Twenty Weeks, Twenty Stories: The Dandelion

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Center City District Restaurant Week, we’ll be spending time celebrating the chefs—and some of their favorite recipes—as we get closer to the event.

This week, we’re excited to share some stories and insights from Liam Geoghegan, the Executive Chef at The Dandelion. This multi-floored British pub-inspired spot is known for its unique cuisine and décor, such as the “Dog Room.” And with a location only steps from Rittenhouse Square, this STARR Restaurant destination will have you dreaming of a trip across the pond! 

Q&A with Executive Chef Liam Geoghegan at The Dandelion

What inspired your journey to become a chef?

Growing up in a family surrounded by food is definitely a starting point. All gatherings were centered around food, with lots of great cooks in the family, especially my mother. Growing up outside of New York City, I was exposed to all kinds of restaurants and cuisines, and that's when it started to click. I had an opportunity to work in a restaurant during high school, where most of the chefs were Union Square Cafe alums. Working with them and the rest of the team is what really made me want to become a chef and continue my journey in the kitchen.

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Image courtesy of The Dandelion

What inspired your approach to cooking?

It's a mix of all the experiences and techniques I've learned over the years. I've been extremely lucky to work with and for some amazing chefs.

What has been the proudest moment of your journey as a chef?

Opening a restaurant in NYC with two of my mentors and cooking for top chefs from all over New York and the world.

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Image courtesy of The Dandelion

Can you tell us about the recipe you shared, including the story behind it, its inspiration, and why you chose to submit it?

The Duck Bolognaise was on the opening menu at The Dandelion and has made its return multiple times over the years since we opened. It's slightly unexpected of a pub and surprisingly delicious. It's a nice use of duck meat and some spices not usually found in traditional bolognaise, so I feel like it is a great example of what we do here at The Dandelion.

Click here to view the recipe.

How have you seen Center City evolve since opening?

I moved to Philly in 2007 and it has really changed. The neighborhood still has the old school staples, but then waves of new restaurants have opened and continue to do so. It's great to see, the industry is evolving and growing, really putting Philly on the map.

What inspired the STARR team to bring a British restaurant concept to Rittenhouse?

As with many of our restaurants, the space and location often influence the concept. The architecture of our building resembled many of the pubs you find throughout the UK. It gave off vibes of a great neighborhood place to enjoy a pint and some fish and chips. We wanted to offer residents of Rittenhouse Square something casual and fun whether dining with friends and family or stopping in for a quick drink after work. Each room has a special look which makes our guests feel right at home and British cuisine was a cozy and comforting option that fit perfectly into the vision.

Celebrate Twenty Years of Restaurant Week

We thank our friends at STARR Restaurants and The Dandelion, especially Executive Chef Liam Geoghegan, for sharing these stories! To visit Dandelion, make a reservation on their website, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram

Stay tuned as we continue to share more of these stories as we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Center City District Restaurant Week, and check out all of the amazing restaurant options in Center City!

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