May 05, 2022
Philadelphia's dining scene was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Chefs and restaurant workers have spent the last two years attempting to keep business afloat as they cope with the pandemic's ebbs and flows.
As a result, Chef Jose Garces began the Chefs in Residency program at Volvér in the Kimmel Cultural Center, which highlights minority-owned businesses and chefs impacted by the public health crisis. The next chef to be featured in the program is Alex Yoon of Little Fish in Queen Village.
Through June 12, Yoon is serving his signature seafood dishes and some additional Korean-inspired fare at Volvér, just in time for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Through the first two years of the pandemic, Yoon and Little Fish have continuously updated and shifted the focus of their menu and dining options in accordance with COVID-19 precautions. The BYO's pre-pandemic multi-course offerings have changed and Little Fish reopened for dinner service in April with a fully a la carte menu, only available on weekdays.
During each residency, guests can leave a donation in addition to a tip at the end of their dinner. The Garces Foundation will match any donation up to $5,000, which the resident chef can use for a cause of their choice.
Yoon is looking to the future: donations from his residency will be put toward opening a new restaurant concept in the city. Aside from those made at the restaurant, Yoon also set up a separate website to take donations.
"This opportunity is a dream come true," said Yoon. "I have always admired Jose Garces as a chef and restauranteur, and now for him to host me and let me present a menu at his restaurant is a dream come true."
In addition to Volvér's full menu, Yoon is presenting dishes from his own.
• Savage blonde oysters: honey crisp apple, horseradish, dill
• Scallop toast: Viking Village scallops, chili oil, chives, sourdough
• Chilled shrimp salad: poached shrimp, kohlrabi, sweet peppers, wild onion, Japanese mustard vinaigrette
• Grilled octopus: jalapeño kewpie glaze, cucumber, white soy, cilantro, peanuts
• Steamed local black bass: ginger, dashi broth, glass noodles, Bok choy, shiitake
• Grilled branzino: crispy potatoes, pistachio vinaigrette, spring greens, herbs
• Korean fried chicken or Maitake mushroom: fermented pepper sauce, mushroom rice, charred scallion, soft boiled egg
• Short rib "ssam": Asian pear soy glaze, steamed rice, Alex's kimchi, lettuce wraps
• Sticky toffee pudding: dates, salted bourbon caramel, pecan semifreddo
"The menu I'm presenting for this residency reflects some of the work that gave me this opportunity but also the direction I want to move forward in with Korean influences," Yoon said. "I have gained recognition for seafood but I wanted to show that I can bring more to the table."
Yoon, a Philly native, began his career as a chef at Le Bec-fin, before taking over Little Fish in 2016.
Volvér is open Wednesday through Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. A pre-theatre dinner menu is served from 4 to 6:30 p.m. and happy hour goes from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Reservations can be made through OpenTable.
All guests ages 5 and older are required to present proof of vaccination before entering the Kimmel Cultural Campus through at least May 31. Masks are also required when not actively eating or drinking.
May 4 to June 12, 2022
Wednesdays through Sundays, 4-9 p.m. | Pay-as-you-go
Volvér at The Kimmel Cultural Center
300 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107