Chefs / Cooking Demonstrations / COVID-19

Girls Nite In Online to Honor Women Chefs of Philadelphia

Girls Nite In Online, a Philadelphia-based, national, free platform by women for women, will celebrate and honor fabulous Philadelphia women chefs with an online “Restaurant Week,” June 1-5. 

In addition to providing income for the women chefs who are presenting, Girls Nite In “Restaurant Week” online will encourage viewers to support their beloved local restaurants by ordering takeout or delivery and buying gift cards.

The lineup for “Restaurant Week” at Girls Nite In Online is as follows:

Jill Weber, partner in the Sojourn Restaurant Group

Monday, June 1, 7:30PM EDT

Jill Weber, Sojourn Restaruant Group

Jill is an archeologist, who has worked on digs in Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Oman, Iraq, and Italy. She came to her love of food by gaining an intimate knowledge of the culture and native cuisine of all of these countries. She is also president of the Philadelphia chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, the preeminent global professional association for women leaders in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries—and works with the State of Pennsylvania on behalf of the restaurant/bar industry.

Andrea Rivera, Rex 1516

Jill and sous-chef Andrea Rivera of Rex 1516, one of the Sojourn Group’s restaurants, which specializes in Southern cuisine, will prepare an Heirloom Tomato Tart and suggest wines to pair with it.

Tova du Plessis of Essen Bakery

Tuesday, June 2, 4PM EDT

Tova du Plessis, Essen Bakery

Tova du Plessis, who hails from South Africa originally, is the proprietor of “a little Jewish bakery,” Essen Bakery in South Philadelphia, famous for such delights as chocolate halva babka, chocolate rugelach, apple cake, and challah. (“Essen” means “eat” in both German and Yiddish.)  She has been a finalist for a James Beard Award for four years.

Jennifer Zavala

Tuesday, June 2, 7:30PM EDT

Jennifer Zavala

Jennifer Zavala is known as Philadelphia’s “Tamale Queen,” guiding Philadelphia’s most popular tamale truck to the heights of renown. She also appeared on the seventh season of the cooking reality competition show Top Chef. Jennifer is especially interested currently in Cannabis Cuisine; her workshop will feature cooking with cannabis.

Judy Ni of Baology Taiwanese Restaurant

Wednesday, June 3, 7:30 PM EDT

Judy Ni, Baology

The Chinese word bao can mean bun, package or bag, or the act of wrapping, filling, or packaging. Baology features various forms of Taiwanese “wraps,” such as potstickers, gwa baos (also known as “Taiwanese sliders”), ruen bings (a Taiwanese wrap) and bian dangs, which are like the Japanese bento box. Additional Taiwanese dishes are served in the evenings. Judy puts a lot of emphasis on the freshness of her ingredients and on sustainability. There is no tip jar in her restaurant: the cost of tips is built into the price of the food and all employees benefit.

Marti Lieberman and Pamela Lorden of Mac Mart Mac’n Cheesery

Thursday, June 4, 7:30PM EDT

Marti Lieberman and Pamela Lorden, Mac Mart

Mac Mart began as a macaroni and cheese food truck on the campus of Drexel University. Then the famous pink truck moved on to become a familiar sight at private parties, night markets, and food festivals. Among Mac Mart’s patrons: the Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Wawa CEO and executive team. The well-known Mac Mart restaurant features many variations on the classic American dish. Comfort food has come to have a whole new meaning during the pandemic!

Marti and Pamela will be cooking up some of their best-selling, in-store toppings and Mac flavor profiles.

Jill Weber, Sojourn Restaurant Group

Friday, June 5, 4 PM EDT

In a workshop called “Ancient Worlds, Modern Wines,” Jill, as archeologist and sommelier, will explain what is in the dirt, the very earth in which the grapes grow that are used to make wine–what she calls “the history underground.” She will focus on wines from the Republic of Georgia, Lebanon, and Syria—where wines were produced long before they were known in Europe.

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