Jim Burke will return to Philadelphia (officially, anyway) as the chef-in-residence for the 2016 summer season at Morgan's Pier when it opens beside the Ben Franklin Bridge on April 21.
Known by Philadelphians for his three-bell-rated James, Burke was named one of the Best New Chefs by Food & Wine Magazine in 2008, and was nominated for a James Beard award in 2009. He sold James in 2011, heading to New York to work at Stephen Starr's Caffe Storico, and later Bistro Moderne, of Daniel Boulud fame. He returned to Philadelphia in 2014, partnering for some work with Drexel University's Center for Hospitality and Sport Management.
Burke's menu for Morgan's Pier this year takes heavy inspiration from the chef's time in Italy, along with his experience working with Boulud. Dishes so far include country ham and grilled melon, gnocchi gratinati with summer truffles, and fisherman's stew with saffron-tomato broth and garlic bread.
Morgan's Pier will bring back several crowd favorites for the 2016 season, such as lobster rolls, elote corn salad, and snack bacon. Also returning is last year's Chef's Table, which has space for 20 people to share a family style meal from three varieties: Seafood Jubilee, Celebration of Poultry, and Slow Roasted Pig.
New weekly events will include craft beer tastings and industry nights throughout the week. Weekends will feature an expanded brunch menu, as well as live DJs. Additionally, the lounge area's bar has been expanded to serve as a larger space for private events with room for 50 people.
Burke joins Morgan's Pier for its fifth season this year, following stints from chefs Nick Elmi, David Gilberg, George Sabatino, and David Katz in the past.