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Constellation Culinary Group to Debut Localized New Food Experiences at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

A new Chef-in-Residence program, local partnerships, and community-driven art displays will enhance the iconic museum’s food and beverage offerings

Constellation Culinary Group, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s exclusive food and beverage partner, has embraced the museum’s commitment to Philadelphia-based art and makers with new food and beverage options beginning on June 18, when the museum’s Café reopens to the public for the first time since March 2020. Regionally based chefs, artisans, bakers, and brewers will be serving local goods to museumgoers at the Café, Espresso Bar, and the newly renovated Balcony Café, which is scheduled to open in July. The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently unveiled the completion of a transformational phase of work guided by the renowned architect Frank Gehry that offers new opportunities to celebrate the city and to showcase works by artists with connections to Philadelphia.

In the Café, the museum’s largest food outlet, visitors will find locally grown produce, local bread products, and locally sourced beers as part of the daily menu. Constellation Culinary Group will be launching a Chef in Residence program in which a local chef will “take over” the Local & Global station in the servery. Guest chefs will begin their residency the first weekend of each month, coinciding with the popular Pay-What-You-Wish admission offering on the first Sunday of the month and every Friday night from 5:00–8:45 p.m.  

The schedule for the Chef in Residence program is as follows:

“From James Beard nominees to individuals who are bringing the best of authentic, global cuisine to town, museumgoers are guaranteed a stimulating and original dining experience during their visit,” said Scott Steenrod, Managing Director of Constellation. “This new series creates a cohesive experience which expands on the definition of art to include the world of culinary arts.” The Café menu will now reflect the ever-shifting dietary needs of visitors and staff by providing more vegan and gluten-free options, indicated by a new illustrated icon system for easy selections.

In addition to new flavors, Café staff will wear redesigned uniforms which include a t-shirt exclusively for the Philadelphia Museum of Art by locally based artist Alisa Wismer. Notable new features of the Café space will include wood butcher blocks by Lauren Dombrowiak of Honorable Oak, baskets by Karen Wychock of Times Gone By, carved wooden spoons by Stephanie Trowbridge of Stephanie Trowbridge Shop, and vases and bowls by Lauren Rider of Rider Ceramics. Many of these pieces, curated by the Director of Retail Christine Doobinin, may also be purchased at the museum’s retail shop. In addition to these features, Constellation Culinary Group has placed a renewed emphasis on sustainability throughout the food outlets by decreasing single-use plastic, and improved sourcing from purveyors who focus on sustainable products, compostable packaging, and eco-friendly serving utensils.

The museum has also partnered with Fresh Artists, a non-profit that collaborates with local students to create works of art that are reproduced and installed in public buildings throughout the country. Reproductions of the works will be displayed and rotated periodically in the Café space. 

The Espresso Bar, located within the North Vaulted Walkway on the ground floor, will now offer an authentic, expertly crafted coffee experience, and will exclusively serve Philadelphia-based roaster Passero’s Coffee. To accompany coffee drinks, the Espresso Bar will offer sweet delicacies such as scratch-made tarts, cookies, and Okie Dokie’s gluten-free donuts. The shift from grab-and-go items back to handmade specialty items begins June 18.

The Balcony Café will also present a new dining experience, offering local beer and wine selections, along with elevated coffee drinks made with Passero’s Coffee, and house-made snacks such as gougères, spiced nuts, and Lost Bread Co. pretzel shortbread. The Balcony Café will be the perfect spot to end a museum visit and is tentatively set to reopen mid-July.

For more information about dining, hours, and menus visit https://philamuseum.org/visit/dining.

About Constellation Culinary Group

Launched in 2008 and reimagined in 2018, Constellation Culinary Group is dedicated to providing best-in-class dining experiences for one-of-a-kind events, cultural centers, professional settings, restaurants, and cafes. With over nineteen locations in eight cities, including internationally renowned cultural institutions Carnegie Hall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the New York Botanical Garden, Clark Art Institute, and the Pérez Art Museum Miami, we bring culinary visions to life. We consistently create unforgettable experiences with the help of our skilled and thoughtful people, who believe in Constellation’s company mission and philosophy that good food connects us.

About the Philadelphia Museum of Art

We are Philadelphia’s art museum. A world-renowned collection. A landmark building. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

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For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Museum is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call 215-763-8100.