With a bigger-than-life personality and a palate to match, Ardmore-based chef, restaurateur and TV personality Brian Duffy is hard to miss. And between his recently opened Ardmore Q (64 Rittenhouse Place, 610.642.0100, ardmoreq.com) and his Food Network show, Opening Night, his plate is decidedly full.
“Ardmore Q is Texas-style barbecue with my flair,” says Duffy of his newest restaurant venture, which he purchased last May. “My travels all over the world are a huge inspiration for the menu.” Main Liners can’t seem to get enough of his upscale/down-home cooking: The dry-rubbed ribs, Allen Brother brisket and slow-roasted pork shoulder have become instant crowd-pleasers.
But it’s his recently debuted show, Opening Night, that’s creating major buzz in culinary circles. The show, which follows Duffy as he guides first-time restaurant owners through the pivotal days leading up to opening night, “best reflects what I do with my clients in the real world,” he says. “The first thing for me was to make sure that we didn’t look or sound or feel like the other shows that are out there. I had my run of fun during my Spike TV days, but, in reality, we don’t yell at people or make them feel bad. Yelling is for TV and not for the hospitality industry,” he clarifies. “My job isn’t to bully someone or diminish the true nature or importance of what’s really happening—we’re opening a restaurant. In some cases, a lifetime of savings has gone into this for them, and if I can help them to get through it a bit easier, then I’m a happy guy.”