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Kimmel Cultural Campus Welcomes New Volver Chef in Residency Juan Lopez

Kimmel Cultural Campus Welcomes New Volver Chef in Residency Juan Lopez

Currently, Lopez’s menu will include French Onion Soup, Burrata, Potato Gnocchi, Pan Seared Duck Breast, Butter Basted Scallops, Crispy Short Rib, and more.

Chef Jose Garces has announced Chef Juan Lopez as the next Chef in Residency at Volvér on Kimmel Cultural Campus. Chef Lopez's residency will run from January 11, 2023 to February 12, 2023. Funding will both help Chef create a new catering division and new culinary jobs, while supporting the next generation of chefs through the Culinary Program at Jules E. Mastbaum High School. Currently, Lopez's menu will include French Onion Soup, Burrata, Potato Gnocchi, Pan Seared Duck Breast, Butter Basted Scallops, Crispy Short Rib, Poached Meringue "Fargoias Congeladas", Port Custard "Pudim" and Rice Pudding "Arroz Doce." For the new Chefs in Residency Program, each Chef will showcase their top signature dishes on the Volvér menu for four to eight weeks, alongside Chef Garces' signature Portuguese-inspired dishes. Through a special donation program in partnership with the Garces Foundation, each Chef in Residency will have the opportunity to raise money to support their work with their current restaurant, or to use for the start of their next culinary journey. Volvér's hours for the season will be from Wednesday to Sunday, from 4:00pm to 9:00pm, with a special pre-theatre menu served from 4:00pm to 6:30pm, and happy hour from 7:30pm to 9:00pm. Reservations are now available at www.volverrestaurant.com, via OpenTable, or by calling 215-670-2302. Celebrate the art of fine dining by following Volvér on social media at @volverphl @chefjosegarces and @garcesgroup. All guests to Volver must be vaccinated per Kimmel Cultural Campus policy. Volver is located at 300 S. Broad Street, in Center City, Philadelphia.

"Chef Juan is not only one of my favorite chefs in the city but he is also one of my favorite people in the city," said Garces. "On a personal level, he's kind, soft spoken; just a terrific example of a human being. Personal feelings aside, he's got a huge amount of talent and I'm so excited to see where he goes with it."

Garces added, "I've been keeping an eye on him since he used to work for me at Alma de Cuba and Amada in 2000 and I'm thrilled to see the level of growth as a chef, especially since opening up On Point Bistro back in 2016. He recently pivoted to an all-day brunch/lunch model and it's become a real go to brunch spot. He's created an absolute gem in the Point Breeze neighborhood."

"Chef Lopez's artistry reflects his Mexican roots and extensive background working in restaurants across our city," said Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. "We greatly look forward to audiences experiencing his unique culinary talents."

For the new season of Volvér, Garces fans, foodies, arts patrons, neighbors and visitors will once again come together to celebrate the art of fine dining in the dual-concept space that features a giant oval bar and lush lounge on one side, and a performance kitchen where Chefs bring cuisine to the center stage on the other. Chef Lopez is the third Chef in Residency for 2022-2023, following Chef Reuben "Big Rube" Harley and Chance Anies.

INTRODUCING CHEF JUAN LOPEZ


Chefs In Residency is Chef Garces' way of taking the idea of featuring chefs at Volvér to the next level. "Chefs in Residency is back for a second year with a whole new line-up of fresh and talented faces and cooking styles," said Garces. "As a Latin Chef and business owner, I've faced my share of adversity and am grateful to be in a place where I can 'pay it forward' to those emerging onto the Philadelphia food scene with ambitious goals of their own."

