The ICCA Board of Directors chose Philadelphia for its significance in culinary research both historically and especially for today’s modern menu ideas and execution. Our nation’s first capital has now become the modernist movement for today’s culinary trends.
In the past five years so many chefs from Philadelphia have been nominated for the James Beard Foundation Best Chef Northeast heads are turning. In the 2017 awards finals restaurant group CookNSolo got a lot of attention: Michael Solomonov was up for and won the Outstanding Chef, Zahav for Outstanding Service, and pastry chef Camille Cogswell for Rising Star Chef Of The Year. The Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category was a big one for Philly, too, with Vedge’s Rich Landau and Greg Vernick from Vernick Food & Drink fighting it out, Vernich won and Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione won for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional. Stephen Starr also won Outstanding Restaurateur which made it four major JBF awards for Philadelphia in one year. This is unprecedented for any city! Most of them and many more will play a role in our ICCA Culinary Immersion Philly from September 20 – 22, 2017. Here is the complete agenda for the event: ICCA Culinary Immersion Philly
This ICCA Culinary Immersion Philadelphia experience includes all expenses paid except your travel to the Loews hotel; all group meals, hotel rooms, group activities and transportation are covered by our generous sponsors. This is a very limited event for only 15 members and five sponsors, so RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org early to secure your reservation for the event. We look forward to exploring the rich culinary culture of Eastern Pennsylvania with you including a special extra day excursion.
We have added an extra day into the agenda for members who want to visit Sweet Street Desserts Factory and R & D Center and a behind the scenes look at one of the nation’s oldest Pekin duck farm. Joe Jurgielewicz & Son Ltd. was founded in 1933 in Moriches, Long Island, the farm re-located to its current 500 acre site outside of Redding in Shartlesville, PA in 1984. Dr. Joe Jurgielewicz, CEO and Cornell-educated veterinarian, raises cage-free ducks without antibiotics or hormones.
The Sweet Street factory tour is a peak into one of the top quality dessert producers in the nation. You need to arrive at the Philadelphia airport by 9:30 am on Wednesday, September 20th to take advantage of this special extra day educational event.
Those that want to attend the Philadelphia Immersion only can arrive early Thursday morning (Bus leaves at 8:00 am from the Loews lobby) or join us on Wednesday night for dinner at Fork, owner by chef High Street Hospitality Group (Ellen Yin) who was a JBF nominated Outstanding Restaurateur 2016 and JBF nominated Outstanding Restaurant 2016.
Thursday, September 21st: we depart the Loews Hotel lobby as we taste Fresh baked pastries from High Street Market on our morning ride to Kennett Square, “The Mushroom Capital of the World,” to visit Phillips Mushrooms & To-Jo Mushroom Farms. These are two of the largest and most innovative mushroom companies in the nation. You will learn about the complex industry in just one short morning of tours. Next, we will go to the Market at Talula’s Table, a gourmet market & café that turns into an intimate restaurant for 12. It is known as the hardest reservation to get in this original location in Kennett Square and in their 2nd location in Philadelphia.
Next we arrive in Philadelphia to visit at least one of every major award winning chef’s locations in the next day and a half. Here is a briefing of the activities:
2:00 – 3:30 pm: Lunch at Amada, Jose Garces iconic first restaurant
4:00 – 6:00 pm; Serpico roundtable and tasting, A Stephen Starr restaurant featuring Chef Peter Serpico, the right-hand chef of David Chang in his Momofuku empire, Chef Serpico opened Momofuku Ko to great critical acclaim winning the Rising Star Chef Award by Food & Wine Magazine and the JBF Foundation Best New Restaurant plus the nearly impossible accomplishment of two Michelin Stars.
6:30 – ‘til: Dinner at Zahav; Michael Solomonov, JBF Outstanding Chef 2017’s award winning restaurant and the 2016 JBF Cookbook of the year award. You will receive a signed copy of this award winning book during our dinner.
Friday, September 22nd: This day we will explore many more award winning chef restaurants including dinner at perhaps the best vegetarian restaurant in the nation. We will also go to Philadelphia’s 9th Street Italian Market home to the famous Philly Cheesesteaks where you can decide who has the best from the original Pat’s King of Steaks, Gino’s Steaks and Tony Luke’s. This is an experience you will talk about for years.
8:30 – 10:00 am: Breakfast at Hungry Pigeon
10:15 – 11:00 am: Federal Donuts Tasting in Rittenhouse Square Park; COOKNSOLO Restaurant Partners Steven Cook & Michael Solomonov’s Federal Donuts menu is simple, but creative featuring their Fancy Donuts (glazed and decorated each morning); Hot Fresh Donuts (fried to order and tossed in flavored sugars) and their famous Korean-style Fried Chicken (coated in either dry spices or glazes).
11:00 am – 12:00 noon; Rooster Soup Company tasting & roundtable about their philanthropic mission
12:30 – 2:00 pm: Philadelphia Distilling tour and tasting; in 2005 Philadelphia Distilling became the first craft distillery in the State of Pennsylvania since prohibition.
2:15 – 3:00 pm: Pat’s King of Steaks, home of the original cheesesteak
3:00 – 4:00 pm: El Compadre tasting & roundtable with co-founder Ben Miller; What began as a food cart has turned into one of Philadelphia’s most talked about restaurants and lead to being named one of Food & Wines top 10 restaurants in 2016 and a JBF nomination for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic this year for the founding couple.
4:00 – 4:20 pm: Geno’s Steaks, this stop comes with a lesson on ordering a Philly Cheesesteak; How To Order A Cheesesteak: Cheesesteak consumption has its own etiquette. When ordering, there are two critical questions to answer: First, what kind of cheese do you want? (Whiz? Provolone? American?) Second, do you want onions? (“Whiz wit?”) The correct way to respond is “Wit” for “Yes, I would like Whiz and onions,” or “Widout” for “No, just the cheese.” Then, ask for any other toppings or condiments you desire. Be forewarned: Lines are long, patience is tested, and if you don’t have your order and money ready to go, you might be sent to the back of the queue.
5:00 – 5:45 pm: Tony Luke’s, much more than just award-winning Philly Cheesesteaks
7:00pm – til’: Vedge, Philadelphia’s and perhaps America’s best vegetarian restaurant; “Is Vedge the best vegetarian restaurant in America? “It might be one of the best restaurants, period,” says Trey Popp, Philadelphia Magazine. Husband and wife team Richard Landau, nominated for the JBF Best Chef Mid-Atlantic 2017, and Katy Jacoby, nominated for best Pastry Chef Mid-Atlantic 2016, are proud to showcase vegetables as the spotlight. The ICCA Culinary Immersions are free for GCIA members and potential members and are designed to showcase America’s top culinary destinations. The mission is to help ICCA members learn from the trend-setting menu leaders in a particular region or city and are limited to the first 15 members who rsvp. Again all you pay is for your transportation to the host hotel – everything else is complimentary. This is a very small price to pay for a research trip to one of the top culinary destinations especially with the ICCA staff spending countless hours researching the best venues and arranging for face-to-face conversations with the leaders behind these prosperous businesses. Our goal is to inspire you and your culinary staff in creating the most successful new menu items for your organization.