Garces Announces Return of Volver with New Chefs in Residency Program Featuring Seven Minority Chefs

-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
photo of Chef Kiki Aranita from StarChefs Magazine

Garces announces the much-anticipated reopening of Volvér on Kimmel Cultural Campus just in time for the return of in-person performing arts. For Volvér’s return, Chef Jose Garces’ will debut a brand new Chefs in Residency Program that will spotlight the region’s top rising stars and emerging chefs, with a focus on minority chefs that were affected by the pandemic. The inaugural Chefs in Residency invited for the 2021-2022 season will include Chef Kiki Aranita from Poi Dog Philly, Chef Phila Lorn from Terrain Glen Mills, Chef Jezabel Careaga from Jezabel’s, Chef Jennifer Zavala of Juana Tamale, Chef Alex Yoon of Little Fish and Chef Dane DeMarco of Sonny’s Cocktail Bar and Wine Dive. Each Chef in Residency will showcase their top signature dishes on the Volvér menu for six to eight weeks, alongside Chef Garces’ signature French-inspired dishes. Through a special donation program in partnership with the Garces Foundation, each Chef in Residency will have the opportunity to raise money to support their work with their current restaurant, or to use for the start of their next culinary journey. The doors to Volvér officially reopen for dinner service on Friday, September 24th, with the Chefs in Residency Program debuting on October 6th with Chef Aranita. 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, via Open Table, or by calling 215-670-2302.

“With the Kimmel Cultural Campus opening up and the return of performing arts like the Orchestra, Broadway, and the Ballet, the reopening of Volver is a great sign of the city coming back to life pre-pandemic,” said Garces. “With our return, we are thrilled to launch Volvér’s new Chefs in Residency Program, intended to empower our resident chefs while introducing new flavors and culinary styles to visitors of the Kimmel Cultural Campus. Working through the Garces Foundation, we will support the resident chefs through resources and matching grants from our guests to help these chefs to reach their next pivot or culinary milestone, be it a new restaurant, new equipment, or backend operational support.”

For the return of Volvér, Garces fans, foodies, arts patrons, neighbors and visitors will once again come together to celebrate the art of fine dining in the dual-concept space that features a giant oval bar and lush lounge on one side, and a performance kitchen where Chefs bring cuisine to the center stage on the other.

Volvér, which is Spanish for ‘to return’, will celebrate not only the return of the beloved restaurant after the pandemic shut-down, but it will also celebrate the much-anticipated  raising of the curtains across the stages of the Kimmel Cultural Campus.

Volvér’s cuisine will continue to highlight Chef Garces’ culinary travels around the world. The ever-evolving menu emphasizes seasonal ingredients prepared with modern techniques that capture and amplify their inherent flavors. For this grand return, Chef will continue on his global journey and present French inspired cuisine that showcases his roots dating back to his classic training at the Kendall College of Culinary Arts. Dishes will include Milk and Cereal (Bacon, Glazed Chicken, Thyme Marshmallows, Puffed Rice, White Asparagus, Mushrooms), Madai Crudo (Cured Snapper, Champagne Cream, Black Olive Oil, Poppy Seed, Crispy Ginger), and Filet Mignon Philly Style (Caramelized Onion Puree, Toasted Sourdough, Red Wine Braised Shallots, Alpine Cheese Fondue), and many others.

The French menu direction and the idea for the new program was inspired by the 2019-2020 season that was cut short due to the mandatory closures in March 2020. That season, Chef showcased French dishes on the menu, plus Chef hosted pop-up collaboration dinners with the region’s top French chefs, including Chris Kearse of Forsythia, Jonathan Cichon of Lacroix and Peter Woolsey of Bistrot La Minette, La Peg and Gabi. After working alongside the aforementioned talented chefs, and after Volvér and Kimmel Cultural Campus were forced to close down, Chef and his team worked during the pandemic to create an innovative new program that would foster new talent, support minority chefs and challenge the palates of diners. It is a new idea nearly 17 months in the making, and is timed to launch for the return of Philadelphia’s indoor, in-person and live performing arts season. The new Chefs in Residency Program starts on October 6th with Chef Kiki Aranita. Patrons will find seven signature dishes by Kiki alongside dishes by Chef Jose Garces.

