So last night, my culinary partner in crime, Lisa Lusby, and I went to The Best of Philly Soirée at Dilworth Park, right there at City Hall.

You know, when I go to these events, I actually sort of get butterflies in my stomach! I’m always full of excitement and not knowing what to expect, and I’ll tell you what…Philadelphia Magazine knows how to put on a PARTY.  My chef hat’s off to David Lipson and his whole team–the events Philadelphia Magazine hosts are always so beautiful and innovative, so impeccably serviced and staffed, and just plain FUN!


Lisa and I!






As we entered the VIP Lounge!










We arrived for the VIP hour to the sounds of a great live band inside the VIP Lounge and so much wonderful energy!

A night dedicated to celebrating and sampling foods from THE BEST of Philly– does it get better than that? We were treated to the sweet goodness of Opa’s Fried Dough.  Other notable bites:  corn soufflé, pulled pork tacos, pulled pork sliders (pork was a big theme this year!)… Bud and Marilyn’s had an outrageously good hot dog topped with pickles and slaw. I have to say, once again, this event proved that Philly is truly for foodies!  I am so proud of how the City of Brotherly Love represented last night!

Best Bites of the Night:

Chicken Fried Duckbreast.  Yeah, you heard me right.  The Blue Duck served up Chicken Fried Duckbreast over an herbed cheesy polenta–Italian style southern food.  Really good.

Chef Tod Wentz of Townsend had a whole roast pig there! He served up a beautiful Porchetta.

So I asked him after my first bite: “What was it?”

And he said, “It’s stuffed pork.”

To which I said, “Well what’s it stuffed with?”

And he just looked at me and said, “MORE pork.”

So someone standing next to me said: “It’s pork stuffed pork!”

Well let me tell you something: that “pork stuffed pork” was REALLY GOOD.  It was tender and so full of flavor–just a masterpiece, especially considering that sometimes when you make porchetta, it unfortunately can have a bit of a gamey taste…his DID NOT.  It was moist, it was juicy, it was so, so good.  Congrats to Chef Todd Wentz of Townsend on the winning Best Chef 2016 last night!  So well deserved!

Most Creative Bite of the Night:

Salmon Cannoli —wonderful, creative, innovative.  I love a new twist on a classic and this was delish. Way to go Volvér!

Salmon cannoli. I "cannoli" say tasty!

Salmon cannoli. I “cannoli” say tasty!


All in all–what a treat!  Just a fabulous night!  See below for the full list of participating restaurants!  I’ve starred the winners! Thanks to Mercedes for sponsoring…here I am with my matching car 😉 .

Cheers to The Best of Philly 2016!


The sporty Barbie look.



Chef Jacquie

Restaurant List for the Best of Philly Soirée 2016

American Sardine Bar
Big Gay Ice Cream
Blue Duck
Bud & Marilyns*
Cheu Noodle Bar/Bing Bing Dim Sum*
Circles Thai
DiBruno Bros*
Dietz & Watson
Double Knot*
El Rey
Farm and Fisherman
Gran Café L’Aquilla
Hungry Pigeon*
Insomnia Cookies
Le Virtu
Marigold Kitchen
Philly Pretzel Factory
Prohibition Tap Room
Revolution Taco*
Shake Shack
Sip N Glo
V Street

* 2016 Winners
Read more here!