Being in charge of three separate menus is enough to make anyone’s head spin, but seasoned vet Guillermo Tellez makes it look easy. He’s known for his work at Square 1682, the recently opened Red Owl Tavern at Hotel Monaco, and now the hotel’s swanky rooftop lounge, Stratus.
You’ve worked all over the country. What makes Philly’s food scene unique?
Philadelphia was not seen as a mecca for restaurants and food. It used to be that when you talked about Philly food, it was Le Bec-Fin; there was nobody else. But now it’s changing. The market is growing and developing Philadelphia as a food destination.
What do you do on your day off?
My family and I will visit farms, especially on Sundays, and discover new places. We’ll find dairy farms where the milk is so fresh and they make ice cream right there. The kids love that. We usually go out to lunch, too, and try all the county cooking.
What are the signs of a good restaurant?
There should be people in there. If a place is busy, that’s a good sign. Go to where the locals are. You have to be willing to take a chance.