Chef Jim Coleman and Chez Colette at Sofitel Celebrate World Music Day

Jim Coleman, Executive Chef at Chez Colette at Hotel Sofitel in Philadelphia
Jim Coleman, Executive Chef at Chez Colette at Hotel Sofitel in Philadelphia, PA

Nothing goes better with fine food and wine than delicious music. With the celebration of World Music Day happening today, June 21, Philadelphia’s Chez Colette at Hotel Sofitel unveils “Fête de la Musique”, a sumptuous, internationally-themed event with a musically-inspired menu from legendary local chef Jim Coleman, and featuring performances by students from the Curtis Institute of Music. The event begins at 7 PM; Sofitel is located at 120 S. 17th Street.

Fête de la Musique was started in France in 1982 to celebrate that country’s international musical profile, from both the amateur and professional perspective. Street buskers and seasoned pros playing all styles of music from all nationalities appear in hallowed halls and on makeshift corner stages. Philly is late to the game in celebrating Fête de la Musique (500 other cities in 115 countries throughout the world have done so already), but its first attempt sounds like a great one.

With Executive Chef Jim Coleman at the helm, you’d expect nothing less. The Culinary Institute of America grad isn’t just talented in the kitchen (12 years at Rittenhouse Hotel, time in at Normandy Farm and its Coleman Restaurant, currently at Sofitel where he oversees the food for Chez Colette and Libertie). Coleman is one of the culinary world’s most media savvy chefs, what with having hosted Flavors of America on PBS television along with NPR’s A Chef’s Table, a weekly radio show. Coleman has also published three cookbooks: The Rittenhouse Cookbook: A Year of Seasonal Heart-Healthy Recipes, Flavors of America, and Jim Coleman’s Flavors.

“The Sofitel brand has a very welcoming global feel that I hope is translated through the restaurants and my menus to both the local audience and the international traveler,” says Coleman about his current place of employ. Ask him about the sonic approach to his first big project at Sofitel (he’s been there a little over a year) and he laughs. “I can cook but I don’t have a musical stitch in my body. The collaboration with musicians on events like Fete de la Musique helps me bridge that gap.” He’ll surely be watching and listening as the Curtis Institute students work the room, providing an elegant sound to which he has created a menu that’s sophisticated and, in his words, “matches the musicians’ skills and beautiful ambiance.”

While proceeds from the dinner benefit the Curtis Institute of Music, the French-inspired, three-course meal includes pélardon goat cheese and arugula ravioli, seared Alaskan halibut with an herbed Nantua sauce and mascarpone mousse topped with wild cherry verrine. “The menu was planned surrounding seasonality and ingredients available from our rooftop garden,” says Coleman. "I'm excited about every aspect of this event."

Tickets are $55 per person, for more information:

Jim Coleman photo courtesy Cashman and Associates

Posted on Friday, June 21, 2013