By Hadas Kuznits

By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A former acclaimed Philadelphia chef returns home — 160 pounds lighter — to open a new restaurant this month in Old City.

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After selling all five of the restaurants that he opened in Philadelphia and spending some time in Indiana, chef Mike Stollenwerk has returned to open 26 North this month at 26 North 3rd Street.

“There was already a sign out front that said 26 North,” Stollenwerk says, “and we said ‘that’s what we’re doing.'”

His new Old City restaurant is small

“It’s going to be a 40 seat restaurant,” says Stollenwerk, “and then we have a little counter seating with eight seats.”

And that’s what he’s learned works for him.

“I’m just going to stay true to the food, stay consistent,” he says. “I’ll be there all the time, just how it started. I mean, looking back, I should’ve never expanded from Little Fish, so this is going to be my opportunity to fix that mistake.”

Stollenwerk will showcase his favorite seafood dishes.

“The skate’s a very delicate fish,” he says, “so it’s seared really quick, and then something about the combination of the truffled spetzel and the parmesan broth go really well with it.”

But unlike his acclaimed former restaurants, 26 North will not be strictly seafood.

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“We’re going to do like a poussin or a young chicken dish and a lamb dish,” he says, “just to give people some other options.”

And Stollenwerk returns to Philly with a fresh new attitude on his life, food and health.

“I lost a little weight, I guess.”

160 pounds in one year to be exact.

“I started doing Muay Thai and just got really interested in it, really involved in it,” Stollenwerk says, “and the weight just kind of dropped off without me realizing it.”

Hear the full podcast (runs 14:27)…

And for this week, that’s “What’s Cooking on 1060!”

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“What’s Cooking on 1060″ main page

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