Travel anywhere and you’ll find foods that taste of specific places and flavors that connect people to landscapes. New York City, for some, can be encapsulated in a bite of bagel or a sip of cider. For Philadelphia, it’s cherry water ice on the first really hot day in spring, or a smear of golden Lancaster County butter. Sometimes we can lose perspective on the flavors of where we’re from, but all it takes is an outsider to help us approach them with renewed vigor.
Eli Kulp, the chef of Fork Restaurant and High Street on Market, both in Old City, is originally from the West Coast, and came to Pennsylvania from New York to take the position of chef at Fork in September of 2012. Kulp, recently named a 2014 “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine magazine, soon found himself inspired by the variety of ingredients from local sources.
“Whenever you move,” Kulp says, there’s a drive, as a cook, to discover the ingredients that represent your new landscape. “You want to sort of immerse yourself in it.”