Juan López debuts as resident chef at Kimmel Cultural Campus
The Mexican chef will be at Volvér until Feb. 12.
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The announcement of new resident chef Juan López — who will complete a month-long residency at Volvér — was made by chef Jose Garcés, who also said that López will help him create a new catering division and new culinary jobs. He will also support the next generation of chefs through the Jules E. Mastbaum High School Culinary Program.
"Lopez's menu will include French Onion Soup, Burrata, Potato Gnocchi, Pan Seared Duck Breast, Butter Scallops, Crispy Short Rib, Poached Meringue, Port Custard and Rice Pudding," said Garces in a statement.
The dishes developed by the Mexican chef will be available on Volvér's menu from four to eight weeks, along with Garcés' Portuguese-inspired dishes.
"Chef Juan is not only one of my favorite chefs in town, but he is also one of my favorite people in town," Garcés said. "On a personal level, he is kind, soft-spoken; simply a magnificent example of a human being. His personal feelings aside, he's enormously talented and I'm excited to see how far he goes."
López's artistry reflects his Mexican roots and extensive experience working in various restaurants, which is why Matias Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Kimmel Center, said the venue is "very much looking forward to the public experiencing his unique culinary talent."
Through a special donation program in collaboration with the Garces Foundation, each Chef in Residence will have the opportunity to raise money to support their work with their current restaurant, or use it to start their next culinary journey.
Who is Chef Juan López
López is originally from a small rural town in Puebla, Mexico. He grew up watching his grandmother cook straight from the land, raising her own animals and growing produce. He always enjoyed watching her cook. But it wasn't until he moved to the United States years later that he first set foot in a kitchen. López began working in the kitchens of a Brooklyn, New York, pizzeria before heading to Philadelphia.
He currently owns On Point Bistro, a small Philadelphia brunch restaurant. López has also worked at many popular spots in the city — Alma de Cuba, Buddakan, El Vez, Distrito, Garces Catering and Amada.
"I'm looking forward to getting back into the fine dining scene and pushing myself to think creatively," said López. "Sometimes it's easy to get stuck on autopilot when running your own little brunch spot, and this will give me a chance to challenge myself and show the finer side of my culinary work."
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