Friday, May 24, 2013

Famous Burgher Blog - Fairmont Pittsburgh Executive Chef Jason Dalling

Name: Jason Dalling  

Job: Executive Chef, Fairmont Pittsburgh - Fairmont Pittsburgh is a Four Diamond, LEED Gold certified hotel in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh. In addition to luxurious guestrooms and meeting space, Fairmont Pittsburgh is home to Habitat restaurant and Andys Bar & Patio, as well as a health club and spa.

How long have you been doing what you do: 26 years

How long have you lived in Pittsburgh: 6 months

What is your favorite Downtown restaurant? Why? What’s your favorite dish?
For obvious reasons, Habitat. My favorite dish is our burger. It’s made with local grass-fed beef, bacon, and Pennsylvania white cheddar. I don't usually take too much time to eat, but when I do I like simple things that are made with really great ingredients. This burger fits the bill exactly.

I also like Sienna in Market Square for Italian.

Talk a bit about your favorite Downtown Pittsburgh Experience or Memory.
I haven’t been here that long and when I am downtown I’m usually working, but one of my favorite things to do after a long shift is go to Primanti’s in Market Square for a beer and just take in that whole “Pittsburgh experience.” It’s great to see such a different aspect of the restaurant industry. Plus it’s not me doing the cooking.  

Tell us one thing about Downtown that has surprised you.
People told me this would be the case before I came here, but I didn’t realize how true it is. It’s how caring the people of Pittsburgh are, even the people you meet on the street. 

What is the best thing for children to do downtown?
I definitely know this one! The Carnegie Science Center. My son Aidyn is 5 and loves the Science Center.

What is your favorite thing to do Downtown that costs nothing?
Our music series at the hotel, Jazz at Andys. We feature a variety of local musicians every Tuesday-Saturday in our lobby and there’s no cover charge. Just stop in, listen to some great music, and grab a cocktail if you want.

If you had $100 you had to spend in Downtown Pittsburgh, what would you spend it on?
I’d go around to some of the downtown restaurants I’ve been wanting to try and sample the beers.

What is your favorite piece of public art in Downtown? Why?
Fraley’s Robot Repair. I’m sad to see it go. It was just such a cool and unexpected piece of art. I’ve been following it since I moved to Pittsburgh.

What is your favorite public space in Downtown? Why?
Market Square. When I am able to escape the kitchen for a little bit, I enjoy heading over to Market Square to take in whatever event is happening, visit the restaurants and bar and just people watch.

Describe Downtown in 3 words.
Lots of bridges.

Do you have a favorite building Downtown? What is it? Why
PPG. It has such unique architectural and design elements. My son thinks Batman lives there.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Get To Know New PDP Intern Ellen Nash

Get to know our newest marketing intern at PDP- Ellen Nash

Ellen is a rising junior at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Media & Communications. Born and raised in Sewickley, PA, Ellen now lives in the East End.

One of the events she is most looking forward to this summer is the Three Rivers Arts Festival in June. "Pittsburgh has an awesome art scene, and I love that during this festival it is all in one place to be seen and sold," she adds, "This year the Fountain will be running again, finally!" Two summers ago, Ellen spent an entire day at Heinz Field as an extra in the filming of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. After roasting in the July sun for 15 hours dressed in winter clothing, she, along with thousands of other Pittsburghers can now say they were in the blockbuster film...which still serves as a great conversation starter. And yes, she did see the movie at midnight when it opened.

A big sports fan, Ellen goes to as many Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers game she can. Her family has sat in the same seats in section 108 of Heinz Field since it opened in 2001. In addition to her favorite "Pittsburgher" sandwich from Primanti's, she loves to go to Nola in Market Square for her soul food cravings and Penn Avenue Fish Company on Forbes for their amazing "Jumbo Johnny" roll."Downtown has a great mix of restaurants. Just from PDP I am able to walk to get Indian, Italian, Greek, Mexican, or Chinese food for lunch," Ellen adds. In order to be able to enjoy all of these foods, and be guilt-free, she goes to any of the power yoga locations in Pittsburgh.

