Chefs / Women's History Month

Badass Female Chefs of Philadelphia: Doreen Demarco

Chef Doreen Demarco [Photo: Billy Penn]

The feature on badass chef Jennifer Zavala did so well yesterday I decided to do it again. I asked Jen if she would nominate another kickass lady chef, she did not hesitate to mention Doreen Demarco.

Doreen is a powerhouse lady chef running not one, but two kitchens in South Philadelphia, at American Sardine Bar and Second District Brewing.

She’s bringing visibility to hardworking women chefs in our city by going on culinary competition shows. Just last year, she appeared on Guy’s Grocery Games on the Food Network. While she didn’t win the contest, she was lauded for her delicious supreme pizza dip. Yum!

Chef Doreen has another chance for television cooking glory when she soon appears on the network’s ultimate cooking competition show, Chopped. [Note: I’ll have the air date for that soon so stay tuned.]

She was destined to work in kitchens. Because her father was a chef, she basically grew up in commercial kitchens spending most mornings with him giving her early insight into how they are run. So while she is not formally trained, having learned hands-on at places like Gaetano’s in her hometown of Willingboro, NJ, it’s in her blood so to speak. I can only assume she makes a MEAN cheesesteak as they make some of the best in South Jersey. But I digress.

Prior to her current posts, she opened the kitchen at South Bowl and worked at Little Nonna’s for a while.

Two years ago, she was featured as an up-and-coming chef in Billy Penn’s Who’s Next Chefs spotlight.

She also gives back as much as she can when time allows. She’ll be competing with other female chefs at the next Dish It Up 2019 for Women Against Abuse which will be held on March 21st at Vie. [Note: I was a judge last year, but not this year.]

She currently lives in Mount Airy with her girlfriend Sierra and their dog, Angel. She dreams of one day opening up her own restaurant in the neighborhood because she thinks there’s not a lot of food offerings in the area.

Other fun facts? She plays professional Rock Paper Scissors in her free time and travels for ice cream in search of finding the best in the world. Yeah, that’s pretty badass! This is one badass lady chef to watch here in Philly. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Stay tuned for another badass female chef in Philly, I’m just getting started!

Happy #InternationalWomensDay!

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