Chef Kevin Watters
Photos by Tina Garceau
No matter his location, Kevin Watters has always enjoyed transparency in his culinary journey, feeling that frank proceedings will best serve his ambition. Thanks to an open kitchen and loads of levity with his bosses, the 30-year-old has reached the pinnacle of his creativity through his stint at The Dutch, 1527 S. Fourth St.
“The atmosphere is pretty calm and relaxing,” the West Philly inhabitant said from the nearly two-month-old Dickinson Square West haunt. “I really admire the input of my employers, especially because there is a bit more freedom here than what I can recall having had at other places.”
Under the guidance of chefs Joncarl Lachman, who also runs Noord, 1046 Tasker St., and Neuf, 943 S. Ninth St., and Lee Styer, who helms Fond, 1537 S. 11th St., where he recently worked as a cook, Watters, with chef endeavors at Chhaya Cafe, 1819 E. Passyunk Ave., rounding out his South Philly vocational pursuits, helps The Dutch to thrive as a six-days-a-week brunch-centric operation. With a family history of food preparation, the hire loves having joined the notable cooks in opening a spot, particularly because of his history with Styer.
“He has such a great personality,” Watters said of the co-proprietor. “He really understands the business, and he enjoys his work, so it’s easy to admire his work ethic. I like that about Joncarl, too.”
Through his trek, including time at Cavanaugh’s in University City, Styer’s Cafe in Glen Mills, and The Crazy Leprechaun Bar & Grill in Port Richmond, the fortunate figure has become especially adept at pizza dough and soup preparation, and though The Dutch’s menu has mention of “Soups & Sandwiches of the Day,” one will mainly find Watters halting hunger through specialty plates, omelettes, and the tempting breads section from which patrons can purchase the Savory Scallion Waffle. The item greatly contributes to the space’s overall success, with weekend requests particularly profitable.
“We’re not a large place, so it’s easy to get feedback, especially with the open kitchen,” Watters said. “This does well and should be a good one to try to make at home, too.”
Ingredients for Waffle:
3-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tablespoons of sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 pound of butter
2-1/2 cups of buttermilk
3/4 cups of whole milk
Ingredients for the Country Gravy:
A quart of dried beef
1/2 pound of butter
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of heavy cream
Two cups of whole milk
For the waffle, mix the dry ingredients first. Follow by mixing the eggs and melted butter together. Add the buttermilk and whole milk to the eggs and butter, and combine the foursome with the dry ingredients. Place the result on a waffle iron, and press for two-and-a-half minutes.
Combine the beef and butter in a pot, and cook until the former browns a bit. Add the flour to make the material pasty. Add the heavy cream and whole milk, and heat on medium to prevent sticking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the product on top of the waffle, and consider adding more scallions. By Joseph Myers ■
Owners: Joncarl Lachman and Lee Styer
Opened: April 14
1527 S. Fourth St.
215-755-5600 | thedutchphilly.com