Chef Jose Garces Introduces Chef Dane DeMarco as Next Chef in Residency at Volver

-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
photo by Eddy Marenco

Chef Jose Garces announces Chef Dane DeMarco (they/them) as the next Chef in Residency at Volvér on Kimmel Cultural Campus. Chef DeMarco’s residency is timed to coincide with Philly Pride Month, starting June 15th and running through July 24th. Funding raised during this residency will provide start-up funds for DeMarco to open a brand new restaurant concept called Hanks Sandwich Co., which will offer different sandwiches inspired by international culinary traditions. DeMaro’s menu embraces a diverse range of creations such as Oxtail Terrine, Crab Corn Dog Galette, Cannoli Manicotti, Corner Fried Shrimp, Crab Corn Dog Galette, and Vanilla Krimpet. For the new Chefs in Residency Program, each Chef will showcase their top signature dishes on the Volvér menu for six to eight weeks, alongside Chef Garces’ signature French-inspired dishes. Through a special donation program in partnership with the Garces Foundation, each Chef in Residency will have the opportunity to raise money to support their work with their current restaurant, or to use for the start of their next culinary journey.  

“Volvér Chefs in Residency is intended to empower our resident chefs while introducing new flavors and culinary styles to visitors of the Kimmel Cultural Campus,” said Chef Jose Garces. “As we wrap up our first season, I’m so excited to have Chef DeMarco joining us in the kitchen. I’ve been a fan of their work, especially their ability to elevate simple dishes to something more than the sum of its parts.”

He added, “I’m honored to be able to support Philadelphia’s hospitality community through this innovative program. Extending our resources to help more chefs in the region is a dream come true. With Chef DeMarco’s residency, this is the second time that donations raised will serve as seed money for a new restaurant concept. This means the program will have long legs and make a lasting impact on our region’s culinary community.”

“We celebrate Chef Dane DeMarco’s lifelong passion for cooking and look forward to the opening of Hanks Sandwich Co.,” said President and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. Matías Tarnopolsky. “It is an honor to showcase such a deserving culinary artist on the Kimmel Cultural Campus through Chef Garces’ residency program, and we hope this opportunity helps to introduce even more people to their cuisine.”

As a member of the Chefs in Residency Program, Chef DeMarco is the sixth and final chef for the inaugural line-up, following Chef Kiki Aranita from Poi Dog Philly, Chef Phila Lorn from Terrain, Jezabel Careaga from Jezabel’s and L’Atelier, Chef Jennifer Zavala from Juana Tamale and Chef Yoon from Little Fish BYOB. The program will conclude for the summer, and return in the fall with a brand new line-up for year two. Details for next season will be coming soon.

Chef Dane DeMarco is one of the region’s most notable and talented trans chefs. DeMarco is the owner of BurgertimeNJ, which recently opened during the pandemic, and Executive Chef for Hawthornes’ restaurants including Sonny’s Cocktail Joint and Wine Dive.  Chef previously worked with LPNG Restaurant Group (American Sardine, Second District Brewing Company and South Philly Taproom), where they started as a Sous and quickly worked up to Culinary Director. Chef was known as Doreen (she/her) while working for LPNG, and Chef is now transitioning and at this stage of the process is using Dane and they/them. Chef hails from Willingboro, New Jersey in Burlington County, where they spent their childhood in kitchens next to their father, who was a chef. They started answering phones and the more they worked with their father, the more their passion for cooking grew. Chef moved to Philly at 19, and worked under some great chefs. They loved traveling and checking out new restaurants and quickly found they had an unquenchable thirst for new flavors and inventive cuisine.

“I am very excited to be a part of this special group of chefs and be able to showcase my food and culinary point of view on a larger audience, who may not have had the opportunity to try it in the past,” said DeMarco.

Starters:

Oxtail Terrine
Caramelized onion puree, cooper sharp fondue, cherry pepper chimi

Tuna Hoagie Tartare
Creamy Italian dressing, provolone powder, crisp romaine, piquillo pepper, toasted
sesame seed

Duck Fat Pretzel
Everything spice, truffle mustard

Bitter and Blue Salad
Treviso radicchio, endive, blueberry vinegar, cornmeal crumble, Stracciatella

Entrée:

Country Style Pork Ribs
Porchetta spice, broccoli de ceccio, white bean puree, pork panko

Crab Corn Dog Galette
Grilled endive, saffron aioli, dijonaise, pepper hash, yuzu tobiko

Cannoli Manicotti
Ricotta spinach filling, Sunday gravy, Stracciatella, herb puree, shaved provolone

Corner Fried Shrimp
Soft shell prawns, squash blossoms, scampi hot sauce, cocktail powder gaufrettes

Dessert:

Artic Splash Granita
Black tea syrup, peanut chews

Vanilla Krimpet
Chiffon, caramel gelato , butterscotch sauce

For inspiration, DeMarco said, “I am inspired by all things Philadelphia and one thing I am known for are recipes outside of the box, I am taking famous foods that Philadelphians love and tourists travel for and am elevating them into fine dining.”

As part of the Chefs in Residency Program, patrons will be able to donate funds to support projects for each participating resident chef. For DeMarco, funding will help support Hanks Sandwich Co. their long-time new project set to open in 2022.

Guests wishing to support DeMarco’s new project can donate during their meal at Volver. Donations can be made, similar to tipping a server, when the dinner check is presented. The Garces Foundation will match up to the first $5,000, giving each resident chef the opportunity to raise at least $10,000. The matching grant will be donated by the Garces Foundation, which offers additional resources for the hospitality industry like medical and educational services that the resident chef can take advantage of for themselves or their staff, and to help them reach their goal/pivot.

The public can also support DeMarco’s endeavors by donating here as well:
https://form.jotform.com/221389074606156

“We are thrilled to support these talented chefs and to be a partner in the chefs in residency project,” said Garces Foundation Executive Director Robin Morris. “Philly’s food scene is the best in the country because of the dynamic energy and work ethic of our immigrant food workers and the diversity of chefs and cuisines.”

DeMarco added, “Donations will be used for a side project I’ve been working on called Hank’s Sandwich Co, a project born from the pandemic. Hank’s will showcase different sandwiches with world influence and concentrate itself on ‘bringing world flavors to main street.’ I look forward to jumpstarting Hank’s, it’s been a project in the making and I can’t wait to see it as a reality in a brick and mortar.”

Volvér’s hours for the season will be from Wednesday to Sunday, from 4:00pm to 9:00pm, with a special pre-theatre menu served from 4:00pm to 6:30pm, and happy hour from 7:30pm to 9:00pm. Reservations are now available at www.volverrestaurant.com, via Open Table, or by calling 215-670-2302. Celebrate the art of fine dining by following Volvér on social media at @volverphl @chefjosegarces and @garcesgroup. All guests coming to Volvér must be vaccinated per Kimmel Cultural Campus policy. Volver is located at 300 S. Broad Street, in Center City, Philadelphia.

Patrons can also find a special three course pre-theater menu running from 4:00pm to 6:30pm, every Wednesday to Sunday, for $56 per person. The menu will include items from both  Volvér’s featured menu as well as items from the Resident Chef.  For those not heading to curtain call, happy hour will run daily from 7:30pm to 9:00pm with drink and small bite specials that will launch in early October.

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