For co-founder of Federal Donuts Felicia D’Ambrosio, “life is work, work is food, food is identity,”
This train of thought summed up her views on Penn Appétit’s Food Summit theme: Fitting Together Food and Identity. D’Ambrosio was one of six panel speakers who made up the first half of the Food Summit on Saturday. Each speaker brought diverse experiences and expertise to the table.
Making up the rest of the speakers were two scientists, a Top Chef, a public relations specialist and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, Keith Wallace, who began his short talk with the words “I f**king hate wine snobs,” to laughter from the crowd.
Wallace said he disliked people using aspects of their identity — like their appreciation of wine — to elevate themselves over others. His segment was a gear switch from the short biology lesson given by Robert F. Margolskee, a scientist who worked to isolate one of the key proteins involved in tasting and who was published in Nature for his work.
The questions varied as much as the panelists, and at one point Wallace found himself recommending the perfect wine to pair with a federal donut: dry, with a relatively high alcohol content.
Kevin Sbraga, who owns Sbraga Restaurant, The Fat Ham and Juniper Commons and won “Top Chef” season seven , brought a different approach to food and identity. Sbraga told the audience about his beginnings growing up in his parents’ bakery, which inspired him to try out for “Top Chef” many times until finally landing not only a spot on the show, but a victory.
“The point of going on the show was to have my own restaurant, my own identity and my own food,” Sbraga said.
Ellen Yin, a Penn graduate who owns Fork and High Street on Market and was a key player in the farm-to-table movement that happened a few years ago, closed the forum by giving her interpretation of the food and identity theme.
Former events chair of the magazine and College and Wharton sophomore Chase Matecun said he wanted to bring an “eclectic” mix of speakers for the summit — something that Penn Appétit brought back after a three year hiatus.
“We really wanted to bring together the food community at Penn that has been growing so much in the past few years,” Matecun said.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled Kevin Sbraga's name. We regret the error.Comments powered by Disqus
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