Monday, January 3, 2011

Meet Our Chef!

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” --Henry Ford

Over the past few months we’ve searched high and low for a chef to join Zaffron. We met a lot of interesting candidates and interviewed nearly 50 people! Ultimately we found the ideal partner in Seth. Seth High had been working with renowned chef, Todd English or five years, before coming to Philadelphia. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly in Mediterranean cuisine. We couldn’t be more excited to have him on board and asked him to write an introductory blog post. Check it out below!

Greetings! My name is Seth High, and it’s been my great pleasure to join the Zaffron team as Culinary Director. Getting to know Amir, Artina, and Nick in these last weeks while we sprint to the finish line has hardened my resolve and faith that our business will be successful.

I come from a full service restaurant background, serving as a Chef in various parts of the country for the past dozen years. After living in six cities in six years, I sought a position that would offer an opportunity to help grow and nurture a new business and a concept. After meeting with the Zaffron team and after lengthy discussions about the concept I was convinced that ours would be a beneficial partnership.

In approaching the final menu and recipe development, I’ve tried to maintain the same approach I would take in a full service restaurant, hewing closely to values such as freshness, wholesomeness, high quality ingredients, dynamic and robust flavors, and ability to replicate. Many of the building blocks of our menu are exactly the sort of simple, hearty, delicious Mediterranean foods that I’ve loved and used to great effect in some of my former restaurants.

As a team, through research and tastings, we’ve come up with sauces and condiments with varied geographic origins, both traditional and interpretive. An old friend of mine once quipped that she was, “generally amorous of food on sticks”, an opinion that I heartily endorse; so, whether spiedini (Italy), brochette (France), souvlaki (Greece), or satay (Indonesia), how could I not get behind kebabs?

It occurred to me while doing some research that our concept in many ways echoes some of the first quick service restaurants: shawarma stands in the markets of ancient Greece and Phoenicia, where you’d get lamb meat sliced off of a large kebab and tucked into pita with yogurt. I’m excited to find such historical reference points, and am reminded of the long cultural oral history we all share with food.

It’s been an intense series of meetings, menu finalization, recipe testing, tasting, testing, and tasting some more in the month since I joined the team, and the product is coming together very nicely. I can’t wait for you all to be able to try some soon at Zaffron Store #1 in the Shops at Liberty Place!!


1 comment:

  1. How exciting!! Congratulations to you all, I seriously cannot wait to eat here!