There’s no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen for 6abc Action News anchor and Philly foodie Alicia Vitarelli.
1. Do you have a soft spot for any Philadelphia restaurants? The first place I ate when [I came back to Philly] was Amis. My husband, Matt, and I ended up living four blocks from there, so it was our neighborhood restaurant. I painted my kitchen the same color as [Amis’ dining room] because I just loved the place so much.
2. Why Sunday dinner is sacred: I grew up in New York City in a big Italian-American family where everything was centered on food. My grandmother had this long table that was the central meeting point on Sundays. Restaurants like Mr. Joe’s Cafe and Ralph’s remind me of her dining room and reflect how we gather and entertain.
3. What do you think about the Philly food scene? Thanks to the community of chefs and how they’ve supported each other, I think that, right now, Philly is, hands down, the best culinary city in the United States. And I’m not saying it because I’m biased. Everything here is homegrown. Look at what Marcie (Turney) and Val (Safran) have done on 13th Street, two women revitalizing a whole neighborhood.
4. Where are you dining these days? Suraya. I did a story there for FYI Philly, and while we were filming, a blizzard started happening. The station needed me to come back because we were going into extended snow coverage. The za’aatar flatbread and pistachio-rose doughnut were so good, so since I’d already taken a bite, I asked them to box them up, and I ate them while driving back to the station in the blizzard. I had crumbs all over. This was a shining example of how much I love the Philly food scene.
5. On cooking as a family: After the holidays, we try to make new traditions, like these special muffins we bake with our daughter, Priscilla. She’s not a very good vegetable eater, so these have carrots and zucchini, plus dates and raisins. We get her involved; she’ll grate the carrots. If you give kids a task, they’ll have pride in [the finished product].