Chef Thomas Harkins, Executive Chef
Inside the Kitchen at Bank & Bourbon
Chef Thomas Harkins blends traditional American cuisine with a modern flair, while honoring the freshness and simplicity of the ingredients. His connection to creating updated American classics comes from his own passion and love of developing crowd pleasing flavors.
Chef Harkins started in the restaurant industry at age 15 and has been cooking ever since. A 1989 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Harkins is a native Philadelphian.
Chef Harkins has worked in the kitchen of Olivier de St. Martin, then executive chef of Founders at Philadelphia’s Hotel Atop the Bellevue. He moved quickly from gourmet cook to sous chef to chef de cuisine. In 1993, he decided he wanted to run Restaurant 210 at the AAA Five Diamond Rittenhouse Hotel. During his tenure, the restaurant received the Distinguished Restaurant Award by Conde Nast Traveler magazine and Zagat named it “Best Continental Restaurant” in the City.
Chef Harkins also had the opportunity to work beside some of the world’s most lauded chefs. From each, he acquired more knowledge, more skill and more inspiration. Included among this elite group were Jean André Charial, a three-star Michelin chef from France’s L’Oustau de Baumaniere; Charlie Trotter of the eponymous restaurant in Chicago; and The Food Network’s Malto Mario, Mario Batalli of New York’s Po, Babbo and Esca. He has also cooked with New Orleans’ Emeril Lagasse on numerous occasions.
He received accolades for his creative and consistent dishes while in the kitchens of The Moshulu, Circa and Plate. He served as Executive Chef of SoleFood, located at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, for nearly a decade.
Chef Harkins has been awarded “Best of” by local publications, but states his proudest accomplishment has been cooking four times at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.
When not at Bank & Bourbon, Chef Harkins can be found at home in South Jersey with his wife and two daughters.