October 23, 2017

October 23, 2017


October 23, 2017

The Second Dinner


In benefit of

Nationalities Service Center

Nationalities Service Center

Nationalities Service Center prepares and empowers immigrants and refugees in the Philadelphia region to transcend challenging circumstances by providing comprehensive client-centered services to build a solid foundation for a self-sustaining and dignified future.


Funds Raised
Refugees Sponsored

Seats are limited and non-refundable
Doors open at 6:30pm
Dinner commences at 7pm



Larry Krasner
Democrat for Philadelphia District Attorney

Civil rights lawyer Larry Krasner is one of Philadelphia’s most outspoken and highly regarded progressive attorneys. For 30 years he has been fearlessly demanding fair treatment and justice for Philadelphians of all backgrounds.

Larry Krasner believes in protecting immigrants while protecting everybody. He is dedicated to fighting President Trump’s anti-immigration agenda and increasing trust between immigrants and police — because cooperation is essential to law enforcement. As District Attorney, he will work to maintain Philadelphia as a “sanctuary city” and protect the Fourth Amendment rights of all residents, cooperating with federal authorities only to the degree required by law. Because legal proceedings can affect the status of immigrants and therefore relations between communities and law enforcement, Larry will take those effects into account when making prosecutorial decisions and setting prosecutorial policy. He will oppose renewal of ICE’s access to the PARS database, a city police database used by ICE to identify “deportable” immigrants.

Nina Ahmad, Ph.D.
Deputy Mayor of Public Engagement, City of Philadelphia

Nina Ahmad, Ph.D., believes in the power of people to make positive change and is an advocate for equity for all. Appointed as Deputy Mayor, Office of Public Engagement, she is the first Asian American woman to hold a Cabinet position in any Philadelphia Mayoral Administration.

Trained as a scientist, Dr. Ahmad applies her analytical skills in her present role to create an infrastructure of trust between community and its government. She received her Doctoral degree from the Chemistry Department, University of Pennsylvania and trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Thomas Jefferson University. She discovered the first direct evidence of collagen type II gene mutation in the Stickler syndrome (joint-eye disease), which expanded the field providing a starting point for molecular genetic research into the generalized disease of osteoarthritis. She is one of the patent holders of “Methods of detecting a Genetic Predisposition for Osteoarthritis”. She held a joint Assistant Professorship at Wills Eye Hospital and the Ophthalmology Department of Jefferson Medical College and subsequent Directorship of Molecular Biology of the Research Department at Wills Eye Hospital. She co-founded JNA Capital, Inc., a real estate development and finance company where she served as its Executive Vice President of Government Affairs after her academic career.

She was appointed by President Obama to his Advisory Commission on AAPI and was the 2016 Honoree of the Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition for her work facilitating full participation of immigrants and refugees in civic life in Pennsylvania. She is the former President of the National Organization for Women, Philadelphia Chapter, serves on the Board of the Philadelphia Foundation and other civic organizations. Just recently Dr. Ahmad was recognized by City & State PA as one of the 50 most prominent and accomplished leaders in government, business and media over the age of 50 who continue to make a positive impact on Pennsylvania through their achievements, leadership abilities, philanthropic efforts and dedication to the betterment of the commonwealth.

Mark Brown

Mark Brown enjoys a diverse musical career that has included playing roaring rock with Johnny Thunders at New York’s iconic Peppermint Lounge, funky roots music with Sleepy LaBeef at the Media, Pa Roots Festival, colleges, ski resorts, private events and some of the North East’s most cherished venues and festivals. He has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with some of his musical mentors including Jr Walker and the All Stars, Cab Calloway, NRBQ, Brian Setzer and Meatloaf. Venues include The Philadelphia Folk Festival, The World Café, and Johnny Brenda’s, as well as Toad’s in New Haven, Boston’s Charles River Festival, and many of the more intimate bars, pubs, and salons of Philadelphia.


Lynn Buono and Chris Nguyen
Feast Your Eyes

Chefs Lynn Buono and Chris Nguyen are the culinary team behind Feast Your Eyes Catering, Front & Palmer, and FAME. Coming from very different backgrounds, they find themselves simpatico in their love of bold flavors and world cuisines, and both believe that a professional kitchen can be a workplace that provides living wages and respects everyone involved. Having both been raised in family restaurants, they equate food with love.

Chef Buono worked in kitchens throughout her schooling in both the United States and Switzerland. Back in Philadelphia in 1976, she was part of the Philadelphia restaurant renaissance, and founded Feast Your Eyes, Inc., in 1980. In 2009 Feast Your Eyes moved to Front & Palmer, an event venue repurposed from a barrel factory, in the South Kensington Arts District. She is a past chapter president of both the Philadelphia Women’s Culinary Guild (founding member) and Les Dames d’Escoffier, and taught buffet design at the CIA.

Chef Nguyen discovered his passion for food as a very young boy at his family’s Vietnamese/Thai restaurant in York, PA. This was followed by formal training at The Restaurant School. He then added corporate experience to his resumé as an Executive Chef with ARAMARK, where he cooked for Columbia Tri Star Pictures and a host of celebrities. He joined Feast Your Eyes in 2014 and has overseen annual increases in his kitchen’s production while continually maintaining very high standards.

