Over the last ten years, everyone here at Team FEASTIVAL has admired the resilience and solidarity of Philadelphia’s culinary community. Navigating the recent days and weeks has been a challenge for many across the city, and our small businesses, restaurants, and bars have been hit hard. We are asking ourselves “How do we best support our friends and colleagues who work in and love our restaurants during this time?”
In addition to the outstanding restaurants and bars we work with each year, FEASTIVAL partners with a number of extraordinary institutions working day-in and day-out to create a better city for Philadelphians to live and work in.
Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC), Inc was founded by the late Civil Rights leader Reverend Leon Sullivan, in response to the lack of employment opportunities and job-training programs in African American and low-income communities. Over fifty years later, Philadelphia OIC continues to open opportunities for all members of the Philadelphia community, helping people everywhere master the skills necessary to access good jobs and advance in their careers.
Lead by Chalie Schmidt, Philadelphia OIC’s chef instructor, the culinary training program is one of the organization’s hallmark offerings and has graduated more than 725 students over the last two decades. The graduates have gone on to work in prestigious Philadelphia restaurants past and present including the original Bookbinders, Osteria, Audrey Claire, and more.
Schmidt sat down with FEASTIVAL to tell us about his experience with Philadelphia OIC and as a culinary industry vet.
Philadelphia LOVES Italian restaurants and is full of ’em, yet Scarpetta Philadelphia has carved out its place amongst the greats. The modern Italian restaurant dedicated to creating bold flavors by amplifying the essence of seasonal ingredients is helmed by Chef Michael Loughlin. Let’s get to know the FEASTIVAL participating chef a bit better!
Audi FEASTIVAL cohost Nick Elmi has had a front-row seat to the rise of the Philadelphia food scene over the last decade. He cooked under the tutelage of master chef Georges Perrier at the famed Le Bec Fin, and after being crowned Top Chef, Nick returned to Philly and carved his own place in the city’s restaurant history with Laurel, his modern, French-influenced American restaurant, its next-door neighbor ITV (In the Valley), and Royal Boucherie, his lively American brasserie in Old City.
Chef sits down with us to give us a sneak peek at his brand new cookbook inspired by Laurel, Audi FEASTIVAL 2019, and more!
Philadelphia’s forever been described as a big city with a small town feel, and that sentiment feels especially true of its restaurant industry.
This class of young and talented restaurateurs and chefs have cultivated a strong sense of camaraderie and community, and many are leveraging their strong bonds to raise awareness and funds for a variety of worthy organizations and causes.
Poi Dog Philly, the Hawaiian fast-casual restaurant located in Rittenhouse, and its co-owners Kiki Aranita and Chris Vacca can often be found cooking at charitable events around the city, and today Kiki sat down with FEASTIVAL to discuss how food can be used for good, the many organizations she has worked with, and how Philadelphia’s food scene still has room to grow.
Jezabel Careaga brings the rich flavors and traditions of her northwest Argentinian home to West Philadelphia. Drawing on memories from her childhood for inspiration, Jezabel is building an empire that includes her Café, Jezabel’s Café; her boutique/tea house/demonstration kitchen, Jezabel’s Studio; cooking classes, and dinner series. Sabrina Carter from FEASTIVAL had the opportunity to join the chef, furniture maker, and owner of Jezabel’s Café and Jezabel’s Studio and her friend and colleague, Gabriel Machado for lunch to discuss her journey.