Tickets On Sale Now For The 2017 Philly Chef Conference


Once again, Drexel and its school of hospitality and sports management is holding their Philly Chef Conference. This time around, it’s happening on Sunday and Monday, March 5 and 6, at Drexel University.

For the past couple years, Foobooz has been covering these events because Drexel has done something special with them–offering a split program that provides value both to the public (generally during the first day’s sessions) and to the industry (during the second). It’s a conference put together by chefs, for chefs, and while it deals with certain issues that concern the general public, it does a lot more to speak to the professionals in the city.

It’s also a very small, intimate kind of conference–usually kept to around a hundred or so attendees each day–so it’s important to know that tickets are on sale right now, and they go VERY quickly. Below, we’re going to discuss some of the guests coming to this years event, and how the sessions will shake out, but if you’ve been to one of these before and are just here for ticketing information, you can score yours right now by visiting the 2017 Chef Conference website. Registration for Day One (the public sessions) is $25. Day Two (industry only) will run you $125.

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11 Things You Might Not Know About Drexel University

Drexel's Bossone Research Enterprise Center. Photo | Courtesy Drexel University

Photo | Courtesy Drexel University

In case you somehow missed the cake and balloons, Drexel University turned 125 this year. To celebrate, two Drexel profs, Richardson Dilworth (grandson of the two-time Philly mayor) and Scott Gabriel Knowles, have put together a comprehensive history of the school, with chapters on everything from its architecture to its sports teams, its Greek life to its role in the civil rights movement and relations with adjacent neighborhoods. Building Drexel: The University and Its City, 1891-2016 is published by Temple University Press. Here are 11 things you might not know about Drexel, recently named by U.S. News & World Report one of the top 500 universities in the world. Read more »

Biden on Trump: “What in the Hell Is He Talking About?”

Joe Biden speaks in Drexel's grand court

Photo | Dan McQuade

“What in the hell is he talking about?”

That was Joe Biden’s summary of Donald Trump’s performance at last night’s presidential debate. Biden spoke at Drexel University’s Grand Court this morning to stump for Hillary Clinton and encourage students to register to vote.

While Clinton attacked Trump for cheering on the housing crisis, Trump interjected by saying: “That’s called business, by the way.”

Biden had harsh words for Trump’s debate performance. “It was good business for him to see the housing market fail,” Biden said. “What in the hell is he talking about? No, no, no, no: I’ve been here for eight presidents … every president I have served with, including the Republicans, has had a moral center, about what it means to be an American. I mean it! Think about it. Can you imagine Ronald Reagan saying, ‘It’s good business to take advantage of people’s misery’? And rooting for that misery! I’m not kidding. What does it say about this man? And he wants to be president of the United States of America! He does not have the basic fundamental sensibilities and values that almost every American politician, left right and center, has.” Read more »

Michelle Obama, Joe Biden Making Stops in Philly This Week

Joe Biden; Michelle Obama

Two big names will be in Philadelphia this week to stump for Hillary Clinton.

Tomorrow, Vice President Joe Biden will appear at Pennsylvania Democrats’ voter registration drive in the main court of Drexel’s main building at 3131 Chestnut Street. He’ll speak at 10:45 a.m. People interested in attending can RSVP here. Doors open at 9.

Biden’s appearance comes on National Voter Registration Day, and is part of a spate of registrations events on the day. In Pennsylvania, the last day to register to vote in November’s election is October 11th. Read more »

This Drexel Professor Did His Ph.D. Thesis on Cargo Pants

Joseph Hancock - Drexel professor wearing cargo pants

Drexel associate professor Joseph Hancock stands on the steps at the school’s URBN Center. Yes, he’s wearing cargo pants. | Photo: Dan McQuade

A Wall Street Journal story captivated the Internet last week.

It wasn’t a commentary on the presidential election or an investigation into corporate wrongdoing. No, the article that dominated the Journal’s web traffic for most of last week was headlined: “Nice Cargo Shorts! You’re Sleeping on the Sofa.” The story detailed the men, mostly over 40, who love cargo shorts, and the women in their lives who hate their pants.

It was a sensation. The Washington Post defended them. So did Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who called them “the most comfortable things ever.” The funniest article was probably by Vice’s Harry Cheadle, who liveblogged a reading of the Journal story.

Quoted in the Journal’s story was Drexel professor Joseph Hancock, who (the article informed us) actually wrote his Ph.D. thesis on cargo pants. The merchandising and design professor’s 2007 thesis was titled “These Aren’t The Same Pants Your Grandfather Wore: The Evolution of Branding Cargo Pants in 21st Century Mass Fashion.”

Hancock has been at Drexel since 2004. He has his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Indiana, and got his Ph.D. at Ohio State in 2007. Before that, he worked for a decade at The Gap, and also worked as a consultant for The Limited brands’ Structure (now Express Men) and as a field merchant for Target. He recently sat down with Philadelphia magazine for a talk. This interview has been lightly edited for style and condensed. Read more »

30th Street Station Development Plans Announced


A renedering of what the area around 30th Street Station would look like when all the projects envisioned in the development plan are completed. | Renderings by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, courtesy Amtrak

This morning, Amtrak, SEPTA and Drexel University officials unveiled plans for a massive transformation of the area around 30th Street Station.

The massive, multi-decade 30th Street Station District Plan would, when completed, turn the area around 30th Street Station into a second downtown for Philadelphia focused on the second-busiest station in the Amtrak system. That station, transformed into a multimodal transportation hub for the region, would serve as the linchpin of the planned development.

New office, retail and residential buildings containing 18 million square feet of total space and 40 acres of open space would be created under the plan, with most of the development privately financed. A total of $2 billion in public investment would leverage an additional $4.5 billion in private investment. These figures are on top of the $3.5 billion Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust have already pledged to see the Schuylkill Yards development, which Drexel President John Fry described as “a down payment” on the plan at this morning’s public unveiling, to completion. Read more »

Drexel Professor’s Study: Touching Sandpaper Can Increase Charitable Donations

Drexel - study - sandpaper - Chen Wang

Chen Wang, an assistant professor of marketing at Drexel, co-authored the study.

Charitable organizations who want to raise more money have a secret weapon in their arsenal: Sandpaper.

Really! A new study co-authored by Drexel marketing professor Chen Wang says that touching sandpaper could trigger empathy — making people more likely to donate to charity.

“Our theory is that when you are touching a rough, coarse surface you feel this mild discomfort on your fingers,” Wang tells Philadelphia magazine. “And it triggers something in your brain and you pay more attention to people’s hardships and others’ discomfort … basically, our brain is hardwired to do so many things that we’re not even aware of.”

There were several studies done for the paper. In one, participants held either smooth paper or sandpaper when viewing a series of images. They were found to have more brain activity in the area associated with empathetic responses when touching the sandpaper.

In another, undergraduate students were asked to test hand wash in the guise of a product evaluation. They were given either smooth or rough hand wash, then were asked about their feelings about a foundation that helps sufferers of Sjögren’s syndrome, a chronic autoimmune disease where white blood cells attack the exocrine glands. Those who used the rough hand wash were more willing to donate. Read more »

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