The chef to the pros, 2 new Reading Terminal spots, style tips from a Super Bowl champ

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021
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We get in the kitchen with the chef to the pros, check out a top-tier pastry chef and sample some new restaurants at Reading Terminal. Plus, style tips from a Super Bowl champ.


Chef MJ is the personal chefs to the Eagles, burger-lovers everywhere

Mitzi Jackson-Robinson, aka Chef MJ, is known for her burgers.

She's been part of the James Beard blended burger project and took part in a burger-making competition on the Food Network's show "Chopped."

Her blends include salmon and crab, black bean and refried bean and a mushroom burger with organic, grass-fed beef and veal.

She has a number of professional athletes on her client list, including Eagles players. Whether you're an athlete looking to maximize performance or a couch potato looking to shed some pandemic pounds, she says get there with her motto of "eat well while eating well," meaning food that is good and good for you.

She also has a line of what she calls 'one-stop shop' spice blends.

Chef Mitzi Jackson-Robinson | Website | Instagram | Facebook

Parc Rittenhouse pastry chef logs on with virtual baking classes

Baking class is now in session, and it's virtual.

Abby Dahan, a decorated dessert champion, started The Bake School so you can learn classic French baking right from your own kitchen.

Dahan is the Executive Pastry Chef at Parc Rittenhouse and winner of Food Network's "Chopped Sweets" 2020.

Born in Paris and raised in South Jersey, she did her culinary studies and apprenticeships in Paris. Now she is bringing her expertise to anyone who wants to learn from the convenience of their own kitchen.

Baking lessons can be specific items you want to learn to make, or you can sign up for a series of classes. Each session runs about two hours, and students receive a list of tools and ingredients a week in advance so they can gather everything before logging on for class.

The Bake School | Instagram

El Merkury, Sweet T's enter historic Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market is getting some tasty new additions, one offering Central American street food with its signature churros; the other offering up some "Sweetie" pies.

El Merkury and Sweet T's have been around as brick and mortars, food trucks, and pop-ups. But soon they will each have a stall in Reading Terminal Market.

When owner Sofia Deleon came to Philadelphia from Guatemala, she always knew she wanted to have an outpost of her El Merkury at that location.

Look for her signature churros, pupusas, tostadas, and taquitos -- as well as new items like the Honduran breakfast sandwich called baleabas.

Husband and wife team Mark and Tia El specialize in baked desserts made from sweet potatoes. Sweet T's is known for their sweet potato pie, sweet potato cheesecake, sweet potato pound cake, and more.

Their best seller is the small, three-inch version of the sweet potato pie called the Sweetie Pie - but the crust is a graham cracker crust, not the traditional butter crust.

Look for both stalls to be open in mid-April.

El Merkury At The Market | Instagram | Facebook

El Merkury

2104 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103


Sweet T's Bakery & Sweet Shop | Instagram | Facebook

Reading Terminal Market

51 N. 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107


Top chef Nick Elmi opens new restaurant The Landing Kitchen

Celebrity Chef Nick Elmi and business partner Fia Berisha have opened The Landing Kitchen in Bala Cynwyd.

The all-day cafe is serving an upscale menu with "simple, healthy and sometimes gluttonous" options according to the Top Chef alum.

The Landing is located on Pencoyd Landing just across the Pencoyd Bridge in Manayunk and an easy stop along the Pencoyd Trail which runs along the Schuylkill River.

The huge outdoor patio offers scenic views along the river and great space to dine al fresco.

The project is just getting underway. The team hopes to create outdoor activities along the river like farmers markets, concerts and yard games.

For now, the space is a versatile landing for either a quick stop coffee or juice or to spend some time working at a satellite location.

The Landing Kitchen | Facebook | Instagram

617 Righters Ferry Road, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Manatawny Still Works partners with Brandywine Valley SPCA for Piper's Pals project

In Pottstown it is booze to the rescue for some local animals trying to find new homes.

Brandywine Valley SPCA has partnered with Manatawny Still Works on a project called Piper's Pals.

The name refers to Piper, the mascot at Manatawny Still Works. Known as the distillery dog, Piper was rescued from a local shelter when MSW first opened in 2014. She has been there ever since.

The distillery has been a longtime supporter of local shelters donating a percentage of vodka sales to help support local animals. This latest project is highlighting long-time residents at Brandywine Valley SPCA.

Manatawny will highlight the animal at the distillery and on social media. Once the dog gets adopted the new dog parent will receive a gift package from Manatawny Still Works that includes a bottle of vodka, a shirt and a tour of the facility.

Manatawny Still Works | Facebook | Instagram

320 Circle of Progress Dr #104, Pottstown, PA 19464

Brandywine Valley SPCA | Facebook | Instagram

Multiple locations

1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, PA 19380

Renovations at Providence Animal Center paying off

Life at the Providence Animal Center is a little easier these days thanks to a recent renovation a few years in the making.

