Young Friendsgiving: Philadelphia’s Entrepreneurship, Food, & Culture from around the World

Monday, November 14, 2016 - 5:30pm - 7:15pm
601 Walnut Street, Floor 12
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

 From the Middle East to South America, from Scandinavia to West Africa, from Germany and France to the Philippines and Japan—Philadelphia is becoming the next great “foodie” city.

While New York and Los Angeles have been known as foodie meccas for decades, Philadelphia is no longer only for the cheesesteak lovers. New restaurants with cultural influences from all over the world seem to be popping up left and right, and many of these new locales are run by bright, young, rockstar chefs who are changing the scene in Philly.

Join the World Affairs Council to meet several of these young chefs and hear about their exciting stories. You’ll get the chance to “visit” Malaysia, Israel, and Mexico in this food-tour of the world, without ever having to leave the city of Philadelphia.



Tova du Plessis is owner of Essen Bakery, a “little Jewish bakery” that’s been open since April 2016. A native of South Africa, du Plessis moved to Israel and then to the States to enroll at the University of Houston as a biology major with the intention of becoming a physician. After obtaining her bachelor's, she changed her mind, and enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America's campus in Napa Valley. Du Plessis has worked at Citron & Rose, Le Bec Fin, Avance, and prior to opening Essen Bakery, was executive pastry chef at The Rittenhouse Hotel, including Lacroix.

Ben Miller is co-owner (along with his wife, Christina Martinez) of South Philly Barbacoa, now a brick-and-mortar restaurant that was formerly a popular food cart. Martinez is Chef de Barbacoa and the driving force behind their restaurant, which specializes in lamb barbacoa, particular to Martinez’s hometown of Capulhuac, Mexico. Miller, who previously cooked at Kanella, among other restaurants, helps Martinez prepare South Philly Barbacoa’s menu. Martinez and Miller are also advocates for immigration reform across the city.

Ange Branca is co-owner of Sate Kampar, a Malaysian restaurant, where she recreates the char-grilled sate skewers, banana-leaf steamed rice dishes, and curries she grew up with. After abandoning the jet-setting corporate life which “landed” Branca in Philly, she opted out of the rat race in favor of her and her husband’s sleek BYO. Branca's expertise comes straight from her family roots, and the restaurant takes inspiration straight from her grandmother’s original recipes.

Event Type: 
Global Region: 
American (United States)