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1623 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
William Zuchman brings a diverse cooking approach and a one-of-a-kind international edge to his role as executive chef of Stephen Starr’s Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia.
A native of Southwest Philly, Zuchman took a hands-on approach to food at a very young age, his parents introducing him to the art of wine making and encouraging him to explore his passion at the stove.
The chef’s first spin with Starr kicked off in 1997, when he started as a line cook at The Continental. He moved on to become an integral part of the openings of Bleu Angel, Tangerine, Morimoto and El Vez before launching Alma de Cuba under Douglas Rodriguez in 2001. After pursuing opportunities abroad, Zuchman returned to the States, working as tournant at Lacroix, then moving onto a sous chef position at Masaharu Morimoto’s eponymous destination in Philadelphia.
During his time working for Morimoto, Zuchman traveled with him to the filming of an “Iron Chef America” episode pitting the chef against Mario Batali, which prompted him to relocate to New York for a position at Batali’s Esca. From here, he traveled independently through the Caribbean and Central and South Americas before returning to Philly to cook for chef Marc Vetri.
Through Vetri, Zuchman landed the opportunity to relocate to Bergamo, Italy to work alongside chef Andrea Forcella, an experience that helped to shape him. Upon returning to Philly, Zuchman opened the French bistro La Boheme before teaming up with Jose Garces as chef de cuisine for the opening of Tinto. He also had the opportunity to actually compete on “Iron Chef America,” helping Garces earn victory over Bobby Flay in “Battle Melon.” In 2008, after his time with Garces came to a close, Zuchman returned to the Starr fold, helping to open Parc, then contributing his talents to the kitchens of Pod, Barclay Prime and Buddakan. In the top role at Alma de Cuba as of May 2012, Zuchman is focused on updating the approach of this energetic, ever-evolving restaurant while taking care to maintain its modern Latin personality.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
The Historic Strawbridge Building
8th and Market Streets