|Dafni D. Comerota
|Meryl Levitz, Ed Cambron, Anne Ewers and Roz McPhearson
It's impossible to not think of yourself as part of the French Foreign Legion this month. The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts
(PIFA) has everyone and everything tied up in knots. Or maybe a French braid is a better analogy.
The Philadelphia International Flower Show
and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's "Springtime in Paris," themed week kicks off with a private event on March 5, runs from March 6 to 13 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center
and I know there is more than one gig that the Parisian-jazz inspired Hot Club of Philadelphia
and Reading Terminal
have held pre-PIFA parties in the last few weeks as did Sofitel
at the end of 2010. All that set the stage for staring at the animated video cube in front of the Kimmel Center
and the hanging at the PIFA food/fashion preview that took place at Hamilton Rooftop Garden
; all in anticipation of PIFA shows and its Opening Night Gala on April 7 where their first Culinary Visionary Award goes to Chef Georges Perrier
. (Perrer's Le Bec Fin along with a handful of local restaurants including, Bibou, Caribou Café, Fork, Lacroix, Parc, and R2L will host chefs from Lyon, Perrier's place of birth). Where fashion is concerned, on April 8 a PIFA catwalk/soiree run by SPW (that's Sharon Waxman
, y'all) is set with work of Philly's Ralph Rucci
to be gifted with the Visionary Award for Fashion. Rucci became the first American designer in 60+ years to be invited to show in Paris by the French Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Other locals involved in THAT show include: Melani Von Alexandria
and Sarah Van Aken
|Rames and Hoyt
Then there's the PIFA itself - April 7 to May 1- that you'll see more of in these pages in the weeks to come. For now, at the HamiltonGarden
, it was let em gateau.
For me, PIFA set the stage for Philly Cooks!
the Philly Magazine sponsored benefit for the Ronald McDonald House
at the Crystal Tea Room
with some 40+ chefs participating. I got there closer to 7:45 so I missed all the Marabella
meatballs. But caught more than my share of Blackfish, El Rey, Sampan, Harvest and Ladder 15
fare, which is fantastic as El Rey won the night's Best Appetizer (avocado with crab meat.), Blackfish for Dish of the Year, (Chip Roman's
Hiramasa Sashimi Style) Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar for Best Entrée (Pan Seared West Coast Halibut with Soba Noodles and Asian Vegtables with Miso Broth which made me break my no noodle rule) and the Moshulu won for Best Dessert an actual French chef, Michael Cluizel's
Chocolate Espresso Torte. Since I couldn't spot the maker of the Torte, I grabbed Patrice Rames
, the king of the Bistro St. Tropez
and captured my own French food moment. Bon soir.