Chef Juan Lopez (he/him)
Owner, On Point Bistro
January 11 to February 12, 2023
@onpointbistro (Instagram)
@OnPointBistro (Twitter)
@onpointbistro (Facebook)
Funds raised will support opening a new catering division and creating culinary jobs

Juan Lopez is originally from a small, rural town in Puebla, Mexico. Lopez grew up watching his grandmother cook directly from the land- raising her own animals and growing product. He always enjoyed watching her cook. But, it wasn't until he moved to the United States years later that he first stepped foot in a kitchen himself. Lopez started working in kitchens in a pizza shop in Brooklyn, NY before heading to Philadelphia. He has worked in every restaurant position imaginable - from dishwasher to restaurant owner.

He currently owns On Point Bistro, a small brunch spot in Philadelphia. Lopez has worked at many popular spots throughout the city - Alma de Cuba, Buddakan, El Vez, Distrito, Garces Catering, and Amada to name a few, and was formerly the Chef de Cuisine at Garces Trading Company before setting out on his own in 2016 to open On Point Bistro in South Philadelphia.

When he's not busy making his hollandaise from scratch daily or prepping specials for the menu, you can find him chasing after his two young children- Santiago (7) and Veda (3)- along with his wife, Mallory, at the local rec center.

"I'm looking forward to getting back into the fine dining scene and pushing myself to think creatively," said Chef Lopez. "Sometimes it's easy to get caught in auto-pilot when running your own small brunch spot, and this will give me the chance to challenge myself and showcase the more fine-dining side of my culinary work."

He added, "While brunch is my current business, fine dining and events is my passion. I would love to expand into more catering and special events. This opportunity with the Residency will help us better market that. Hopefully it will also help us create more jobs in the culinary field for our local community. "

For menu, guests can look for:

Small Plates:
Pan Seared Brussel Sprouts - Bacon Marmalade, Goat Cheese

House Salad - Artisan lettuce, Roasted Peppers, Cucumbers, Onions, Feta, Crispy Chickpeas, Greek Vinaigrette

Cheesesteak Spring Rolls - Ribeye, Provolone, Caramelized Onions, Mildly Spicy Tomato Sauce

Burrata - Grilled Rustico, Lemon Truffle Honey, Agrodulce Figs

French Onion Soup - Beef Consommé, Gruyere, Cornbread Croutons

Entree:

Potato Gnocchi - Mushrooms, Asparagus, Bacon Lardons, Fontina Cheese, Herbs

Pan Seared Duck Breast - Stuffed Phyllo Nest with Kabocha Squash Foam, Brussel Sprouts, Roasted Pearl Onions, Amarena Cherry Jus

Butter Basted Scallops - Celery Root Puree, Brown Butter Lemon Sauce, Beet Chips

Crispy Short Rib - Creamy Polenta, Roasted Baby Carrots, Spring Onions, Blackberry Jus

Dessert:

Banana Pudding - Vanilla Custard, Caramelized Banana, Peanuts

For inspiration, Lopez said, "My focus for this menu is on food that people will enjoy regularly, not just for special events or fine dining. These dishes are an elevated version of everyday food cravings and also some items you can find on our regular and private events menus at On Point Bistro."

As part of the Chefs in Residency Program, patrons will be able to donate funds to support projects for each participating resident chef. Patrons and donors, in fact, are supporting the next wave of great restaurants in Philadelphia's world class food scene. For Lopez, he is working to create more culinary jobs and create a brand new catering division to bring his cuisine out to the greater community. Part of the proceeds Chef raises will also go to his selected charity, Culinary Program at Jules E. Mastbaum High School. He wants to support their career pathway for students to enter the culinary field.

Guests wishing to support Lopez can make a donation during their meal at Volver. Donations can be made, similar to tipping a server, when the dinner check is presented. The Garces Foundation will match up to the first $5,000, giving each resident chef the opportunity to raise at least $10,000. The matching grant will be donated by the Garces Foundation, which offers additional resources for the hospitality industry like medical and educational services that the resident chef can take advantage of for themselves or their staff, and to help them reach their goal/pivot.

