Monthly Archives

March 2016


Let Them Eat Cake – Some of Philly’s most decorative, and delicious cakes competing for the top prize. I have the Winners

Good Thursday day to you all. This week was crazy, so we’re a little behind here at PhillyChitChat, and by we I mean me. On Monday I went to the fabulous Let Them Eat Cake, where a dozen bakeries compete in a cake competition, proceeds from the event go to City of Hope cancer and treatment center located in LA. This year’s theme was Animation. There was a nice crowd in attendance as the event returned to the Loews after a few years absences. It was also really great to see some of the younger bakers who are very excited to be included in this very unique cake competition.

My fav cake and everything delicious would be Cakes and Candies by Maryellen (r)
here with judge Renee Patrone of Events by Renee
Some of the cakes were right on point with the theme, like Maryellen’s which was beyond spectacular, others I have to say missed the point and if they’re your wedding cake baker, be very specific with your theme.
More judges for the cake contest: Robert Bennett, Classic Cake and notably of Le Bec Fin, with Ron Ben-Israel, celebrity chef and trendsetting cake designer and Hadas Kuznits,
CBSradio, All the contestants were excited to meet Chef Ron and he
really took time with each one answering their questions and listening
to them. Other judges were Kathy Gold, Laura Burkhardt and Eric Allen as far as I could tell.
Unik Cakes in Warminster PA – They went on to win best artistry
It was pretty spectacular, although I did some other amazing cakes. So come along let’s check them out.
Pastry Chef Jennifer Roach, Cescaphe created a clever cake based on an early animation theme.
Very clever!
Even a tiny bakery like entered a cool “book cake”, which was a strawberry shortcake.
by Eliza’s Bakery in Phoenixville, Pa
TV Time with Hanna Barbra and friend by SophistiCakes Bakery Drexel Hill. Check out Scooby Doo.
It’s a pretzel cake, with peanut butter and milk chocolate mousseline. They were going for the sweet/savory taste they told me.
Master Bakers cake was amazing and was a chocolate/banana split cake. Chad Weldon, owner with pastry chef Danielle Zahodski
They used special edible shellac to get the shine on the car.
I ran into Cheryl Colleluori, ‎President at HEADstrong Foundation and Lori Michaliszyn.
HEADstrong Foundation was named in honor of Cheryl’s son Nick who died of cancer. They do a lot of wonderful things in his name, but my favorite is they’ve established a home for families who have a member stricken with cancer and is being treated locally. So check out their page and help them if you can.
Mole Street Artists were on hand producing with their av talents as well as having their Blues Jr band played at the gig. Trevor Walsh, Melanie Smith and Brendan Walsh, co-owner of Mole Street Artists.
I’m confused, anyway the flavor of the cake was Earl Grey.
Spectacular cake but what theme is it?

Colleen and Chase Kriebel, Kriebel’s Custom Bakery. Eagleville, PA. Yes he is named after Chase Utley.

Amazing cake. It’s the Tasmanian devil’s tornado sucking up the picnic Bugs Bunny and his lady set out. Why this cake didn’t get #1 as it says, I’ll never know. Kriebel’s Custom Bakery. Eagleville, PA

Cute, so much going on. Queen Bee’s cream cheese pound cake, passion fruit carmel, vanilla and fresh raspberries
so cute though.



Another amazing cake, this one by Merion Caterers, Cinnaminson, NJ.
Their design captured all the Disney characters from movies, and then they placed them on the countries where the movie was set.


Were the judges paying attention? The cake even rotated.


This was a spectacular cake, but no where near the theme. Chef Ben loved it and really spent alot of time with the bakers to chat about it. Tynesha Hills, Sammy Oguendo, Laura Hernadez and E Rojas
Ann of Ten Pennies with her sister Norma
There were vendors there, as well as wedding photographers, hair dressers and accessories. Here’s Ella Vanilla with her cake decorating accessories.
Natanya DiBona, Guest and Kory Aversa


Harry Giordano, ceo of City of Hope – Philly,  announces the winners
And the Winner is: Michelle Quier , Granny Schmidt’s Custom Cakes
Everyone loved this cake. I don’t think I saw the movie. They won the Best of Show, and Best Tasting. It was DELICIOUS. Definitely the best tasting cake at the show.


Richel D’Ambra Spa & Salon: Philadelphia Spa was there

They did the hair and make up for the models who were walking around in the gowns.

