Who Will Become Philly's Next Hop Chef?

Four of the city's hottest chefs took a road trip to Brewery Ommegang as friends. This week, they'll become rivals in a beer-pairing cook-off.

By Brian McManus
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jul. 3, 2012

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• “Cubic feet per minute per barrel”

• “Microwaved steaks”

• “Fuck that fucking guy.”

• “Is your phone bedazzled?”

• “I’m too drunk to Tweet.”

• “Jason is fingerbanging himself right now.”

With dinner over and minds lubed, the day’s business done, it’s time to do what chefs do as well, if not better, than cook.

It’s time to drink more.

Four chefs don’t know when they’ve had enough, and want to stare into the abyss to see if it, indeed, stares back unto them. So, after being dropped off back at the Inn, they stagger up the street, find the one open bar, and each take a shot of tequila. Then they take another. They have more beer, too. They toast the locals with more tequila. Cicala, once a junior hockey star, watches the L.A. Kings win the Stanley Cup on the bar television.

The baseball theme park that’s disguised as a town shuts down around 9 p.m. It’s well past. More tequila. Blurry vision. Where’s Scott? Tunicliff Inn ice machines. Ommegang gift bag beers. Sinks full of ice and water and bottles of Ommegang gift bag beers. Gooood niggght. Lobby tomorrow morning, 9 a.m.

Three chefs in the lobby of a bed-and-breakfast at 9 a.m. Silence. No signs of Sabatino. He’s been called, texted, tweeted. His door has been knocked on.

Finally, around 11, he appears. He trots slowly, gingerly toward the van.

“Hashtag-fuck-whoever-bought-those-tequilas,” he says after getting in the van. Everyone laughs. It’s a fight not to puke the entire way home.

That was the morning of June 12. Since then Schroeder, Cicala, Sabatino and Elmi, along with The Pretty One, Jason Cichonski, have kept their public conversation about Hop Chef going over Twitter.

As the competition draws near, strategies are being revealed:

“Think I’ll just drink the beer and do a kissing booth instead #hopchef”

— @jasoncichonski

“And the fight for second place begins! #hopchef #whyarewedoingthis”

— @nicholaselmi

One chef will be crowned the winner of Hop Chef…

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