Charles "Chip" Roman has become one of Philadelphia's most popular rising star chefs. As proprietor of Charles Roman Catering, Blackfish Restaurant in Conshohocken and Mica in Chestnut Hill, he has been receiving rave reviews from diners as well as critics. Chip's love of culinary arts grew with age, and he attended Drexel's Culinary Arts program while also earning a business degree.
Le Bec Fin, where Chip worked for a total of five years, offered him a scholarship to study at Drexel. Upon graduation, he continued to work as a chef at Le Bec Fin, working his way up to sous chef and saucier.
A former protégé of Georges Perrier and Marc Vetri, Chip has been nominated three years in a row for the James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Award.
Blackfish is Chip's first restaurant. Its cuisine is defined as seafood-centered, progressive American food with French influences. In 2010 Blackfish was named number one in Philadelphia Magazine's list of the area's 50 best restaurants.
Learn a little more about Chip below, and experience Blackfish Restaurant for yourself at Achieving Work-Life Integration: An Alumni Career Services Program, hosted by the Alumni Association and featuring Andrea Alfonsi, MBA '04, on Monday, November 7, 2011.
Q: When did you know you wanted to become a chef?
A: My earliest memories were always in a kitchen so...forever.
Q. Aside from your education at Drexel, what other training have you had?
A. I've spent time in both Mark Vetri and George Perrier's kitchens.
Q. Describe your cooking style.
A. Ever evolving.
Q. Your restaurants and dishes receive lots of praise and positive feedback. What do you think is the key to your success?
A. Hiring quality people is key. We always stress food and service, everything else is just for show.
Q. It's been said that you have an "obsession with fish". Is that statement true?
Q. Throughout your career, what has been one of the biggest challenges you've faced?
A. Balancing work and spending time with my family.
Q. If you had one more day left on earth, what would you eat for your last meal?
A. Pat's cheesesteak.
Q. What do you like to do when you're not working/cooking?
A. Spending time with my wife and kids or getting out to fish.
Q. What makes Blackfish special and what can our alumni expect to enjoy about their experience at Blackfish?
A. Top-notch quality service and great food.
Q. It's clear you have many things going on at once. Tell us about your current projects and your goals/plans for the next 5 years.
A. We opened our newest restaurant Mica in March in Chestnut hill. Currently, I'm working on my third location in Queens Village called Ela. Plus, I'm doing a lot of catering in between with my business, Charles Roman Catering.