Mar 17, 2022 - Food and Drink

Chef's Table with Ember & Ash's Scott Calhoun and Dave Feola

From right to left, Scott Calhoun and Dave Feola of Ember & Ash. Photo courtesy Mike Prince
From right to left, Scott Calhoun and Dave Feola of Ember & Ash. Photo courtesy of Mike Prince

Scott Calhoun and Dave Feola are the culinary duo behind Ember & Ash, the East Passyunk restaurant that centers around its live-fire kitchen with a wood-burning hearth.

  • They feature ingredients from regional farms with a focus on minimizing their carbon footprint.

Axios asked Calhoun and Feola questions for our culinary advice series, Chef's Table.

🔪 Must-have tool in your home kitchen?

Feola: KitchenAid mixer. We like to bake at home a lot, and I love making pasta with my son.

Calhoun: Microplane.

🛒 Go-to grocery store?

Feola: Acme out of convenience, but Wegman's whenever I can spare the time or drive past one.

Calhoun: Trader Joe's.

🌿 Most overlooked spice?

Feola: Sumac.

Calhoun: Sichuan peppercorns.

🍜 Favorite home-cooked meal?

Feola: My wife's Oyakodon. It's a Japanese dish that means mother and child — a chicken and egg rice bowl with mushrooms and scallions. The best.

Calhoun: Lao Lao's pig feet — my wife's grandmother's pig's feet recipe with feet/hocks braised in shaoxing wine, soy sauce and pork stock with spices and dried chilies.

🍽 Last restaurant you went to and your order?

Feola: Penrose Diner. French dip burger and chocolate milk — always chocolate milk at a diner.

  • I love diners. Everything from the huge menus to the wait staff that have all been there for decades.

Calhoun: Hiroki for their omakase experience.

🔌 How to unplug?

Feola: Walk away from my phone for a while and spend time with my family. Horror movies or a Brandon Sanderson book. Anything that lets me completely mentally step away.

Calhoun: Spending time with my wife Lulu and my daughter Layla.

☝️ Quick tip for at-home cooks?

Feola: Save all of your vegetable scraps, peelings and ends in gallon freezer bags. Add it every time you peel a carrot or have an onion end.

  • When it's full, use it to make vegetable stock and keep it in the freezer. You'll always have a soup base. And it's great to use instead of water in braises or with cooking rice.

Calhoun: Use salt and taste your food throughout the cooking process to better understand how seasoning in stages affects the flavor.

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