Iron Chef Jose Garces Will Take the Stage at His Newest Restaurant in Philly
by Robert DiGiacomo
If chefs are the new rock stars, then Jose Garces is inviting you to a very intimate culinary jam session.
The Philadelphia-based “Iron Chef” recently opened Volvér, a high-end restaurant located in the city’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The latter is home to the city’s acclaimed orchestra and a presenter of jazz, dance, classical and pop concerts.
Garces will aim to appear nightly on the 34-seat restaurant’s “stage” –– an open kitchen, from which he hopes to create elaborate tasting menus that must be purchased in advance with tickets.
Volvér’s pre-theater menu will offer eight courses, and will be priced from $75 to $120 a person, while the second seating will include a dozen courses, and cost between $175 to $250 a person.
Tables are available for two, four or six guests, with ticket prices covering sparkling or still water, a 20 percent gratuity and tax.
For Garces, whose namesake restaurant group operates 17 establishments in Philadelphia, Chicago and three other cities, the new restaurant will allow him to return to his roots as a working chef.
“For the first time in my career, it’s something I can’t delegate,” he says. “Timing is everything, and the timing just felt right for this.”
For those who don’t want to commit to the full production, Volvér will offer a kind of teaser in its lounge, a luxurious space with custom club chairs from Italy, a leather-wrapped bar and a specially designed textile mural that will specialize in caviar and champagne.
“There are amazing artists that perform at the Kimmel,” Garces says. “I couldn’t think about a better way to celebrate what they do than to have a really great champagne bar.”
With Garces on the line at Volvér, the Kimmel looks to have boosted its star quality significantly.