Chef Fritz Blank.
Green & Gold Horizons, Winter/Spring 2002.
© Jerry Millevoi
|Meet Chef Fritz
Chef Fritz Blank was born and raised in southern New Jersey, where his earliest culinary influence was his German grandmother, in whose kitchen he spent many hours as a young child, helping her prepare family meals. Prior to becoming a chef, he earned degrees and worked in a range of related fields, including dairy husbandry, medical technology, and clinical microbiology, all of which helped shape his culinary sensibilities.
In 1979, at the urging of friends and colleagues, he opened Deux Cheminèes and soon became known as one of America's foremost French chefs. In addition to his restaurant duties, he has been a frequent contributor to the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, the International Workshop and Conference on Molecular and Physical Gastronomy (Erice, Italy), and the Southern Foodways Alliance, of which he was a charter member. In Philadelphia, he taught a series of courses, titled In the Chef's Kitchen, through Penn's College of General Studies for over two decades; participated in The Book and the Cook between 1987 and 2000; and created the Historical Dining Series, better known as the "Composer's Dinners," to benefit The Philadelphia Singers from 1991 until 2007.
While running Deux Cheminèes, Chef Blank also amassed his renowned culinary collection, which graced the walls of the restaurant before its transfer to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. After the restaurant closed in June 2007, Chef Blank retired to Thailand, where he currently lives.
Visit the online 2002 exhibit, "A Chef and His Library".
November 12, 2009 interview with Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY's Radio Times
November 15, 2009 article by Rick Nichols, Philadelphia Inquirer Food Columnist