In addition to the exciting food line-up, Volvér fans will find a well-rounded bar program that is artistically approachable with options for every palate and to pair with every dish. Patrons will find hand-crafted cocktails, non-alcoholic mocktails, beer and cider on draft, and wine and champagne by the bottle and the glass. Cocktail highlights include the Brown Derby, with Old Grandad, Grapefruit, Lemon and Honey, and Pedraza with Corazon Tequila, Grapefruit, Aperol and Rosemary.

Chef Jose Garces will shine the spotlight and support fellow chefs from the city and suburbs with a brand-new season-long Chefs in Residency Program that will feature the talents of seven emerging and minority chefs. Each Chef in Residency will showcase their signature dishes as additions to the Volvér menu during a six to eight week period during the season.

Chefs In Residency is Chef Garces’ way of taking the idea of featuring chefs at Volvér to the next level. “This new initiative, Chefs in Residency, is something I’ve been working towards for a long time and I’m excited to be able to officially launch it at this time,” said Garces. “As a Latin Chef and business owner, I’ve faced my share of adversity and am grateful to be in a place where I can ‘pay it forward’ to those emerging onto the Philadelphia food scene with ambitious goals of their own.”

Chef Kiki Aranita (she/her)
Chef and Owner of Poi Dog Philly
October 6 to November 28, 2021
Opening Night Celebration Thursday, October 7, 2021
Funding will help support Aranita’s new line of sauces. Kiki Aranita is the Co-Owner/Operator of Poi Dog in Philadelphia, PA. After gaining her experience in various restaurants and food trucks, Aranita wanted to share her experiences of what people eat in her hometown of Hawaii, to the city of Philly. Along with the food of Hawaii, Aranita has taught classes on Hawaii’s culture at Penn Museum and recipe development at the university level.

For Aranita’s dishes, patrons will find the following additions to the Volvér menu: Ahi Poke Tostada, Egg Tofu with Maui Lavender Ponzu, Maple Salmon Gau Gee with Black Garlic Mayo, Sesame Chicken Katsu with Fig Leaf Rice and Lightly Pickled Cucumber Salad, Perilla Roasted Mushrooms with Forbidden Rice and Collard Lu’au (vegan), Kalua Pig Tacos with Shiso and Chili Peppah Water Pineapple Salsa, Andagi with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream.

Chef Phila Lorn (he/him)
Currently at Terrain Glenside
December 1 to January 17, 2022
Funding will help support Chef Lorn’s first restaurant that will showcase Cambodian food, music and culture.

Chef Jezabel Careaga (she/her)
Founder, Maker and CEO, Jezabel’s and L’Atelier
Member of Sisterly Love Citywide Food Fair
January 26 to March 13, 2022
Funding will be used to support the initiatives of Fuerza for Humans, a non-profit focusing on mental health for the restaurant community.

For Women’s HIstory Month:
Chef Jen Zavala (she/her)
Chef and Owner of much-anticipated Juana Tamale
March 16 to May 1, 2022
Funding will help Zavala leverage the opportunity for visibility for her community. As a  Mexican woman, Mom and Chef, she plans to use these funds to put back into the community she is raising her family in.

For Asian and Pacific Heritage Month:
Chef Alexander Yoon (he/him)
Chef and Owner of Little Fish BYO
May 4 to May 31, 2022
Funding will help build towards Yoon’s next project of opening a bigger restaurant.

For Philly Gay Pride Month:
Chef Dane DeMarco (they/them)
Sonny’s Cocktail Bar and Wine Dive
June 1 to July 1, 2022
Funding will help support Hanks Sandwich Co. set to open in 2022 – a long-time new project by Chef Dane DeMarco.