Lou Boquila

Lou BoquilaBorn in the Philippines, Chef Lou Boquila draws on his Filipino background for inspiration in the kitchen. He is passionate about creating innovative dishes and inspiring others to expand their palates. He wants to introduce the distinctive food he has known since childhood. As a young boy, Lou learned to appreciate his mother’s traditional cuisine, which sparked his interest in cooking. His experience began as a dishwasher at the renowned Knave of Hearts where he learned the operations of a kitchen. He then decided to continue his training at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, and became an intern to Chef Kiong Banh of Twenty Manning. He started to develop his culinary techniques as he went from Line Cook, Sous Chef, and then to Chef de Cuisine of Audrey Claire in 2007. Along the way, Lou began to combine his culinary knowledge to best express his interpretation of Filipino food with a modern take. Named after his mom, Lou opened Perla in 2016 in the East Passyunk neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Adam Diltz
Johnny Brenda’s

Adam DiltzChef Adam Diltz grew up in Hetlerville, in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where as a young child on food stamps, he realized the social, political and intimate relationships people had with food. After high school, Adam pursued his interest in cooking at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA, where he studied culinary arts. After graduation, he realized that in order to pursue his craft to his fullest potential he would have to move to a city and experience the world outside of rural Pennsylvania. At 21 years old Adam left for Boston, MA, where he would work under Barbara Lynch at No. 9 Park. He continued his kitchen work and education with Jean Joho at Everest in Chicago, and at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee. During his 20 years of experience in restaurants, hotels, catering, and pastry Adam has worked for three James Beard Award winning chefs. These experiences inspired him to return to Philadelphia seven years ago to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant. Currently the Executive Chef of Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown, Adam is working on opening his own restaurant, Elwood, named after his grandfather, which will focus on the history and cuisine of the Mid-Atlantic region.

Damon Menapace
Kensington Quarters

Damon MenapaceIn fall 2014, Chef Damon Menapace opened Kensington Quarters as its Executive Chef. Damon’s rustic farmhouse-style cuisine and his passions for whole-animal cooking, local sourcing, and old-world cooking techniques further the restaurant’s mission to support local and sustainable agriculture. His culinary background includes Vetri Family restaurants and other local favorites including Cochon and Prohibition Taproom.

Pete Angevine
Little Baby’s Ice Cream

Little Baby’s is a small-batch, hand-made, super-premium ice cream and non-dairy frozen dessert company born in Philadelphia and based in Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington, D.C. They specialize in unique and surprising flavors, made with either grass-fed, 16% butterfat dairy or a proprietary, completely vegan coconut cream base. They believe that ice cream is for everyone and that ice cream is a feeling.

Sandy Ruan
Philadelphia Distilling

Philadelphia Distilling is the first craft distillery to open in Pennsylvania since Prohibition. Philadelphia Distilling is the producer of Bluecoat Gin, an American Dry Gin formulated for the American palate that uses a proprietary blend of citrus to compliment the flavor of juniper. Philadelphia Distilling representative Sandy Ruan will be combining Bluecoat American Dry Gin with flavors inspired from her memories of  growing up as a first-generation Chinese American.

Shizhou Da
Dim Sum Garden

Chef Shizhou Da, founder and head chef of Dim Sum Garden, specializes in making fresh, homemade Shanghai style dim sum. She is 5th generation of one of the original chefs who created the original xiao long bao (soup dumpling) in China. In 2003 she came to the United States with the original recipe and over 30 years of experience.  After five years in North Jersey and New York, Chef Shizhou teamed up with her daughter Sally to bring Shanghai’s finest dumplings to Philadelphia. 2013 marked the year when the restaurant moved to its new location at 1020 Race Street. Here they have the daily pleasure of serving some of Philadelphia’s finest dim sum to their many guests.

Anney Thomas
Chaat and Chai

Anney Thomas is a veteran of the Philadelphia restaurant community and has worked at the  Commissary, White Dog Cafe and Feast Your Eyes Catering. However, she mastered her skills as a cook in her family’s home kitchen. Growing up in India and the United States, Anney watched and learned from her father’s traditional South Indian cooking. When Anney decided to open her own café, Chaat & Chai, the memories of his home cooking and of Indian street food were her greatest inspirations. In Chaat & Chai’s upcoming location at the newly renovated Bourse Building in Philadelphia’s Old City, Anney hopes to continue to serve inspired and reimagined Indian dishes.

Evan Inatome
Elixr Coffee Roasters and Cafe

Evan Inatome is the owner and founder of Elixr Coffee Roasters. Elixr’s vision is to share beautiful coffee experiences that elevate the individual while inspiring the community. With a background in the nonprofit sector, Inatome saw an opportunity to use excellent coffee as a vehicle for building community.

From sourcing and roasting to the experience and presentation, Elixr aims to do everything it can as best as possible. Inatome believes that it is better to do little with perfection than mediocrity en mass. With this mantra, since its inception in 2011, Elixr Coffee Roasters has distinguished itself as a premier specialty roaster in the Mid-Atlantic region by roasting in small, 10 kilo batches. While its batches are small, its vision is big; Elixr thinks globally by perennially sourcing beans via direct trade with farmers whose passion for coffee matches their own.

Elixr accomplishments include 2016 and 2017 US Coffee Roaster Championship finalist, Business Insider 50 best US cafes, Krupps best cafes in America, and Philadelphia Arts and Business Council small business excellence award.


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