The always-anticipated season opener for Morgan's Pier, everyone's favorite months-long waterfront cookout, will take place this year on Thursday, April 30. And they've got another big name to add to their impressive list of head chefs (so far, David Katz, George Sabatino, and David Gilberg have all done the honors): Avram Hornik and Four Corners Management have announced that Nick Elmi will helm the massive, watermelon ricky-fueled operation for the 2015 season.
Though now known mostly as the chef-owner of Laurel and Top Chef season eleven winner, Elmi has a history with Hornik. In a recent interview with Eater Philly, Elmi explained that he was hired by Hornik for a sous chef position in his mid-twenties, until an ill-timed snowboarding injury left him unable to work the line and temporarily threw him into more of a management role with Four Corners.
For his residency at Morgan's Pier — which seats roughly 25 times as many people as his home kitchen at Laurel — Elmi is said to be planning a casual seafood-centered menu with French and Japanese touches. Menu teases provided so far include peel-and-eat shrimp with togarashi butter, fried chicken wings with black-garlic barbeque sauce, grilled kombu-cured rib eye with charred leek vinaigrette, pork belly tacos with gochujeon and shaved daikon, and a lobster roll with celery and yuzu mayo.
This season at the Pier promises weekday happy hours and weekend brunch. Last year's guest chef, David Gilberg (of Koo Zee Doo fame), has moved into a corporate executive chef position with Four Corners, which includes overseeing newcomer William Street Common.