The 2020 Philly Chef Conference: Sustainability, Restaurant Leadership and the Golden Age of Pasta

Check out the full schedule of events for the event's 7th year.

2019’s conference | Photo courtesy of Philly Chef Conference

When Philly Chef Conference released its list of participants for the 2020 event, we knew it was going to be an excellent lineup. Now, the full schedule has been released and we’re more excited than ever.

The conference will kick off on Sunday, March 1st with two excellent talks. The first, a conversation about food memoirs moderated by Jeff Gordinier (Food & Drinks editor at Esquire). He’ll chat with Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Phyllis Grant and Kwame Onwuachi, who was named a James Beard Rising Star Chef in 2019. His book, Notes From a Young Black Chef, was also released in 2019, is on its way to becoming a movie starring Lakeith Stanfield.

Sunday’s second talk will feature Will Guidara, one of the biggest names in American fine dining. Until last year, Guidara was front of house leader of Make It Nice Hospitality, the company behind restaurants like the Michelin-starred icon Eleven Madison Park, which lived at the top of the World’s 50 Best List for years. Guidara and his partner, Daniel Humm, recently announced that they’re splitting up, so Guidara’s talk should be interesting.

Monday’s events begin at 9 a.m. and culminate with a 5:30 p.m. reception. Highlights include a roundtable led by the New York Times’ Kim Severson, a conversation called The Golden Age of Pasta with Bon Appetit’s Adam Rapoport, and a presentation from Philly’s own Greg Vernick entitled A Guide to a Sustainable Fish Restaurant. For a full schedule of events, scroll down.

Breakfast, lunch and desserts will be served by some Philly’s best and brightest chefs, including some of our 50 Best Restaurants like South Philly Barbacoa, Palizzi Social Club, Musi, Fiore Fine Foods. Tickets ($50 for Sunday and $195 for Monday) are on sale now.

Sunday March 1: Opening Session and Reception

3:30PM, The Study at University City, $50

When the Recipe is You: A Candid Talk about the Golden Age of Food Memoirs

Moderator-Jeff Gordinier

Panelists: Phyllis Grant, Kwame Onwuachi, and Jean-George Vongerichten

The Recipe for Human Connection           

A Conversation between Howie Kahn and Will Guidara

Philly Chef Conference: Day 2

Registration at 8AM, Opening Remarks at 9, $195


La Colombe, Baba’s Brew, 33rd Street Hospitality, Lost Bread Co., Rival Bros., Essen Bakery, Pilgrim Provisions, and Federal Donuts

9AM Opening Remarks: Michael Traud, JD, Ed.D.

9:15-10AM Session


Restaurant Round Up

Moderator: Korsha Wilson

Panelists: Hilary Dixler Canavan, Brett Martin, Khushbu Shah, and Kate Krader

Demonstration Kitchen:

Mastering Pastries

Presenters: Antonio Bachour


Travel as Inspiration

A Conversation between Jason Tesauro and Bo Bech

 10:15-11AM Session


Four Editors On Telling Important Food Stories on Shoestring Budgets

Moderator: Nikita Richardson

Panelists: Stephen Satterfield, Madison Trapkin, Lukas Volger, Klancy Miller

Demonstration Kitchen:

Pairing Tea with Bread and Pastries

Presenters: Richard Hart and Henrietta Lowell


Food and Beverage: The Foundation of Modern Real Estate

Moderator: Kevin Sintumuang

Presenters: Trip Schneck, Ed Eimer, Phil Colicchio, and Ahktar Nawab

11:15-12PM Session


Diversity in the Kitchen: the Road Ahead

Moderator: Priya Krishna

Panelists: Claudette Zepeda, Erick Williams, Eric Adjepong, Enrique Limardo

Demonstration Kitchen:

Dueling Pastas

Presenters: David Marcelli/Stefano Secchi


We’re Here to Help: How to Make the Most of your PR & Marketing Partnership

Moderator: Lauren Fonda

Presenters: Liz Dunn, Anna Polonsky, Blake McKay, Claudette Zepeda

Lunch (12-1)

South Philly Barbacoa, Mike’s BBQ, Poi Dog, Le Virtu, Jezabel’s Café, Puyero Venezuela Flavor, Porcos Porchetteria, Palizzi Social Club, Musi


 1:15-2:00PM Session


The Golden Age of Pasta

Moderator: Adam Rapoport

Panelists: Amy Brandwein, David Nayfeld, David Marcelli, Stefano Secchi


Finding “Faults” in Wine

Presenter: Wine: Rosemary Liss

Demonstration Kitchen:

A Guide to a Sustainable Fish Restaurant

Presenters: Greg Vernick


Chefs as Agents of Change

Moderator: Kat Kinsman

Presenters: Kwame Onwuachi, Karen Akunowicz and Kelly Fields

2:15-3:00PM Session


Restaurant Leadership Techniques for the Next Generation

Moderator: Vaughn Tan

Panelists: Katie Button, Brady Williams, Kevin Boehm and Annika de Las Heras


 “I Work for You”: A Cocktail Philosophy

Presenter: Chelsea Gregoire

Demonstration Kitchen:

An Inside Glimpse at Manresa Bread

Presenters: Avery Ruzika


Zero Foodprint: Connecting Chefs and Diners So We Can Eat our Way Out of the Climate Crisis

A Conversation between Jeff Gordinier and Anthony Myint

Dessert Break (3:00-3:45PM)

La Colombe, Weckerly’s, Aurora Grace Chocolates, Eclat Chocolates, El Merkury, Fiore Fine Foods, Flow State Coffee Bar


3:45-4:30PM Session


The Food Reporters: Hot Topic Roundtable of Current Events

Moderator: Kim Severson

Panelists: Tim Carman, Amanda Kludt, Julia Moskin, Francis Lam


Mezcal for Dummies

Presenter: Niki Nakazawa

Demonstration Kitchen:

Rice is Culture

Presenters: JJ Johnson


Where Science Meets Creativity

A Conversation between Dana Cowin and Arielle Johnson

4:45-5:30PM Session


Inside the Minds of the Top Pastry Chefs

Moderator: Klancy Miller

Panelists: Lincoln Carson, Thomas Raquel, Kelly Fields, Antonio Bachour


Cider: Just as Complex as Wine

Presenter: Sam Fitz

Demonstration Kitchen:

Pastry Techniques from a Three Michelin Star Kitchen

Presenters: Thomas Raquel


Defining “Women’s Work” in 2020

Moderator: Charlotte Druckman

Presenters: Diep Tran, additional speakers to be added

5:30 Reception