Chef Gerald Drummond is making food a fine art. He works at Granite Hill, a Stephen Starr restaurant inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. There Drummond is hosting monthly cooking demos, and next up is the art of grilling. So don your “kiss the cook” apron and fire up the grill.
What is the day-to-day like over at Granite Hill?
Well. we just had a really good week because of the U.S. Open. We hosted three different types of events based around that. There were players and commentators here, which was cool. The museum is humongous, so the events can range from 40 to 3,500 guests.
What’s it like going from a stand-alone restaurant to one within the museum?
It’s a serious transition. There’s a very, very big difference between the two. From a logistical standpoint, we’re supposed to handle all the moving parts. In a restaurant you know if your ovens work, if your staff is in, and that you’re going to serve 200 people. And if the place closes at 11 o’clock, then you’re done cooking at 11 o’clock. There are a lot more moving parts within catering. And if a customer wants something you find a way to make it happen.
Can you tell us a little about the chef demonstrations held each month at the PMA?
I had the idea last October. We wanted to find a way to bridge food and art together as a way to really partner with the museum. Right now we’re working on our fall and winter line up.
So you plan to keep the demos going beyond the summer?
Yes. After the response we received for the first two classes, we definitely want to keep doing this. The first class was sushi – my background is mostly in Asian cuisine. But what makes these classes truly interactive is that everyone who left the class that day had their own sushi roll – that they made, not me – in their hands. The first thing we teach people when they walk in the room is to relax and enjoy themselves. You can see the pride in their faces when they’re done and they’ve made something themselves. And they take a lot of pictures of the food they make.
If you go
July 10, 6-7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy