Hot Chef: Eli Kulp, new chef on the block

Eli Kulp may have just arrived in Philly, but he isn’t shy about shaking things up.

The new executive chef at Old City mainstay Fork will debut his dinner menu on Monday, and it offers quite a few treats, including a nightly fixed-price menu and revamped a la carte options (smoked pumpkin tortellini, we’re coming for you). We caught up with him to talk Philly, food and fall.

What’s the chef recommend for a date: brunch or dinner?

I’d choose a nice dinner over brunch anytime because chances are the food is going to be of higher quality and you don’t have to deal with the crowds. And to get a night out with the wife would be amazing.

Where are you eating when you’re not in your own kitchen?

Well, I’ve been completely swamped with the relaunch of Fork, so honestly my days off are rare right now, but I’ve had great meals at Zahav, as well as Will BYOB.

How about some shopping tips: Any particular farmers markets or vendors that you frequent, either for work or for home?

We always go to as many local markets as we can, especially the larger ones in Rittenhouse Square as well as Headhouse Market. Also, I can’t get enough of the incredible celery that Merv is growing at Hodecker Farm in Manheim. We were just out there last week picking some up. It would be hard to meet a nicer guy, especially one that is elbow deep in celery.

Let’s just pretend you get Sunday off — where are you going?

Getting all necessary supplies from Federal Donuts and then hanging out with my son in Washington Square. It’s my favorite park in the city and it’s right across the street from our place. The weather is seriously amazing right now.

What’s one dish Kulp would order again?

“I’ve recently moved to Philly so I’m still exploring the scene, but I must say the razor clams and snails at Tai Lake were incredible.”

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