While construction crews work night and day at 18th and Sansom Streets on the Stephen Starr-owned pub called The Dandelion, English chef Robert Aikens is holed up in his kitchen, training staff on the food.
Opening is now up for 3 p.m. Dec. 31.
Aikens generously gave me a few moments last week, and shared a curious but crucial fact about his kitchen. That is: every recipe is written in metric measures, meaning that each of Aikens' cooks has to get the grams and liters through their ounce and cup-lovin' heads. Why? "More precise," says Aikens, who has settled in South Philly.
A synopsis of his bio: He worked with brothers Michel and Albert Roux at their Michelin-starred London restaurant, Le Gavroche. At 22, he moved to New York State to become sous chef at the Point Resort and later executive chef at the Lake Placid Lodge nefore moving to Greenwich, Conn., to become the personal chef to financier and philanthropist Sandy Weill. Next, he moved to New York City as head of Citigroup's executive dining room. In 2007, he returned to London to work with his twin brother, Tom, at Tom's second eatery, Tom's Kitchen.
He found the position with Starr on Craigslist.