Jose Garces-trained Yun Fuentes finds success at Society Hill Society

Yun Fuentes went from the kitchen of Garces to Society Hill Society. Credit: Breanne Furlong. Yun Fuentes runs Society Hill Society on Second and Pine.
Credit: Breanne Furlong

Last month, the small spot at Second and Pine that was once home to the Artful Dodger re-opened its doors as Society Hill Society. The restaurant might have a slightly confusing name, but the menu is straightforward. Running the kitchen is former Jose Garces employee Yun Fuentes.

We caught up with Fuentes to chat about his buzzy new restaurant, and his path to opening it.

How’s it going so far at Society Hill Society?

Really well so far. We had a great opening — even though we went through what every restaurant goes through in an opening. The feedback has been positive. It feels like a workshop right now: We see what the guests want from us and we work from there.

You have Headhouse Farmers Market right at your door. Are you utilizing that for your menu?

For brunch we are definitely able to incorporate it, since the market is once a week. One of the things I put on the menu was an omelet, but I leave it open and feature one or two things that I can get from the market, like baby Tuscan Kkle. Before the brunch service was over we sold out of that. It felt so nice to be able to go to the market right away and give the farmers feedback.

Before Society Hill Society, you were most recently at Rosa Blanca, right?

Yes. I worked for Garces for close to five years. I did many restaurants and wore many hats. I went from making salads at Amada to cooking every dish. Then I was asked to be a chef at Tinto and Village Whiskey. Working with Garces was a pleasure. It was the first job I got in Philadelphia and now I call Philadelphia my home.

Where did you move from?

Oh, I came from life! I was everywhere. North Carolina, and before that I was hoping around islands and Puerto Rico – I’m from Puerto Rico. Then I was in New York for four years. I wanted to make my way back to New York, but I fell in love with the city.

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