This year's Drexel University Chef Conference will be held on Sunday and Monday, March 6-7. The annual two-day event connects some of Philly's most lauded culinary talent, providing a rare platform for lecture, debate, demonstration and, most importantly, in-depth conversation surrounding the many trials and tribulations of owning and operating a successful restaurant.
What was originally a concept dreamt up by Josh and Colleen Lawler (The Farm & Fisherman), has since grew into something much bigger. University professor and conference chair Mike Traud has done wonders to make it a coveted experience, completely on its own in terms of Philly food events, each year ensuring relevance to its moment in Philly dining history. Since 2014, he's brought on some of the biggest names in town to talk shop in a way no other platform could, and 2016 is no different: Traud pulled in some serious talent — this time from Philly and beyond.
Sunday (open to the general public for $20 a ticket), will be full of lectures on Food Waste (by Solomon Katz), Sharing Food and Fellowship: A Meaningful Solution to Hunger in our Neighborhoods (by Mariana Chilton), The History of the Cocktail (by internationally-acclaimed spirits writer Derek Brown, owner of Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency and Columbia Room), From Competition to Collaboration (by Anthony Rudolf), and Kitchen Science Today by Harold McGee, who you might've seen on Mind of a Chef.
Monday will be dedicated and open exclusively to industry folk. For $100 a ticket, join the city's most notable chefs and restaurateurs for demonstrations, lectures, and panels discussing everything and anything restaurant-related, from spice-demonstrations with Lior Lev Sercarz (La Boite Spices), Michael Solomonov and Chris Kearse, to a discussion about the greatest time in the history of wine with New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov. You can check the Chef Conference website for the full agenda.
Breakfast will be provided by Federal Donuts, La Colombe, Revolution Tacos, Sip-N-Glo, Kermit's Bake Shoppe and 1732 Meats, and lunch by Hai Street Kitchen, Baldor, Honeygrow, Kensington Quarters, South Philly Barbacoa and Caviar, and an after-party hosted by Pub & Kitchen.