Upcoming Philly Chef Conference Takes on Sexism in the Industry

Tickets go on sale at 12 p.m. on January 16th.

The Philly Chef Conference — the convening of national, regional, and local industry folk hosted by Drexel University — is returning to Philly in March 2018.

And in addition to topics like food styling, beverage trends, and business development, they’re taking on some tough questions, like how to handle sexism and harassment in the industry and wellness for chefs — an idea first incepted by conference organizers back in April, but more relevant now than ever before.

The first day of the conference (open to the public; tickets are $30) on Sunday, March 11th from 3-5 p.m., will include a keynote conversation between industry impresario Jen Agg, who’s working to combat sexual harassment in the industry, and journalist Brett Anderson, the Times-Picayune journalist who who published the sexual harassment expose about New Orleans chef John Besh.

The second day of the conference will be held at Drexel’s Academic Building on Monday, March 12 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., is industry-only, with professional demonstrations and lectures in addition to panels on gender in the industry, transporting culinary cultures, and professional sustainability. Tickets are $150 each.

The full conference schedule hasn’t been announced yet, but the participant list is exciting: In addition to local heroes like Michael Solomonov and celebs like Top Chef‘s Gail Simmons, the conference is bringing in chefs from as far away as Oakland and Lima, Peru along with experts like Dr. Stephen Jones of The Bread Lab and Danielle Nierenberg, president of Food Tank.

The Philly Chef Conference is also hosting acclaimed African-American cook, gardener, historical interpreter, blogger, and author Michael W. Twitty, whose book The Cooking Gene traces the author’s own family history through the history of Southern and American food. Twitty will speak at Drexel on February 26th; tickets include a free copy of The Cooking Gene and a post-talk reception with chef Kevin Sbraga.

Tickets to Twitty’s talk in February and both days of the conference in March go on sale at noon on Tuesday, January 16th, and you can get them here. Otherwise, stay tuned for the full agenda.