This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
“With its casually stylish ambiance and ambitious small-plate take on Japanese pub fare, this is a departure from traditional casino fine-dining. And, judging from the stunning parade of dishes, from the crispy nori-rice cracker topped with spicy tuna to the silky kabocha cheesecake, Izakaya is also a smashing debut for a familiar name we’re likely to be hearing more from” —CRAIG LABAN, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER


By BOB BICKELL


Mr. Starr owns some thirteen noteworthy restaurants in Philadelphia along with two highly successful concepts in New York (Buddakan and Morimoto). Interestingly enough, his ventures in Atlantic City have failed to match his success in other areas (an ongoing and somewhat disappointing location in the Pier at Caesar’s with Buddakan and the Continental). His impact however continues to be gigantic


T


and has proven to be more than simply opening terrific restaurants. He has contributed (so to speak) some former Starr employees who have


his article is not about Stephen Starr, but he is part of the equation and it is difficult to ignore the presence and impact this man has brought to the area’s restaurant scene.


quickly graduated to become significant restau- rant stars of their own. One of the hottest chefs in America right now has to be Jose Garces who was the executive chef at Starr’s El Vez in Philadelphia. Chef Garces went on his own and quickly opened seven highly regarded concepts in downtown Philadelphia with presumably more to come. Another rising star is the actual subject of this


piece—Chef Michael Schulson. Michael served as executive chef with Starr’s Pod in University City (Philadelphia) and at Buddakan in New York. Upon leaving the Starr organization, Chef Shulson joined the celebrity chef line-up at the Borgata (BobbyFlay,MichaelMina, andWolfgang Puck) as the owner and executive chef at the


popular, and very successful Izakaya. In 2009 the restaurant was named as one of the Fifty Best New Restaurants in the United States by Travel & Leisure Magazine. Michael Schulson may or may not be going


the route of Stephen Starr and Jose Garces, but already he has opened a new restaurant in Philadelphia called Sampan which coinciden- tally is across the street from Stephen Starr’s El Vez where Jose Garces got his Philadelphia start. If and when a third restaurant appears, we can make a better determination on the future direction of Chef Schulson as it relates to his celebrity status. There is a profile of chefs who go the celebrity route, and from what we see, Michael Schulson


njlifestyleonline.com LIFESTYLE | January 2011 55


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68