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Philly Chef Conference

The Philly Chef Conference is hosted by Drexel University's Food and Hospitality Management Department. The mission of this annual conference is to engage our students with industry leaders while also connecting members of the restaurant community through a day of education.

The conference is an annual event designed to convene the regional food community and to showcase the latest food and beverage ideas and techniques through educational lectures, panel discussions and demonstrations. It brings together the best chefs, food producers and personalities and links established food and hospitality professionals with aspiring students and young industry professionals.

Mini-Chef Conference Day

Opening Session Tickets

Day Two Tickets

Full Schedule:

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Mini-Chef Conference Day

Ticket Price: $100
Location: Academic Bistro

9–9:45 a.m.: Breakfast and Registration

10–10:45 a.m.: Married to the Job: A conversation with Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli (Chef/Owners of Don Angie) and Greg and Subrina Collier (Chef/Owners of Leah & Louise) moderated by Helen Rosner

11–11:45 a.m.: Advances in Culinary Equipment: A demo from Brad Kilgore showcasing latest equipment and trends


1–1:45 p.m.: Trends in Food Science: A discussion of aging proteins with Arielle Johnson in conversation with Heather Thomason, Shola Olunloyo and Nick Solares

2:15–3 p.m.: Mentoring and Developing the Future: A conversation with Erick Williams and Damarr Brown moderated by Andrew Friedman, Sponsored by S.Pellegrino®

Opening Panel and Reception

Ticket Price: $150

Registration: 5:30 p.m.

Panel: 6 p.m.

Developing Your Restaurant Workplace Culture: A discussion of best practices in developing a culture in your organization moderated by Andrew Zimmern with panelists Ellen Yin, Lien Ta, Hollis Silverman and Erick Williams.


Monday, April 17, 2023

Ticket Price: $250
Location: The Study Hotel

Registration: 8–9 a.m.

Breakfast provided by Guardhouse Café, Baba's Brew, La Colombe, Lost Bread Co., Essen Bakery, Federal Donuts, Spread Bagelry, Sor Ynez and Rival Bros.

9:15–10 a.m. Session

Main Room: 
Training and Retaining: Labor Force Development
Moderator: Brett Anderson
Panelists: Elizabeth Tilton, Erick Williams, Marguerite Mariscal and Lynn House

Trailblazer Talks: Yannick Benjamin in conversation with Jeff Gordinier

With/And: Confessions of Cookbook Collaborators
Moderator: Joshua David Stein
Panelists: JJ Goode, Kayla Stewart and Elisa Ung

10:15–11 a.m. Session

Main Room:
Restaurants Transforming the Hotel Industry
Moderator: Tim Carman
Panelists: Kevin Boehm, Tyler Akin, Peter Peterson and Alon Shaya

For The Culture: Food Journeys & Keeping it Real
Klancy Miller in conversation with Rasheeda Purdie and Krystal Mack

Behind the Lens of Food Photography
Moderator: Brett Martin
Panelists: Evan Sung, Clay Williams and Melanie Dunea

11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Session

Main Room:
Prison Reform and the Restaurant Industry
Moderator: Kim Severson
Panelists: Keith Corbin, John Gargano, Dan Giusti and Kurt Evans

12:15–1:15 p.m. Lunch
High Street Philly, El Chingon, LMNO, Geno's Steaks, Mike's BBQ, Everybody Eats Philly, Amy's Pastelillos, Gabriella's Vietnam, South Philly Barbacoa, Mish Mish, PizzaFreak, Birchrun Hills Cheese, Huda and Càphê Roasters

1:15–2 p.m. Session

Main Room:
Food Reporters: Hot Topics
Moderator: Jamila Robinson
Panelists: Toni Tipton-Martin, Kayla Stewart and Monica Barton

Trailblazer Talks: Chip Wade in conversation with Dawn Davis

Embracing Food Tourism
Moderator: Regan Stephens
Panelists: Katie Parla, Max Goldberg and Angela Val

2:15–3 p.m. Session

Main Room:
Restaurant Roundup
Moderator: Joseph Hernandez
Panelists: Elazar Sontag, Hillary Dixler Canavan and Kevin Sintumuang

Trailblazer Talk: Paola Velez in conversation with Gail Simmons

The Future of Vegan Cuisine
Moderator: Hira Qureshi
Panelists: Tomasz Skowronski, Susannah Schoolman and Shenarri Freeman

3:15–4:15 p.m. Session

Main Room:
Inclusivity in the Restaurant Industry
Moderator: Ashley Christensen
Panelists: Gregory Gourdet, Maneesh Goyal, Kelly Fields and Silver Iocoozzi

4:15 p.m.