The animals in their care now have a variety of amenities that foster a deeper connection with potential adopters.

The non-profit is funded entirely on donations and has a low-cost clinic on-site. With the help of about 400 volunteers, the group concentrates on rescuing animals from other shelters that are overcrowded.

Providence Animal Center | Facebook

555 Sandy Bank Road, Media, Pennsylvania 19063

K-9 Kakes Pet Bakery

K-9 Kakes is a family-owned bakery that offers unique, fun, fresh-baked treats, and celebration cakes to make dogs happy and give their owners a variety of made from scratch healthy options to spoil their pups.

K-9 Kakes offers different varieties for the grain-free diet, big; hard treats for the guy that likes to chomp; soft, easygoing treats for the dogs that don't have big jaws; and hypoallergenic for dogs that need minimal ingredient treats.

The business idea came from Dave the Baker's daughter, Chelsea. She wanted to start her own business. Dave says, "I was retired, so I stopped in one day to help, and I've never been allowed to leave." | Facebook

649 Berlin - Cross Keys Rd, Sicklerville, NJ 08081


Style tips to dress your best for Oscars viewing party, next night out

The big night is just a few weeks away and 6abc's Ducis Rodgers got some watch-from-home style tips from a pro.

Damari Savile in Old City opened three years ago, suiting up men and women with a focus on precise tailoring.

They offer complete custom pieces from tuxedos suits, overcoats, shirts -- almost anything you can think of.

The appointment-only boutique is founded by Creative Director and two-time Super Bowl champion Malcolm Jenkins. His style identity and the way he dresses is the core of their aesthetic as a brand.

Think polished yet comfortable. Head designer Alyssa DiMarcantonia says the Academy Awards is an excuse to go all out, in a year when we've been stuck in.

Damari Savile | Instagram | By Appointment only

72 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia PA 19106

Amazulu connects cultures through jewelry, clothing inside Reading Terminal Market

For the last 25 years, Charita Powell has showcased her jewelry at her longtime store, Amazulu, located in the Reading Terminal Market at 11th and Arch Streets.

Powell has come up with her own jewelry designs, such as her version of the Fulani hoop.

A self-taught silversmith, Powell says she started selling jewelry as a street vendor on Penn's campus in 1987. She then had a shop downtown before landing here at the market.

Powell says she is thankful for all the support from customers and from the other merchants at the market.

Amazulu Collections on Facebook | Charita Powell on Instagram | Urban Karma Wear | FacebookReading Terminal Market

Curio's "A Symphony for Saint Georges" art installation

Curio Theatre Company in West Philadelphia is staging "A Symphony for Saint Georges", an immersive walk-through experience of sculpture, music, and projections.

A symphony for Saint-Georges is an interactive art installation showcasing the life of the famed composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.

"He was originally born in Guadeloupe, the son of a slave named Nanon," says Paul Kuhn Co-artistic Director. "At one time he lived with Mozart, in the same house in Paris. But because he was Black, he got virtually no recognition."

Groups of up to four can walk through an abstract of his life's journey, as he became the first classical composer of African ancestry.

Curio Theatre Company: A Symphony for Saint-Georges | Instagram

4740 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19143

Tickets on sale now with various dates through April 25th | Reservations are required

FYI Show Extras

Parks on Tap is back, just in time for prime cherry blossom season.

The roving beer garden is on the grounds of The Horticulture Center in West Fairmount Park through April 25. The menu includes a new beer from Two Local's Brewing, Philadelphia's first Black-owned brewery and Japanese-inspired fare to celebrate the Shofuso Cherry Blossom viewing. Plus, look for free live performances in celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month.

Parks on Tap | Facebook | Instagram/

100 N. Horticultural Drive, Philadelphia, Pa. 19131

King of Prussia Restaurant Week runs April 11-15; April 18-22 with 27 restaurants offering pre-fixe lunch and dinner menus and retailers offering special deals. The event is a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In six years, it has raised more than $150,000.

KOP Restaurant Week | Facebook | Instagram

Nationally acclaimed actor and musician Zonya Love is bringing her hand-clapping, foot-stomping church energy to the People's Light stage in Malvern for a concert called Spiritual Uprising.

Love, known for her roles in the Broadway production of The Color Purple and the Tony award-winning musical, Avenue Q, leads a full band through new renditions of familiar songs. The filmed concert is part of the People's Stage digital season.

People's Light Theater: Spiritual Uprising | Facebook | Instagram

April 2-May 2

Watch past episodes of FYI Philly anytime at or on our family of streaming apps (Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku).