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Chefs in Residency

  • Chefs
  • Chefs in Residency
  • Last season, Latin American Chef Jose Garces hosted emerging, minority chefs from around the Philadelphia region for six-week residencies.
  • Throughout each residency, we raised funds to support the inaugural line-up of chefs and their current and/or future projects. Donations could be made, similar to tipping a server, when the dinner check is presented. The Garces Foundation will match up to the first $5,000. The matching grant will be donated by the Garces Foundation which offers medical and educational resources to the hospitality community.

Learn more about The Garces Foundation here.

  • Past Chefs in Residence

  • Chef Kiki Aranita
  • Chef Kiki Aranita
  • Dates of Residency: October 6th - November 28th 2021
  • Kiki Aranita is the Co-Owner/Operator of Poi Dog in Philadelphia, PA. After gaining her experience in various restaurants and food trucks, Aranita wanted to share her experiences of what people eat in her hometown of Hawaii, to the city of Philly. Along with the food of Hawaii, Aranita has taught classes on Hawaii’s culture at Penn Museum and recipe development at the university level.
  • Donations will support Aranita’s new line of sauces.

  • Chef Phila Lorn
  • Chef Phila Lorn
  • Date of Residency: December 1 to January 17, 2022
  • Phila Lorn has been up and down the block in Philadelphia’s food scene for 16 years, cooking with great chefs who taught him how to find himself. Teaching him what to do, what not to do and most importantly how to cook. After doing nearly a decade of Japanese food working alongside Chef ZamaSan of Zama, helping to run the kitchen at Stock with Chef Tyler Akins and learning how to see food as an art alongside Chris Kearse at Will, Lorn realized that his reason for cooking had changed. It no longer was a learning phase as much now. It no longer was the game of “beasting” the line. All of these great chefs and others who represent Philadelphia as an established “food town” helped Lorn realize that he wanted to cook his own food. Showcasing his culture’s flavors. Stay tuned for future announcements as Lorn looks to bring Cambodian food, music and culture to the forefront of the Philadelphia scene.
  • Donations will support Chef Lorn’s first restaurant that will showcase Cambodian food, music and culture.

  • Chef Jezabel Careaga
  • Chef Jezabel Careaga
  • Date of Residency: January 26 to March 13, 2022
  • Chef Jezabel Careaga is an entrepreneur, chef, woodworker, designer, and community leader from Palpalá, Jujuy, NW Argentina. In addition to her degree in Tourism & Hotel Management focusing on international languages and business, she received a progressive education encompassing climate change, sustainability, and mental health - issues that she cares about deeply today. After a formative work experience in an 800-room hotel in Miami, she moved to Philadelphia to start her own business. In 2010 she opened Jezabel’s with a mission to offer a welcoming and delicious NW Argentine experience while prioritizing environmental sustainability, community growth, and financial stability. In 2018 Jezabel’s relocated to West Philadelphia and expanded her offerings to include cooking classes and special events. Her latest venture is L’Atelier where her furniture designs and handiwork are showcased among a selection of artisan home goods. Over the last ten years, Jezabel’s has become a staple in Philly’s dining scene and her empanadas, alfajores, and a multitude of Argentine-style pastries have received critical acclaim and widespread popularity.
  • Donations will support the initiatives of Fuerza for Humans, a non-profit focusing on mental health for the restaurant community.

  • Chef Jen Zavala
  • Chef Jennifer Zavala
  • Dates of Residency: March 16 to May 1, 2022
  • Chef Jennifer Zavala is an industry veteran, having spent 14 of her 27 year career in Philadelphia. A self-taught chef, Jennifer’s inspiration is drawn from her Mexican roots. Her career started in her home state of Connecticut, at a vegan macrobiotic restaurant. Zavala’s authentic style of cooking earned her a spot cooking in the kitchens of celebrities, Ozzy Osbourne, Britney Spears (HEY GIRL), Iron Maiden, Snoop Dog and many more. Previous credits include, Cha Chas (Los Angeles) and here in Philadelphia: El Camino Real, Xochilt, The Farmers Cabinet, Underground Arts and Will BYOB. Jennifer’s star was on the rise, and included a stint on the 6th season on Bravo’s popular cooking competition, Top Chef: Las Vegas. Accolades include, 2017 Billy Penn “Movers and Shakers,” Best Cannabis Chef for Philly Mag, Best Tamales-Philly Current Magazine. Jennifer is a proud member of Les Dames Escoffier, an international philanthropic organization. She is also a C.O.R.E ambassador for the Philadelphia region. Jennifer continues to blaze a trail for women by disrupting the food industry with her passion for Mexican cuisine. Chef’s next project is, perhaps, her biggest as she opens her own Brick & Mortar with a cult like following called “Juana Tamale” at 1941 East Passyunk Ave this fall. The menu will consist of her famous Birria Tacos, Oxacan green corn tamales, and homemade, bavarian-filled Churros.
  • Donations will support the black and brown youth focused programs in her community. As a Mexican woman, Mom and Chef, she plans to use these funds to put back into the community she is raising her family in.

  • Chef Alex Yoon
  • Chef Alex Yoon
  • Dates of Residency: May 4 to June 12th 2022
  • Chef Alex Yoon, a Philadelphia native, first started at Le Bec-fin, in his hometown before traveling to work at other fine dining establishments across the world, including Mirazur and Benu. In 2016 an opportunity came calling when he heard Little Fish was for sale.
  • Donations will support Yoon’s next project of opening a bigger restaurant.

  • Chef D DeMarco
  • Chef Dane DeMarco
  • Dates of Residency: June 15 to July 24, 2022
  • Chef Dane DeMarco recently launched the menus for the city’s newest feel good bar sensation, Sonny’s Cocktail Joint, plus the adjacent Wine Dive on South Street. Chef previously worked with LPNG Restaurant Group (American Sardine, Second District Brewing Company and South Philly Taproom), where they started as a Sous and quickly worked up to Culinary Director. Chef was known as Doreen (she/her) while working for LPNG, and Chef is now transitioning and at this stage of the process is using Dane and they/them. Chef hails from Willingboro, New Jersey in Burlington County, where they spent their childhood in kitchens next to their father, who was a chef. They started answering phones and the more they worked with their father, the more their passion for cooking grew. Chef moved to Philly at 19, and worked under some great chefs. They loved traveling and checking out new restaurants and quickly found they had an unquenchable thirst for new flavors and inventive cuisine.
  • Donations will support Hanks Sandwich Co. set to open in 2022 - a long-time new project by Chef Dane DeMarco.

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