Charles "Chip" Roman, chef/owner of Blackfish in Conshohocken, has brought in Jason Cichonski, who recently left the executive chef's job at Lacroix at the Rittenhouse Hotel.
The Fishtown-raised Roman is planning to open a second restaurant. The Bucks County-raised Cichonski is working at Blackfish with the eye on running the new kitchen for its first few months. Then, according to plan, Roman will partner with Cichonski, and Cichonski will get his own place.
Roman, 31, says Cichonski, 26, "reminds me of me when I was his age."
Roman was 19 when he begged Marc Vetri for kitchen work, and two years later began a five-year employment for Georges Perrier at Le Bec-Fin.
As for the first new restaurant, whose location was not known as this went to press: "Liquor license, ultra fine dining. 30 seats, three-course menus for about $50."
S. Philly in S. Jersey
Angelo Lutz's story, in a nutshell: South Philly guy. Solid home cook and caterer. Gambling conviction ("I'm a cook, not a crook" was his catch phrase during his trial). Went away for seven years. Came home. Paid his fine.
With his clean start, he's gained some renown with a Philly.com show, "Kitchen Consigliere." While he shops the show nationally, he's also doing what he always wanted to do: chef-owner of a restaurant.
Lutz's homespun BYOB, Kitchen Consigliere, replaced the Texas Wieners on the corner of the Lumberyard development, just off Haddon Avenue in Collingswood (8 Powell Lane, 856-854-2156). The cozy room has about 30 seats plus a counter and, in season, outside seating. Easy-on-the-wallet menu ranges from panini, salads, and frittatas to pastas, chicken, and veal, with nothing over $17. It's open for lunch and dinner Mondays through Saturdays.
Family health issues have forced Alex Ureña to bow out of the kitchen at Devil's Den (11th and Ellsworth Streets) and return to New York. Now at the stove is Paul Trowbridge, who'd been at Moriarty's since 2005 after a few years in Montgomery County at such now-gone establishments as Alison's Cafe, Alison at Blue Bell, and Blue Horse. Moriarty's now has Hector Moya as chef.
Moon Krapugthong, owner of Chabaa Thai in Manayunk, has brought in chef Haruo Ige for a monthlong residency in which he'll add dishes from his home of Okinawa, Japan, including a Japanese-Thai twist on sushi and sake pairings with each dish.
Chef David Katz, whose Meme at 22d and Spruce Streets has a modest wine/beer list, has done away with the $10 corkage fee.
Parx East in Bensalem, opening Wednesday, will have the Noodle Bar from Sang Kee's Michael Chow.
Five Guys, the burger chain, rolls out a Conshohocken location this week (Plymouth Square, Ridge and Butler Pikes) and another Center City shop next week at 1109 Walnut St.
Chubby Balboa's, the long-delayed sports bar in Glen Mills' Concordville Town Center, is looking at a mid-January opening.