Meet the Philadelphia female food entrepreneurs up for prestigious James Beard Award

ByWendy Daughenbaugh WPVI logo
Monday, March 14, 2022
Meet the Philly women up for prestigious James Beard Award
Philadelphia has 17 semi-finalists for the prestigious James Beard Award.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia is known as a foodie town and the city is representing in a big way with 17 semi-finalists for the prestigious James Beard Award.

And because we're celebrating women's history month, we're giving a shoutout to all the ladies on the list.

Outstanding Baker: Mercedes Brooks and Rhonda Saltzman, Second Daughter Baking Co.

Second Daughter Baking Company is actually run by two sisters, Mercedes Brooks and Rhonda Saltzman. They started their business during the pandemic after both had lost their jobs.

With a shop inside South Philadelphia's Bok Building, they quickly became known for their towering cakes, usually six layers high.

Second Daughter Baking Co. | Facebook | Instagram

1901 S 9th St, Philadelphia, Pa. 19148


Outstanding Pastry Chef: Angela Cicala, Cicala at the Divine Lorraine

Angela Cicala , of Cicala at the Divine Lorraine is up for outstanding pastry chef.

Her husband, Joe Cicala, has been nominated several times for his rustic Italian fare but this is a first for Angela. She is one of only 20 pastry chefs nationwide up for the award.

Her family is from the Abruzzo region of Italy and she says her recipes are from her family and small villages in Italy.

Cicala at the Divine Lorraine | Website | Instagram

699 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19123


Emerging Chef: Amanda Shulman, Her Place Supper Club

When Amanda Shulman launched Her Place Supper Club last summer, she wanted to create a specific vibe "going over to your mom's friend's house for dinner."

That means the menu is set and everyone gets served at the same time.

Shulman introduced the communal dining experience during the darkest days of the pandemic, and now the Vetri alum is up for best emerging chef.

Her Place Supper Club | Instagram

1740 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103

Outstanding Restaurateur: Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality

In 1997, Ellen Yin left her job as a management consultant in health care to open Fork in Old City

A quarter century later, she just collected her fourth James Beard nomination for outstanding restaurateur, and her a. Kitchen + Bar is up for outstanding wine program.

When the pandemic hit, she partnered with other women restaurateurs to start the Sisterly Love Food Fair, so the ladies could help boost each other's businesses.

And after last March's spa shootings in Atlanta that left six Asian women dead, she launched the Wonton Project, sharing her family's dumpling recipe and raising money for organizations fighting anti-Asian hate.

a. Kitchen + Bar | Facebook | Instagram

135 S. 18th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103

Fork Restaurant | Facebook | Instagram

306 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19106


High Street Philly | Website | Facebook| Instagram

101 S 9th St, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107


the Wonton Project | Instagram

Sisterly Love Collective | Facebook | Instagram

Best Chef Mid Atlantic: Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, "Nok" Suntaranon of Kalaya Thai Kitchen

South Philly Barbacoa | Facebook | Instagram

1140 S 9th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19147


Kalaya Thai Kitchen | Facebook | Instagram

764 S. 9th Street (9th & Catharine), Philadelphia, PA 19147