Jack McDavid was working his way through the University of Virginia in accounting and found himself handling the books in a sandwich shop and then handling the kitchen duties as well. When nearby Monticello Restaurant needed a chef, the owners decided to call on Jack McDavid. Once he decided on a career as a chef, he sought and found culinary education in some of the strangest places. A Greek short order chef taught him how to sauté. Chef Charlie Yu, Chaing Kai-Shek’s former chef, taught him about knives and presentation. He picked up the rudiments of French technique from one of Marriott’s top chefs, Dietmar Salat. He apprenticed under chef Jean Pierre Goyenvalle at Le Lion D’Or in Washington DC, and chef Goyenvalle taught chef Jack McDavid discipline.
He moved to Philadelphia in 1984 and was inspired by Great Chef Georges Perrier of Le Bec Fin. Five years later he opened Jack’s Firehouse in 1989. His dishes were considered “off the wall” with mixtures like black-eyed pea and hog jowl soup; crawdads and macaroni with spicy tomato sauce, and black bear with Coca-Cola. Great Chefs Television crews showed up in 1993 to tape him for two of their series, Great Chefs of the East and Great Chefs – Great Cities.
Chef McDavid has appeared at the Food & Wine Festival, cooked numerous times at The James Beard House and cooked for former President Jimmy Carter at Camp David with the late Anwar Sadat and Menachim Begin.
He sold the Firehouse and retired several years ago, but the food is still as good as ever.
Capon with Rosemary
Serving: 2 to 4 Print Capon with Rosemary By Great Chefs November 10, 2015 Aromatic rosemary and rich foie gras are a secret surprise awaiting guests as they cut into the brown and tender capon breasts. This is an easy dish to prepare, and roasting-chicken breasts may be substituted for the capon breasts. Ingredients Capon […]
Black Bear with Coca-Cola®-Lime Sauce
Serving: 6 Print Black Bear with Coca-Cola®-Lime Sauce By Great Chefs November 10, 2015 The intensely flavored sweet-and-sour sauce is the perfect complement to the rich taste of the bear meat. The sauce is also excellent with sauteed beef steak, or, if you prefer something more exotic, with ranched buffalo meat or venison. Ingredients Parsnips […]
Beef with Portobello Mushrooms and Pennsylvania Dutch Pepper Hash
Serving: 4 Print Beef with Portobello Mushrooms and Pennsylvania Dutch Pepper Hash By Great Chefs November 9, 2015 Both the rib-eye steaks and the hash are made without oil, but this entree is full of flavor, thanks to the meaty mushrooms and the wilted cabbage hash sparked with chipotl chilies and black pepper. Start the […]
Venison with Spelt-Corn Relish and Asparagus
Serving: 4 Print Venison with Spelt-Corn Relish and Asparagus By Great Chefs November 9, 2015 This venison dish combines some surprising ingredients: raisins, Cognac, and rhubarb for a tangy-sweet sauce, and corn, bell pepper, and spelt, an ancient grain, for a colorful relish. Ingredients Spelt-Corn Relish Spelt – 1 cup (available in natural foods stores) […]