Chef Greg Vernick Dishes on the First Meal That Changed His Life

Philly natives and transplants alike — at least, those who follow the food scene at all — are probably familiar with Vernick Food & Drink. Located at 2031 Walnut Street, the highly acclaimed restaurant, co-owned by super couple Greg and Julie Vernick, specializes in to-the-point dishes that capture complex flavors. 

Greg, who is also Vernick’s Executive Chef, was named a finalist for “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” by the James Beard Foundation earlier this year. And between his resume — he grew up in the industry working at well-known establishments like Per Se and Jean-Georges Restaurants — and his love for executing a combination of fresh ingredients as simply as possible, it’s not difficult to see why. 

Earlier this month, Foodable asked the Chef some personal questions. What was the first meal that changed his life? What one ingredient can he not live without? And what is the most important lesson he learned in the first year of owning a restaurant?

Find out answers to the above, and more, in our new Quick Six column, where we grill chefs all across the country on stuff you can’t find via Google. Read More

Quick Six With... Greg Vernick, Chef & Co-Owner of Vernick Food & Drink

Quick Six With... Greg Vernick, Chef & Co-Owner of Vernick Food & Drink

Greg Vernick basically grew up in the kitchen — at his mom’s restaurant, where he’d spend much time after school. Fast forward, and he is now the chef and co-owner (alongside his wife, Julie) at Vernick Food & Drink, which opened in Philly in 2012. Earlier this year, he was named a 2015 James Beard Award finalist for “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.” Vernick was also nominated by Food & Wine for “People’s Best New Chef: Mid-Atlantic.” Other accolades include being listed under “The Best New Restaurants in America” by bon appétit, winning OpenTable’s 2015 Diners’ Choice, receiving a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, and ranking in Foodable’s Top 25 Restaurants in Philly for many months, grabbing the No. 1 spot in April

Vernick, who graduated from Boston University with a degree in hospitality management before earning his culinary degree from the Culinary Institute of America, built up his skill and stamina at impressive outposts like Per Se and Jean-Georges Restaurants. Vernick worked at a variety of establishments — as a sous chef, an international corporate chef trainer, and as chef de cuisine — before returning to Philadelphia. 

Below, we ask the Chef six quick questions.

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A Deeper Look Into the No. 1 Restaurants for This Month's Foodable Top 25

A Deeper Look Into the No. 1 Restaurants for This Month's Foodable Top 25

By Jessica Bryant, Managing Editor

Our Foodable Top 25 Restaurants have been released for this month, featuring Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

These rankings are based on April 2015 data from our sister company’s proprietary Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI), the most comprehensive index for the restaurant industry.

This Month’s No. 1’s

Chicago: Avec

With a stripped-down, minimalistic interior with floor-to-ceiling wood and cube stools, Avec’s color shines through in its dishes. The food menu — with a theme to Midwestern interpretations of Mediterranean — includes both small and large plates, a “cheese from our cave” section with varieties from France, Spain, Italy and the U.S., and desserts. Guests can enjoy anything from beef and pinnate kibbeh sausage with pomegranate, dill, farro and feta cheese to shrimp pizza with meyer lemon, calabrian chile, and rapini pesto. With Chef de Cuisine Perry Hendrix at the forefront (he’s also CDC at Blackbird, one of Avec’s sister restaurants), the menu is packed with fresh local ingredients and the restaurant is considered wine-focused, which is fitting considering wine is how Hendrix initially became involved in the culinary scene.

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