Philadelphia, PA

Chef Dane DeMarco is the Next Chef in Residency at Volver

Marilyn Johnson

Chef Jose Garces welcomes Chef Dane DeMarco (they/them) as the next Chef in Residency at Volvér on Kimmel Cultural Campus. Chefs in Residence display their top signature recipes on the Volvér menu for six to eight weeks, alongside Chef Garces' signature French-inspired meals, as part of the Chefs in Residence Program at Volvér. Each Chef in Residence has the opportunity to raise money through a special donation program in cooperation with the Garces Foundation to support their present restaurant or to start their next culinary journey.

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Chef Jose Garces with Chef Dane DeMarco, a new Chef in Residency at Volvér.(Courtesy of Eddy Marenco)

Chef DeMarco's residency begins on June 15th and runs through July 24th, coinciding with Philadelphia Pride Month. The monies raised during the residency will be used to launch DeMarco's new restaurant concept, Hanks Sandwich Co., which will feature a variety of sandwiches inspired by diverse culinary traditions.

"I'm honored to be able to support Philadelphia's hospitality community through this innovative program," Chef Jose Garces said. "With Chef DeMarco’s residency, this is the second time that donations raised will serve as seed money for a new restaurant concept. This means the program will have long legs and make a lasting impact on our region’s culinary community.”

Chef DeMarco is one of the region’s most notable and talented trans chefs. DeMarco is the owner of Burgertime in Audubon, NJ which recently opened during the pandemic, and Executive Chef for Hawthornes’ restaurants, including Sonny’s Cocktail Joint and Wine Dive.

Chef DeMarco previously worked with LPNG Restaurant Group (American Sardine, Second District Brewing Company, and South Philly Taproom), where they started as a Sous and quickly worked up to Culinary Director. Chef was known as Doreen (she/her) while working for LPNG, and Chef is now transitioning and is using Dane and they/them at this stage of the process.

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Chef Dane DeMarco, new Chef in Residency at Volvér.(Courtesy of Eddy Marenco)

Chef hails from Willingboro, New Jersey, in Burlington County, where they spent their childhood in kitchens next to their father, who was a chef. They started answering phones, and the more they worked with their father, their passion for cooking grew. Chef moved to Philly at 19 and worked under many great chefs. They loved traveling and checking out new restaurants and quickly found they had an unquenchable thirst for new flavors and inventive cuisine.

"I am very excited to be a part of this special group of chefs and be able to showcase my food and culinary point of view to a larger audience, who may not have had the opportunity to try it in the past,” said DeMarco.

As a member of the Chefs in Residency Program, Chef DeMarco is the sixth and final chef for the inaugural line-up, following Chef Kiki Aranita from Poi Dog Philly, Chef Phila Lorn from Terrain, Jezabel Careaga from Jezabel's and L'Atelier, Chef Jennifer Zavala from Juana Tamale and Chef Yoon from Little Fish BYOB. The program will conclude for the summer and return in the fall with a brand new line-up for year two.

DeMarco’s menu embraces various creations such as Oxtail Terrine, Crab Corn Dog Galette, Cannoli Manicotti, Corner Fried Shrimp, Crab Corn Dog Galette, and Vanilla Krimpet. 

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Chef Dane DeMarco's menu for the Chefs in Residency program at Volvér.(Courtesy of Eddy Marenco)
For inspiration, DeMarco said, "I am inspired by all things Philadelphia and one thing I am known for are recipes outside of the box; I am taking famous foods that Philadelphians love and tourists travel for and am elevating them into fine dining.”

As part of the Chefs in Residency Program, patrons can donate funds to support projects for each participating resident chef. For DeMarco, funding will help support Hanks Sandwich Co., their long-time new project to open in 2022.

Guests wishing to support DeMarco’s new project can donate during their meal at Volver. Donations can be made, like tipping a server when the dinner check is presented.

The Garces Foundation will match up to the first $5,000, allowing each resident chef to raise at least $10,000. The Garces Foundation will donate the matching grant, which offers additional resources for the hospitality industry like medical and educational services that the resident chef can take advantage of for themselves or their staff and help them reach their goal/pivot.

The public can also support DeMarco’s endeavors by donating here as well:
https://form.jotform.com/221389074606156

Volvér's hours for the season will be from Wednesday to Sunday, from 4:00pm to 9:00pm, with a special pre-theatre menu served from 4:00pm to 6:30pm, and happy hour from 7:30pm to 9:00pm.

Reservations are now available at www.volverrestaurant.com, via Open Table, or by calling 215-670-2302.

Marilyn Johnson is a freelance food and travel writer covering the food and drink scene of Philadelphia, South Jersey, the greater Mid-Atlantic area, and beyond. v

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Marilyn Johnson is a Philadelphia area-based food and travel writer focusing on food & drink in the Mid-Atlantic region. Email phillygrub@gmail.com for Philly area news; phillygrubtrips@gmail.com for travel tips and opportunities.

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