plus the Philly Mag Colum About Show

You'll recall in April, Phillies Cole Hamels and wife, Heidi, hosted a Hamels Foundation dinner with Chef Jennifer Carroll and I covered it in my Philly Mag Column HERE. The event was filmed for an episode of Bravo TV's "Life After Top Chef' reality show, but I wasn't allowed to say so cause I signed a confidentiality agreement. Tonight the show will air on Bravo, maybe I'll be on with Andy Cohen After Dark or wWatch Phillies Ace Pitcher cooking in the kitchen, alongside Chef Carroll to prepare a four course dinner for sponsors and even his teammates! Proceeds benefited The Hamels Foundation.  This episode will air Wednesday, Oct 17th, 2012 on Bravo TV at 10pm EST

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tammy Reid hosts the Laurel House ‘Breaking the Silence’ Committee Envelope Addressing Luncheon

Ladies don't always lunch, many times they serve on charitable boards and committees. The Do Gooders I would call them.  
This year Laurel House celebrates its 10th year of the ‘Breaking the Silence’ luncheon and fashion show on November 8, 2012. The luncheon will be held at Overbrook Country Club. 

This year’s theme is ‘Women supporting Women’ and recognition of the committee’s 10- year commitment to raising awareness about domestic violence and funds through this popular event. The founder of the Women’s Committee, Tiffany Jones, will be the keynote speaker.  A fashion show will be presented by Maureen Doran and SKIRT of BrynMawr and will feature designer Diane Von Furstenberg clothing and accessories.  Laurel House is a non-profit agency based in Norristown. It provides supportive services for victims of domestic violence and their children.

 Earlier this month I attended the invitation stuffing party, which was held at Tammy Reid's home, where the ladies of the committee address, stuff and stamp the invitations to be sent to people who might want to attend this important event.

Tiffany Green, Michelle Karalis, Lisa Brandt,  co-chair Natasha Bolis, Tammy Reid, and co-chair Alicia Payne
Kristy Sevag, Sheila Norton, Jen McGowan, Krissa Wischer, Ann Marie De Cain
Nancy Scarlato, Lenka Holgren, Julia Fleischner, Michelle Hamilton, Victoria Kreiter and Shari Noteware

Tammy Reid's house is adorable. It was all decorated for Halloween and I had one too many twix bars. She has pumpkin containers everywhere filled with the delicious treats. She also had a lovely spread of brunch items and fruit for the gals and is a most hospitable hostess.  Laurel House is very dear to hear so if you're available come out to support the cause, enjoy lunch, meet a lovely ladies and see a fun fashion show. Tickets Here

Padraic "Jake" Maroney Turns 30 and throws a kick ass party

Padraic "Jake" Maroney  celebrated his 30th birthday recently at a big shin dig held at the Vesper Boat House on Kelly Drive.
 Lots of his friends came out to help him celebrate the milestone despite the deluge
 David White and Jackie Lux didn't want to miss the big day. I'm kinda curious how heavy
BFF's Padraic and Megan
How awesome is this that Padraic had created for his birthday?

Hey sexy lady!  Did you hear who's gonna be at the Q102 Jiggle Bell Ball in December?

Save the last dance for me
Kevin Maguire and Adam Basner
Mark Anderson and Jake are showing their dog tags that represent someone who they ran for in a marathon.
Tom Ciavarella and Kathryn Janofsky with Jake. A lot of the guests are friends from the running club Jake belongs to.
Will Hummel and Megan Roe
The new tradition, getting your birthday cake smashed in your face. Certainly memorable. Happy birthday Padraic "Jake" Maroney