Dessert Reception featuring New June Bakery, Second Daughter Bakery, Milk Jawn, La Colombe, Fiore Fine Foods



2023 Philly Chef Conference Participants

Tyler Akin: Chef/partner, Le Cavalier

Brett Anderson: Food journalist, The New York Times

Yannick Benjamin: Sommelier and co-owner, Cotento; co-founder, Wine on Wheels

Kevin Boehm: Co-CEO and co-founder of Boka Group, 2019 Beard Award Outstanding Restauranteur

Damarr Brown: 2022 Food & Wine Best New Chef, Virtue Restaurant

Monica Burton: Deputy editor, Eater

Hillary Dixler Canavan: Restaurant editor, Eater

Tim Carman: Food journalist, Washington Post

Ashley Christensen: 2019 James Beard Award Outstanding Chef

Greg and Subrina Collier: Leah & Louise

Keith Corbin: Chef/Owner, Alta Adams; author of California Soul

Dawn Davis: Editor-in-chief, Bon Appetit & Epicurious

Melanie Dunea: Food photographer

Kurt Evans: San Pellegrino Champion of Change

Kelly Fields: James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Pastry Chef award in 2019

Shenarri Freeman: Executive chef, Cadence

Andrew Friedman: Author and podcast host of Andrew Talks to Chefs

John Gargano: GM, Craft

Dan Giusti: Founder, Brigaid; former head chef, Noma

Max Goldberg: Owner, Strategic Hospitality

JJ Goode: Cookbook author

Jeff Gordinier: Author and food journalist

Gregory Gourdet: Chef/owner, Kann

Maneesh Goyal: Owner, Sona

Joseph Hernandez: Senior service editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Lynn House: Heaven Hill, National Brand Educator

Silver Iocoozzi: Chef/owner, Neng Jr.’s

Krystal Mack: Food designer

Marguerite Mariscal: CEO, Momofuku

Brett Martin: Food critic, GQ

Klancy Miller: Founder, For The Culture magazine

Katie Parla: Author, podcaster, TV host and Rome culinary guide

Peter Peterson: President and managing partner, Cultivate Hospitality Group

Rasheeda Purdie: Chef/owner, Ramen by Ra

Hira Qureshi: Food Journalist, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli: Chef/owners, Don Angie

Jamila Robinson: Food editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the North American Academy chair (East USA & East Canada) for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Rich Rosendale: Certified master chef

Helen Rosner: Food journalist, The New Yorker

Susannah Schoolman: Founder and CEO, Tourlami

Kim Severson: Food journalist, The New York Times, 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Alon Shaya: Chef/owner, Pomegranate Hospitality

Hollis Silverman: Founder & CEO, Eastern Point Collective

Gail Simmons: Judge, Top Chef

Kevin Sintumuang: Culture editor, Esquire

Tomasz Skowronski: Owner of Apteka, 2022 New York Times Best Restaurants

Elazar Sontag: Restaurant editor, Bon Appetit

Joshua David Stein: Cookbook author, journalist and food critic

Regan Stephens: Travel writer and co-founder of Saltete

Kayla Stewart: Food and travel writer

Evan Sung: Food photographer

Lien Ta: Los Angeles restaurateur and Co-Founder, Re:Her

Elizabeth Tilton: Founder and CEO, Oyster Sunday

Toni Tipton-Martin: Editor-in-chief, Cook’s Country Magazine

Elisa Ung: IACP award-winning book collaborator and writer

Angela Val: CEO, Visit Philadelphia

Paola Velez: Founder, Bakers Against Racism

Chip Wade: CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group

Eric Wareheim: Las Jaras Wines

Clay Williams: Food photographer

Erick Williams: Chef/owner, Virtue Restaurant

Ellen Yin: High Street Hospitality Group

Andrew Zimmern: Chef, writer, traveler, TV host

2023 Philly Chef Conference Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor


Chef de Cuisine

Visit Philadelphia

The Study at University City

Heaven Hill Distillery

Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia

Sous Chef


Rosita Bisani

The Chef's Warehouse

Local 130 Seafood

Singer Equipment Co.

Waring Commercial



Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association

Maxwell McKenney

Dry Ager






Robot Coupe

Service Ideas



Breville Commercial