*One final chef will be featured between July and August as the grand finale and final curtain call to celebrate this new program. Please stay tuned after January 1st for the announcement of the final Chef in Residency.

During each Chef’s residency, the featured Chef will celebrate the launch of their menu on Opening Night, and the Chef will be invited to showcase their talents and have a presence during service as their schedule and their own restaurant duties allow. For information on each Chef’s schedule of live appearances, visit social media and stay tuned to the website.

“We are thrilled to support these talented chefs and to be a partner in the chefs in residency project,” said Garces Foundation Executive Director Robin Morris. “Philly’s food scene is the best in the country because of the dynamic energy and work ethic of our immigrant food workers and the diversity of chefs and cuisines.”

Volvér is located at 300 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Inside the Campus, Volvér is located near the Spruce Street entrance of the Commonwealth Plaza. This season at Volvér, patrons will be able to enjoy pre-theater, happy hour and a la carte menus in 80 seats in the lounge and dining room, seven seats at the Chef’s counter, and 12 seats around the bar.  

Doors open for dinner service again on Friday, September 24th. The first Chefs in Residency additions will begin on Wednesday, October 6th. Patrons will find a special  three course pre-theater menu running from 4:00pm to 6:30pm, every Wednesday to Sunday, for $56 per person. The menu will include items from both Volver’s featured menu as well as items from the Resident Chef.  For those not heading to curtain call, happy hour will run daily from 7:30pm to 9:00pm with drink and small bite specials that will launch in early October.

To make or cancel a reservation, please visit the website, reserve on Open Table, or call Volvér at 215-670-2303. All guests to Volvér must be vaccinated per Kimmel Cultural Campus policy.

Iron Chef, father, husband, James Beard Award-winner, entrepreneur, and food innovator, Chef Jose Garces is known as a leading culinary authority of Spanish and Latin-American food. From the Spanish tapas at Amada, his first restaurant, to the playful Japanese street food at Okatshe in Atlantic City, Chef Garces continually pushes the boundaries of culinary excellence.

While he maintains his successful career owning and operating full-service restaurants, Chef Garces is also looking toward the future, with an increased focus on bringing restaurant-quality experiences to the homes and businesses of culinary enthusiasts in new and interesting ways. From enhanced home delivery options and virtual online cooking demos, to live online cooking classes, Chef Garces is excited to connect with both fans of his work on television, as well as the home cook who would like to experience “chef life” in their own kitchen. Chef Garces is the author of two cookbooks, Latin Evolution and The Latin Road Home, published by Lake Isle Press. To learn more, please visit, or follow him on social media on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Garces is a Philadelphia-based hospitality group specializing in personal dining experiences rooted in the rich cultural traditions and culinary vision of renowned Latin-American chef Jose Garces. Taking a heartfelt and creative approach to time-honored recipes and dishes, Garces, in partnership with New Orleans- based Ballard Brands, operates numerous restaurants including Amada, Tinto, Village Whiskey, Volvér, The Olde Bar, Buena Onda and Garces Trading Company in Philadelphia, and Amada and Distrito in the Ocean Resort Casino. The group also operates Garces Events, a full-service catering and event division; the Garces Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to Philadelphia’s underserved immigrant community. For more information, visit and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

The Garces Foundation is a community-based, non-profit organization committed to providing Philadelphia’s immigrant population the healthcare, education, and support to empower them to fulfill their potential as citizens and enjoy the highest possible quality of life.  Our programs advance this mission. We provide free or low cost dental care, medical care, education to those we serve. We also run a food pantry program, meeting the food insecurity needs brought on by the pandemic.

Celebrate the art of fine dining by following Volvér on social media at @volverphl @chefjosegarces and @garcesgroup. All guests to Volver must be vaccinated per Kimmel Cultural Campus policy. Volver is located at 300 S. Broad Street, in Center City, Philadelphia.

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