Donations for Lopez can be made also online through the link below:
https://form.jotform.com/223536775444160

"We are thrilled to support these talented chefs and to be a partner in the chefs in residency project," said Garces Foundation Executive Director Robin Morris. "Philly's food scene is the best in the country because of the dynamic energy and work ethic of our immigrant food workers and the diversity of chefs and cuisines."

NEXT CHEFS IN RESIDENCY


The season will continue with the following Chefs in Residency. Menus and additional information will be announced closer to each residency.

For Women's History Month (March):
Chef Tonii Hicks (she/her)
Private Chef and James Beard Fellow 2022
February 15 to March 19, 2023
Funds raised will help open a brand new commissary kitchen

Chefs Ryan Elmore (he/him) and Kaitlin Wines (she/her)
Chefs, Mom-Moms Kitchen
March 22 to April 23, 2023
@mommomnomnom
Funds raised will support Polish American culture in Port Richmond by working with the local Polish American Society

For Asian and Pacific Heritage Month (May):
Owner, Sally Song (she/her)
Owner, Dim Sum Garden
April 26 to June 4, 2023
@dimsumgarden

Funds raised will help Song begin the process to open a second much-anticipated brick and mortar restaurant in the Philadelphia area.

Final Finale Chef
June 7 to July 30, 2023
One final chef will be featured starting in June for the grand finale and final curtain call to a tasty second season. Please stay tuned after January 1st for the announcement of the final Chef in Residency.

During each Chef's residency, the featured Chef will celebrate the launch of their menu on Opening Night, and the Chef will be invited to showcase their talents and have a presence during service as their schedule and their own restaurant duties allow. For information on each Chef's schedule of live appearances, visit social media and stay tuned to the website.

CHEF MATCHING GIFT PROGRAM


The new Chefs in Residency Program will raise funds to support emerging chefs and their current and/or future projects. Donations can be made, similar to tipping a server, when the dinner check is presented. The Garces Foundation will match up to the first $5,000, giving each resident chef the opportunity to raise at least $10,000. The matching grant will be donated by the Garces Foundation, which offers additional resources for the hospitality industry like medical and educational services that the resident chef can take advantage of for themselves or their staff, and to help them reach their goal/pivot.

"We are thrilled to support these talented chefs and to be a partner in the chefs in residency project," said Garces Foundation Executive Director Robin Morris. "Philly's food scene is the best in the country because of the dynamic energy and work ethic of our immigrant food workers and the diversity of chefs and cuisines."

NEW PORTUGUESE MENU


Volvér, which is Spanish for 'to return', will celebrate a new menu by Chef Garces, a new line-up for Chefs in Residency, but it will also celebrate the much-anticipated raising of the curtains across the stages of the Kimmel Cultural Campus for the new theatre and arts season.

Volvér's cuisine will continue to highlight Chef Garces' culinary travels around the world. The ever-evolving menu emphasizes seasonal ingredients prepared with modern techniques that capture and amplify their inherent flavors. For this new year, Chef will continue on his global journey and present Portuguese inspired cuisine.

"We are excited to launch our new menu at Volver this season," said Garces. "The menu features Portuguese inspired dishes that exemplify the foods bold and beautiful color. When developing this menu, we explored the beautiful cuisine of Portugal and the neighboring influences from Europe and the Mediterranean."

VOLVER GENERAL INFORMATION


Volvér is located at 300 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Inside the Campus, Volvér is located near the Spruce Street entrance of the Commonwealth Plaza. This season at Volvér, patrons will be able to enjoy pre-theater, happy hour and a la carte menus in 80 seats in the lounge and dining room, seven seats at the Chef's counter, and 12 seats around the bar.

