Before my husband canceled cable on me so I’d stop wasting my life watching endless episodes of Real Housewives and any other soul sucking shows on Bravo, I was an avid fan of Top Chef. To this day, my favorite contestant has always been Chef Tiffany Derry. Maybe it was her infectious laugh, or the fact that she was such a genuinely nice person, or how she always cooked with soul and never tried to be something she wasn’t. She was confident about who she was, always helpful to others, and the fact that she owned the kitchen better than most men out there – it’s easy to see why she’s my favorite.
When I was presented with the opportunity to meet Chef Derry you could probably imagine my excitement. I tried to play it cool but I’m sure it was seemingly transparent I was star-struck when I was grinning from cheek to cheek like a kid on Christmas morning. Rest assured, she was everything I imagined her to be. But enough with the gushing, let’s move on and get to the food.
Private|Social will be kicking off monthly Saturday lunches (every 3rd Saturday of the month) where Chef Tiffany Derry gets to have some fun in the kitchen. This month she hosted a family-style pig roast event, which was served with bottomless sides with a choice of iced tea or soda for $20 a person.
There’s something exhilarating about a whole roasted pig – the crispy skin, the moist flavorful meat and the fact that you’re able to appreciate where your food comes from. Seeing Chef Derry’s masterpiece of a pig filled my heart with an indescribable porky excitement. Though some may find whole roasted pigs “offensive”, this juvenile mentality is further proof as to how far removed we’ve become from our food. I respect Chef Derry for embracing and respecting her ingredients, as that is how food should be.
Alongside the roasted pig, which was stuffed with aromatic herbs and lacquered every hour to get the highly coveted crispy skin, Chef Derry served a farm-fresh kale salad, roasted baby fennel, braised turnips with tops, and celeriac puree. The bar was serving specialty cocktails by the infamous Rocco Milano – my favorite being the Philadelphia House Punch, which was a wonderful blend of rum, cognac, lemon, sugar, English breakfast tea, and champagne. It was bright, fruity and a perfect compliment to the meal.
Private|Social even had a live saxophonist, who walked around and swooned diners with his sweet and mellow notes. This is what dining should be: relaxed yet exciting, comforting yet intriguing, and leaves you with a soulful satisfaction that stays with you and makes you think about it days after it’s gone. Be sure to join Chef Derry for her uniquely themed lunches every third Saturday of every month from 12-2 p.m. Visit their website or call for more information on next month’s event.