In a truly moving piece, the tumultuous history of Chef Chris Kearse of Pumpkin is profiled by Drew Lazor in today's edition of the City Paper. Kearse discusses the tragic drunk driving accident that kept him bedridden for more than a year at age 16, and the long, arduous journey through some of the best kitchens in the country to his ultimate goal of owning his own restaurant, which will happen later this year in South Philly.
With stops at Tru, Alinea, and The French Laundry, Kearse took every opportunity to hone his craft since graduating from The Restaurant School in 2005. But, before that, Kearse survived more than 20 surgeries, skin and bone grafts, and more pain and struggle than any one person should endure. He lost his capacity to speak for the first year after the accident, and lost his sense of smell.
Kearse will be opening his own restaurant, Will, in August at 1911 E. Passyunk Ave. Until then, you can get his full frontal creativity at Pumpkin on South Street. This is a true Philly comeback story, with a happy ending.