For a long while now I’ve been wanting to find my way to Studio Kitchen to sample some of the goodness cooked by Shola Olunloyo. I’ve heard about his food and I’ve heard about this experience over and over again (as anybody who is into the Philly food scene has) so I really needed to go here and taste.
The problem is that, much like Cook, it’s hard to get in to the kitchen. There are only 10 seats and he only does dinners once and a while so I would find myself checking out the website from time to time hoping to find a spot at the table that coincided with my schedule and life.
Sure enough, one popped up and I pounced on it. That was last night and I have to say that I’m super glad I was persistent because it was an amazing experience.
I won’t talk about the food specifically since if you go you will most likely not have the same stuff I did. Shola cooks theme meals and it seems like each dish is a one of kind snowflake. I will say one thing. This guy can cook. Not only were the plates beautiful but they tasted amazing. It has something to do with all the super fresh ingredients and a lot to do with talent. Of the 6 courses, not one was bad. The food was quite perfect.
But that wasn’t what made this dinner so awesome. The chef himself and his style was.
First off is the space he has set up for you. This is in an apartment in N. Liberties and you are essentially in the middle of a lab. There are ingredients and spices and stuff all over the place (perfectly organized and labeled) and there are all kinds of molecular gastronomy tools as well. I can’t even begin to name the stuff I saw but it really looked like a lab. We all sat in the middle of the room at this communal table with one side left open for the chef to plate things before we got them. It was a really intimate and fun experience.
Next was chef Shola himself. What a cool person this guy is. Not only is he a great cook but he’s a really gracious and kind host and it’s so clear that he loves to entertain like this. He was the cook, busboy and waiter and really spent a ton of time answering questions and teaching us about the food we were eating.
Overall this was just an incredible experience and if you like dining at all, you need to book a seat at one of these tables. It’s awesome!