One of the most popular segments in the Bravo series Top Chef is the quickfire challenge, during which the cheftestants create a menu item or complete a culinary task on the fly, in an hour or less.
The kitchen drama inspired the Philly-based food-service company Spectra to create a Top Chef-themed eatery, which premiered last year at SeatGeek Stadium in suburban Chicago, home of the Major League Soccer team Chicago Fire.
The second location will open in mid-January in the concourse of the Comcast Center at 1701 JFK Blvd. It will take the space previously occupied by Sook Hee’s Produce, which closed recently. (Bravo and Spectra are divisions of Comcast, so this is pure corporate synergy.)
Comcast’s Quickfire will have an open kitchen with an eight-seat counter designed for interaction with a chef, a grab-and-go case, video screens showing clips from the show, touchscreen kiosks for ordering, and a six-seat chef’s table with a butcher-block top.
The menu, designed to be served at lunch, will feature made-to-order items inspired by favorite dishes from the show, plus a burger, hot sandwiches, pastas, and salads. That’s where Edmund Konrad comes in.
Konrad, the former second-in-command at Nick Elmi’s Laurel on East Passyunk Avenue and a veteran of Top Chef’s Season 16, is consulting on the menu, converting the show’s hastily devised quickfire recipes to dishes that can be replicated in a restaurant setting.
Spectra came up with the idea for Quickfire several years ago, said Scott Swiger, a Spectra vice president. “There are so many great things that happen on the show, and you watch the show and never really get to try them,” he said. "We connected with Bravo and pitched the idea. From a fan standpoint, it’s been a huge win. People really like it.”
Dishes and the working chefs for the Comcast Center location have not yet been announced.