Photo courtesy of Audrey Claire COOK

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.

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