The TT 46

Eli Kulp

Fork and High Street on Market, Philadelphia, PA
Photo: Jim Graham

Why he killed it this year: Kulp's inventive American cooking at Fork and its more casual neighbor, High Street on Market, helped place Philadelphia on the map of America's destination food cities. Following a dream of Kulp's, he and business partner Ellen Yin announced plans earlier this year to open High Street on Hudson in Manhattan.

In May, Kulp's life changed irrevocably. While traveling to New York one evening, Kulp's train was derailed, leaving the chef paralyzed. Despite the devastating circumstances, Kulp is still leading his team, helping them prepare for their New York debut (which will happen next Monday), overseeing the menu development and tasting dishes for one of the most anticipated openings of the year. Oh, and he even took some time to share a recipe with us for bacon jalapeño bread stuffing.

How would you describe your food? "Thoughtful contemporary American food anchored with a regional point of view."

What's your signature dish? "The whole roasted Peking duck 'feast' that we do at Fork restaurant. It's a study in all things duck: The centerpiece is a roasted Pennsylvania duck that goes through a one-week process to give it the crispy crackling skin of the beloved roasted Peking duck. We do only a limited amount each night, first come, first serve."

What's your favorite underrated kitchen technique? "Dehydrating. It takes what some might consider pedestrian ingredients and creates wonderful textures, flavors and visuals. You can dehydrate fermented broccoli rabe and make a delicious powder to top off almost anything. It turns an ordinary ramp leaf into a delicious miso and nutritional yeast chips."

Go-to hangover food? "A Shake Shack burger and crispy crinkle-cut fries."

Cake or pie? "Pie. No contest."

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