Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Week With Ed Hitzel

Unless you are in South Jersey you won't know who Ed Hitzel is.  I didn't know who he was until a few weeks ago myself. I'm a newbie down here and just learning to find my way.
Chef Michael Dangelo of 2 Mile Restaurant, Ed Hitzel and me

Ed is the MAN and Restaurant Critic for South Jersey. What Ed says goes! He has his own TV segment "Hitzel Approved", Radio Show "Table for One", Restaurant Magazine and Newsletter.  Don't let all that scare you, he is indeed a very nice man!  I was a lucky girl last week and got to spend time with Ed on both TV and Radio.

Ed is the go to for South Jersey food!  Who in the restaurant industry doesn't he know?  When I was on his TV segment he had 6 other chefs from various restaurants showing their menu items.  All of them looked so good! It was a real education for me, since I am new to the area and not sure where to eat.
Luke Palladino
The highlight of my week was co-hosting his 3 hour radio show.  It was just me, Ed and special Chef guest Luke Palladino.  Wow! is all I can say about Luke!  What a very talented and committed chef with a passion for great food and service!  Luke is the first Chef I have found in South Jersey with a passion for farm to table.
Braised Beef Marubini (a style of ravioli from Cremona, Italy) Shaved Parmesan

Beside from being very handsome (yes ladies, he's taken) he has traveled all over the United States and Italy and has incorporporated many things he has learned into the menus at his restaurants. Luke's Italian Restaurant is located in Linwood NJ, his Steakhouse in Northfield, NJ(that has a 5 pound Tuscan Porterhouse Steak on the menu. That's a big steak!), Luke's Kitchen & Marketplace at the Revel in Atlantic City and Luke Palladino at Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City.

A few things I learned about Luke in the 3 hours I spent with him.  He's a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and just this year his daughter graduated from the CIA as a pastry chef. Luke worked under Emeril Lagasse at Commanders Palace in New Orleans.  He spent 4 years working in all the regions of Italy by traveling around with his knife set looking for work to gain the experience that has made him the wonderful chef he is today.

He loves chocolate and not everything is learned in chef school.  Nope, his Pierogies that you will find on the menu is from his longtime girlfriend Christine. Yes, Christine spent time in the kitchen teaching Luke and his chefs the proper way to make them from her family's special recipe. They were all good students.

As I write this today and you read this, Luke will be changing his menus from winter to spring as he incorporates the vegetables of spring into his menus.

Although I have not been to any of Luke's restaurants I can assure you I will be soon. As the radio show was from 10a to 1p, I left starving!

Look for Luke's new restaurant opening this fall in Philadelphia.

Thank you Ed, for having me as your guest on TV and Radio this week.  I enjoyed it and learned a lot about the food scene in South Jersey.
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