(Holly Moore)

My pic from the wall of the Philadelphia Palm Steak House. Doesn't really look like me but close enough. It's not that the Palm wanted me on their wall. I connived my way there by writing a column on how one gets one's picture on the wall of
the Palm.

First of all, I'm a guy. Holly is short for Hollister. As a kid, "Holly" caused me a lot of grief. Nowadays I like it. People remember a guy named Holly and that is good when one believes himself to be a very semi-celebrity.

I practice my semi-celebritidom in Philadelphia. Owned a restaurant called "Holly Moore's" back in the late 70's and early 80's during Philadelphia's Restaurant Renaissance. Sort of a neighborhood café for Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia's high rent district. Featured open faced sandwiches, curries, pastas and Nadine's desserts.

I wrote a column on food and restaurants for 14 years for Philadelphia's "City Paper." Second most read column in the paper. The most read was, and probably still is, sex columnist Isadora.

Have done some television. Started off doing the Philadelphia segment and heading to Maine for PBS's "Sandwiches That You Will Like." This fall, hosted a segment for Japan's Nipon Television on American hamburgers and hot dogs. It was cool. Not only am I being dubbed into Japanese, I now go by Holly-San.

Have done some Philadelphia public radio - first commentaries on WHYY and then the Dinner segment of "Dinner and a Movie" segment on Michaela Majoun's Morning show on WXPN.

I also write the occasional freelance article on food and/or travel and welcome interesting assignments.

Other than that:

  • I have a degree in hotel/restaurant management from Cornell University.
  • In my first job out of college I worked new product development for McDonald's. Was in on the development of the Big Mac. I'm the one who controlled the Big Mac's national introduction. If you were a McDonald's and you wanted the Big Mac, you had to come to me. I also helped prove that McDonald's should not be in the Roast Beef or Fried Chicken business.
  • Before shuffling off my corporate coils in the late 70's, I also did time with Burger King (regional marketing) and Dunkin' Donuts (more new product development). I like to tell people that I gave Andy Kaufman his first big break. To celebrate Burger King's first Manhattan location, a converted Horn and Hardart's, we held a Whopper eating contest between the New York Jets and the New York Giants. Marv Albert was on hand for "Bite by Bite" coverage and Andy Kaufman, in black and white striped shirt and mandatory whistle, refereed the event.
  • In the 1980's I taught the business management courses for Philadelphia's Restaurant School.

Philosophically, I have nothing against high cuisine. Probably my most memorable meal was at La Truffe (a very good French restaurant in Philadelphia, no longer around) recreated the dinner from the movie Babette's Feast. A gaggle of food writers attended the preview of the movie and then headed to La Truffle for the real thing. Potage a la tortue (boneless loggerhead turtle in veal consommé), blini demidoff au caviar Russe (tiny pancakes topped with Sevruga caviar), quails en sacophage (quail stuffed with fois gras and truffles baked in puff pastry) and more. Much more. Magnums of Veuve Cliquot Brut champagne. Babette's menu, perfectly executed. It was an incredible feast.

I am much happier foraging about for an out-of-the-way barbecue shack, the best bowl of chowder on the Maine coast or a truck stop that still does home cooking. Three or four times a year I hop in my car, pick a state or two, and eat my way through them.