Chef Carl Drake

Chef Carl Drake

by Joe Persichetti

In February 2016, Carl Drake made the final decision to close down Drake’s Catering at 8429 Germantown Ave.

The business was doing fine but the main problem was the back store location of the catering company.

“There wasn’t enough visibility for day-to-day takeout, and it was tough with Weaver’s Way moving in and the Fresh Market being planned out.” Drake said. “It’s like having a kid. You love it dearly and want it to be successful. I kept trying to make something work but it wasn’t based in the best location. I wanted the space out front but the store management couldn’t guarantee it.”

After closing shop, he reached out to his friend Amy Edelman, owner of the Night Kitchen Bakery, with whom he used to work at Pollo Rosso, a defunct restaurant that had been located in a second floor space at the Chestnut Hill Hotel.

Drake went from Pollo Rosso to the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and “fell in love right away.” He graduated with a two years Associate degree and the advice that another gave him while there: “You’re only as good as your last plate.”

After graduation, Drake continued his internship with George Perrier’s restaurant Le Bec Fin, working 10 hour shifts, six days a week. After Le Bec Fin, Drake found employment at La Terrasse, Opus 251 and Bacchus Market & Catering. In 2006, he moved to 8429 Germantown Avenue and started Drake’s Catering.

“I always loved cooking. When I went off to college, I wanted to do it myself,” Drake said. “Working with Amy inspired me to go to culinary school.”

Perhaps, he thought, he could work with Edelman again.

“I believe in my products,” he said. “I wanted to match the best products with the best services and The Night Kitchen uses the freshest, best ingredients and has fantastic service.”

Amy was happy to take his call.

“Carl closed his business and contacted me in January,” she said. “The wheels in my mind stated turning. Our customers kept asking about catering so we teamed up with Drakes Catering and met that demand.”

When asked about the partnership, Edelman had only positive things to say about her former co-worker.

“Carl is an extremely talented chef, incredibly disciplined and his food is delicious. She said. “The quality of his cooking matches the quality of The Night Kitchen’s desserts. We complement each other’s products and became a one stop shop for people by offering catering services, breakfast, lunch and desserts.”

The Night Kitchen will celebrate the new partnership with a launch party on Saturday, April 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. The public can meet Drake, sample his food and enjoy and a glass of wine.

The Night Kitchen Bakery is located at 7725 Germantown Ave. For more info call 215-248-9235 or visit www.nightkitchenbakery.com.

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