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Vegan Star Chef Is Bringing His New York Pizzeria to Philly

Double Zero uses nut-based cheeses for its wood-fired pies

A pizza at Double Zero
Double Zero [official photo]

Matthew Kenney, a celebrity vegan and raw food chef with several restaurants and cookbooks, is bringing his pizzeria, Double Zero, to Philadelphia. The first Double Zero (which had a much more confusing spelling) opened in New York City’s East Village in 2016. For now, Kenney is being mum on the exact location of the Philly outpost, but he’s planning for a January 2019 opening. Double Zeros are also headed to Brooklyn, Boston, and Los Angeles.

When the upscale pizza shop opens here, diners can expect the same individually sized wood-fired pies topped with nut-based cheeses — like cashew mozzarella, smoked almond ricotta, and sunflower parmesan — available at the New York location. The restaurant will also have a liquor license, with sustainable wines the focus of the drinks list.

Along with pizzas like spicy marinara arrabbiata with shiitake bacon, the menu at the original location includes appetizers and sides like Tuscan kale panzanella, roasted cauliflower, and an antipasto salad, plus a couple of pastas. Weekend brunch is also served.

Kenney, a two-time James Beard Award nominee based in California, started out a French-trained chef running meat-and fish-heavy restaurants in New York before having a change of heart and becoming a vocal advocate for eating vegan. He was an opening partner at raw food restaurant Pure Food + Wine in 2004 — which had an inauspicious ending after Kenney moved on. Since then, he’s opened a bunch of meat- and dairy-free restaurants across the globe, to varying degrees of success, in LA, Miami, New York, Bogota, Bahrain, Sydney, and London.

Double Zero joins a booming vegan scene in Philly. It will be the second all-vegan pizzeria, after Blackbird. Govinda’s, serving vegan food since the 1980s, recently expanded, adding a pizza shop that also offers real cheese.

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