Ellen started her marketing internship with PDP in the beginning of May and has been involved with the social media accounts and the weekly e-newsletter.

Get to Know New PDP Intern Marissa Ghantous

Hello! My name is Marissa Ghantous and I am happy to be a new Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership Marketing Intern! I was born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania; a small town about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh. I am currently a senior at the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland, just a short bus ride away from the PDP office. I am majoring in Media and Professional Communications with a minor in Corporate and Community Relations. I learned about PDP through Pitt’s career services when I was looking for possible internships for the summer. I was so drawn to PDP because of all the work it does to help the Downtown Pittsburgh community grow and thrive, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of that effort too. Not to mention all of the amazing opportunities that come with working at PDP, like getting exposure to many downtown businesses and participating in events like Light Up Night and the Peoples Gas Holiday Market. 

Coming from such a small town, I appreciate all the opportunities, entertainment and other happenings Pittsburgh has to offer, especially the unique shopping and great places to eat. Growing up, I was lucky to have parents who brought me to Downtown Pittsburgh many times a year, and for me, summer means Pirates games; ball park hot dogs, and the excitement of raising the Jolly Roger on winning nights. Ice skating at PPG Place is one of my favorite activities to do in the winter with the giant, beautiful Christmas tree in the center illuminating the rosy cheeks of the skaters circling the rink. But perhaps what I love most about Pittsburgh is that even though it is a well-developed and busy urban atmosphere, it is warm, welcoming, clean, and friendly—it feels like home. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pittsburgh City Council District 6 Candidate Questionnaires

We asked all District 6 Candidates to complete the following questionnaire. To date, we've heard from Tonya Payne, but hope to bring the other candidates responses when we receive them.

Tonya D. Payne

Background information: 
Safety Manager, Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority, BA Criminal Justice & Psychology

Why would you like to represent Council District 6?
Because District 6 needs a leader who shows up and stands up for the issues that residents of District 6 cares about.  Also, a true leader is someone with integrity who is open and honest and is not lead to do things that are illegal and unethical because everyone does it. I would like to work on reforming the Police Bureau with new policies & procedures.  I would also like to continue the work of eradiation of gun violence & homeless in the City of Pittsburgh

Downtown has seen a lot of investment and improvement over the past few years, yet challenges still remain. What do you view as the biggest challenge facing Downtown today and, if elected, how would you work towards addressing this challenge? 
Safety is a huge issue, I would first work with the Downtown Partnership to design a beat cops program or security patrols to walk the streets.  Also, I would work with Pittsburgh Public Schools and all other schools who use Downtown as a though fare for kids traveling to and from school to ensure that students are safely moving from one destination to the next without incidence

What plans do you have to make the growing Downtown residential population feel less like a commercial district and more like a cohesive neighborhood? 
Continue housing development, but ensuring a healthy balance between commercial & residential. The objective is to grow Downtown, however, one can’t survive without the other. Business needs people and people need business

Although crime has been steadily decreasing in Downtown over the past three years, several high-profile incidents have recent occurred Downtown.  What will you do to improve the perception of safety issues in Downtown? 
Downtown Partnership does an excellent job with promotion & marketing of Downtown.  I would assistance and support their efforts

There are an increasing number of both restaurants and residents; what strategies do you propose to keep both happy? 
Again, one can’t survive without the other. However, there has to be a healthy balance for either to survive. Working with community organizations, residents, and businesses will ensure that healthy balance
With 54% of the daily Downtown pedestrians (workers, students, visitors) utilizing public transportation, a strong and sustainable public transit system is essential to the vibrancy and growth of Downtown.  How will you work with county officials and the Port Authority to ensure adequate funding is available to address current needs, but also to plan for future necessary transportation infrastructure & improvements? Transportation is the key for residents of the District and the City.  It means their way to school, church, medical appointments, shopping, and family.  I will immediately begin to work with the State Legislature to develop a dedicated source of funding for transportation