Chef Greg Vernick keeps it fresh

Greg Vernick is the man behind the name at Vernick Food & Drink. The Cherry Hill native has worked in kitchens all over the U.S., but now he’s back on home turf in Philly, serving up fresh, season-centric fare and refreshing drinks for everyone at the table.

What brought about your non-alcoholic “mocktail” menu?

It didn’t come from an alcohol versus non-alcohol point. We were making seasonal sodas and my beverage manager came up with a few ideas of how to use the sodas and syrups we were making.

Where do you go when you need to get out of your own kitchen?

On a nice night I like Morgan’s Pier. It’s one of the best views in the city, and it’s tasty food. And Mama’s [Vegetarian] for falafel. They make a sandwich that you eat, then you crave it again when you’re done. Plus, it’s close to the restaurant.

When you go out, is it typically in the neighborhood?

A lot of times. The staff goes to Bonner’s a lot, over on 23rd. They get along really well with everyone there, so they kind of congregate there. It’s a nice camaraderie. Or sometimes we’ll all go to Chinatown for late-night dinners.

Yum — any Chinatown tips for us?

Usually David’s Mai Lai Wah, but sometimes we just end up wherever.

Your menu relies on fresh, seasonal and local ingredients. Can you share your shopping secrets?

We like to use the Rittenhouse Farmers Market because it’s two blocks away, so it supports the neighborhood and the farmers. And we go to Headhouse Farmers Market on Sundays for similar vendors. If you walk through the market in the morning you can still kind of smell the dirt and the farm.

If you go

Vernick Food & Drink

2031 Walnut St.

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