The low-lit lounge and bar are perfect for an intimate pre-theatre dinner, post-theatre drinks, happy hour, girls night out and date night. Patrons will find all the big vibes that include a sleek marble-topped curved bar, plush oversized seats, velvety banquets, sexy mood light, and floor-to-ceiling windows. A bold and colorful mural by artist and designer Conrad Booker cascades across the back wall, with visibility from every seat in the house. Booker spent one year hand-fusing, dying, cutting and stitching the one-of-a-kind mural out of 200 yards of burlap and 4,000 fiber buttons. As guests transition from the bar and lounge to the kitchen area, they will pass floor-to-ceiling wine racks with a sliding library-style ladder that can house 1,200 bottles of wine.

Down the stylish corridor, past the bottles of white and red, patrons will find a sprawling open-island kitchen where Chefs will create their art in front of the entire dining room. Each and every seat has a clear view of the artists at work as they create their magic for eager diners who want not just a meal but a full experience. For those looking for center-stage action, the marble-top Chef's counter offers seating for seven.

In addition to the exciting food line-up, Volvér fans will find a well-rounded bar program that is artistically approachable with options for every palate and to pair with every dish. Patrons will find hand-crafted cocktails, non-alcoholic mocktails, beer and cider on draft, and wine and champagne by the bottle and the glass. Cocktail highlights include the Brown Derby, with Old Grandad, Grapefruit, Lemon and Honey, and Pedraza with Corazon Tequila, Grapefruit, Aperol and Rosemary.

Patrons will find a special three course pre-theater menu running from 4:00pm to 6:30pm, every Wednesday to Sunday, for $56 per person. The menu will include items from both Volver's featured menu as well as items from the Resident Chef. For those not heading to curtain call, happy hour will run daily from 7:30pm to 9:00pm with drink and small bite specials that will launch in early October.

Season hours this year will be Wednesday to Friday, from 4:00pm to 9:00pm, and Saturday/Sunday from Noon to 9:00pm.

To make or cancel a reservation, please visit the website, reserve on Open Table, or call Volvér at 215-670-2303. All guests to Volvér must be vaccinated per Kimmel Cultural Campus policy.

ABOUT CHEF JOSE GARCES


Iron Chef, father, husband, James Beard Award-winner, entrepreneur, and food innovator, Chef Jose Garces is known as a leading culinary authority of Spanish and Latin-American food. From the Spanish tapas at Amada, his first restaurant, to the playful Japanese street food at Okatshe in Atlantic City, Chef Garces continually pushes the boundaries of culinary excellence.

While he maintains his successful career owning and operating full-service restaurants, Chef Garces is also looking toward the future, with an increased focus on bringing restaurant-quality experiences to the homes and businesses of culinary enthusiasts in new and interesting ways. From enhanced home delivery options and virtual online cooking demos, to live online cooking classes, Chef Garces is excited to connect with both fans of his work on television, as well as the home cook who would like to experience "chef life" in their own kitchen. Chef Garces is the author of two cookbooks, Latin Evolution and The Latin Road Home, published by Lake Isle Press. To learn more, please visit, www.chefgarces.com or follow him on social media on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

ABOUT GARCES


Garces is a Philadelphia-based hospitality group specializing in personal dining experiences rooted in the rich cultural traditions and culinary vision of renowned Latin-American chef Jose Garces. Taking a heartfelt and creative approach to time-honored recipes and dishes, Garces, in partnership with New Orleans- based Ballard Brands, operates numerous restaurants including Amada, Tinto, Village Whiskey, Volvér, The Olde Bar, Buena Onda and Garces Trading Company in Philadelphia, and Amada and Distrito in the Ocean Resort Casino. The group also operates Garces Events, a full-service catering and event division; the Garces Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to Philadelphia's underserved immigrant community. For more information, visit GarcesGroup.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

ABOUT GARCES FOUNDATION


The Garces Foundation is a community-based, non-profit organization committed to providing Philadelphia's immigrant population the healthcare, education, and support to empower them to fulfill their potential as citizens and enjoy the highest possible quality of life. Our programs advance this mission. We provide free or low cost dental care, medical care, education to those we serve. We also run a food pantry program, meeting the food insecurity needs brought on by the pandemic.


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