Danielle Raco, Spa Massage & facials, Lisa Marie Ponzio, Hair, Richel D’Ambra, owner, Karla Christine, Hai, Angela Hoxhia, Make up and Patrick Horrocks, Mgr.

Angela Hoxhia, Make up

Hope to see everyone at next year’s event. It’s a great idea, and a good cause.





New Restaurant Coming to Rittenhouse – Pizzas, Beer and a Dining Room in the City’s Popular Bar Block

 Finn McCool, with it’s chill crowd, slowly built a crowd over the years. The Sourias family then opened BRU Craft & Wurst, U-Bahn, Uptown Beer Garden with son Teddy Sourias operating the later three. This year they’re expanding again with the new Cinder,

which is taking over the spot where Wolf’s Market had been for years (r), and closed about a year ago.

beer/cider bar and pizza kitchen that will spotlight on ciders and wild
ales on the taps. Food will be prepared in open kitchen using local
ingredients.  Rustic pizza using creative and classical toppings will be
prepared in custom-built wood-fired pizza oven. Beer will be poured
from full custom design system housed in copper pipes. Other features
will include wine list, custom cocktails using local spirits, catering,
brunch and happy hour. Presented by the group that brought you BRU Craft
& Wurst, U-Bahn and Uptown Beer Garden.

1500 Locust Street (Philadelphia, PA 19102)

entrance is where Wolf’s Market main door was, to the right of the 1500
Locust residences (when you are facing the building) 
Randomly Fergie was riding his bike by and Teddy invited him in to check out the space, which is down to the dirt floor. 
Here are the DEETS

TOTAL inside, 65-75
TOTAL outside, 12-20

– Bar, approximately 20
– Hightops in bar area, 8-10
– Dining Room, 30-40
– Private Dining/Chef’s Table, 12-14
– Banquets, plus mix of two and four tops, with larger Chef’s table


big open space with the bar to the right of entrance with hightops in
the front window area; dining space and banquettes in center of room and
to the left of entrance; open kitchen to the left behind the dining
banquettes; one smaller dining area in the back of restaurant for chef’s
table/private dining.

pizza with creative and classical toppings and ingredients, plus local
cheese and charcuterie boards, variety of mussel preparations,
elegant-yet-approachable appetizers and small plates. Dishes created in
open kitchen facing the dining room with focus on local ingredients.

aims to meet the growing regional demand for boutique and super-premium
artisanal ales and ciders. This new genre of bar takes elements of
higher-end wine and cocktail bars and mixes them with inspiration from
Belgium beer bars. The focus will be on unique beer and cider program
that identifies key styles that customers are passionate about, while
serving them in a sophisticated yet approachable environment.
of spreading the taps across the board, Cinder will keep a tight focus
on five major areas starting with ciders and wild ales, and continuing
with farmhouse and abbey ales plus golden hoppy beers. The final six
taps will be free-form for seasonal desires like strong/barrel aged in
winter and fruity in the summer.

artisanal pizza is the perfect food to eat with any type of beer or
cider, particularly the sours and Belgian styles that we will be going
in depth into, and to accent that menu with mussels, local cheese,
charcuterie, and elegant-yet-approachable appetizers.


Cinder will feature a custom beer brewed by Coppertail (Tampa, FL)- they
will do custom batches of their “Floridia Weisse” tart wheat ale, each
batch finished with different fruit!  More info on this coming. 

Late June to Mid July 2016

Wentworth Miller Responds to the Fat Shaming Internet Meme. I turned to Food Instead of Drugs When I Was Suicidal

Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time.
This one, however, stands out from the rest.

In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, I was suicidal.
This is a subject I’ve since written about, spoken about, shared about.
But at the time I suffered in silence. As so many do. The extent of my struggle known to very, very few.

Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods. And the voices
in my head urged me down the path to self-destruction. Not for the first
I’ve struggled with depression since childhood. It’s a
battle that’s cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand
sleepless nights.
In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life,
I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction. And I turned
to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating
became the one thing I could look forward to. Count on to get me
through. There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a
favorite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF. Sometimes that was enough.
Had to be.
And I put on weight. Big f–king deal.
One day,
out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a
film crew shooting a reality show. Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were
circling. They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside
images of me from another time in my career. “Hunk To Chunk.” “Fit To
Flab.” Etc.
My mother has one of those “friends” who’s always the
first to bring you bad news. They clipped one of these articles from a
popular national magazine and mailed it to her. She called me,
In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed.
Long story short, I survived.
So do those pictures.
I’m glad.

Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my
face, I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in
the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.
Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.
Anyway. Still. Despite.

The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have
to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to
assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength.
Healing. Forgiveness.
Of myself and others.
If you or
someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send
an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They’re waiting to hear
from you. Much love. – W.M. ‪#‎koalas‬ ‪#‎inneractivist‬ ‪#‎prisonbroken‬

Wednesday in Philly

No More Running: Living with Social Anxiety Disorder


What’s New at The Phillies Ballpark this Season, Who Knows Who Phoebe Phanatic is? A Phillies Puzzle and Star Wars

Good Tuesday morning. Hope you have a great Monday. It’s still a bit chilly out, but the 2016 baseball season is nearly upon us in just a few short weeks. We’re all getting ready for Opening day April 11. Last year was the first time I had gone in years and it was so fun, especially trying out all the new menu items. This year there’s even more new menu and merchandise items, and the Phillies and Aramark, Citizens Bank Park’s exclusive concessionaire and merchandise partner hosted a preview last night at the park. Sadly I couldn’t make it as I was covering the annual City of Hope’s Let Them Eat Cake, which I will write about tomorrow. Photos by Mitchell Leff.

Phoebe Phanatic gives a warm welcome to the Chick Fil-A cow. Chick Fil-A
is a new partner this year, and will be available every game except
 Tommy Greene becomes the first alum to be morphed into a virtual bobble,
thanks to a new Coca-Cola Morphing Station that will be located behind
Section 122.

 Members of the Galapagos Gang, who will be at the ballpark every game this season, have fun with the fans, one of which is wearing the new Phanatic hat.

The new Phanatic hat
Phoebe Phanatic, the Phanatic’s mother, reacts as a new Phanatic Bobble Head of the Month is unveiled.
 A few of the Bobble Head’s of the future
Chef Campagna debuts the new premium and concession items at Citizens Bank Park.

New Signature Hot Dogs including Beer Braised Frankfurter
hard cider, braised, onions and grain mustard on a pretzel roll;

  Close-up of the new Andrew Zimmern’s Korean Fried Pork Belly Sandwich, battered and fried  with grilled pineapple, gochujang sauce and chili lime salt, on a toasted bun.

 Close-up of the new Asian Dog, one of the specialty hot dogs to debut this season at Citizens Bank Park.
 Broadcaster Scott Franzke has a taste of Rita’s Italian Ice, which will be at the ballpark for the first time.

 The new Sonoran Dog, one of the specialty hot dogs to debut this season at Citizens Bank Park. 

A new Amish Turkey Burger was unveiled at Harry the K’s, made with sharp cheddar and shallot marmalade on a griddled sesame bun.
 (l-r) Chef Anthony Campagna – Aramark; John DeRenzi, Vice President of
On Premise Sales for Penn Beer, local Anheuser-Busch wholesaler; Michael
Harris, Director of Marketing & Special Events; Jeff
Moody, Chief Executive Officer, Rita’s Italian Ice; Francis Winkey (in
blue)– Merchandise Manager, Aramark; Broadcaster Scott Franzke; Tony
Monaco, Chief Operating Officer, XFINITY Live!, along with Phillies
Ballgirls and front office employees, who helped
unveil what’s new in Phillies fashion.
Other new items: 

New with Budweiser:
Bud & Burgers:
The Phillies and Anheuser-Busch have teamed up to offer new Bud & Burger dates, which include a
special ticket offer, special offer on bud and burgers,
entertainment and giveaways (to fans age 21 and older) – all on the
Budweiser Rooftop on the following dates: Fri., May 13 vs. Cincinnati
(7:05 pm); Fri., June 3 vs. Milwaukee (7:05 pm); Fri., June
17 vs. Arizona (7:05 pm); Fri., July 1 vs. Kansas City (7:05 pm);
Thur., July 21 vs. Miami (7:05 pm);
August 3 vs. San Francisco (7:05 pm); Thur., August 18 vs. LA Dodgers
(7:05 pm); Thur., September 15 vs. Pittsburgh (7:05 pm).
Also announced is a new
Phillies-branded Budweiser can, now available at your local retailer.
 a Phillies puzzle
Star Wars hat and Rain Poncho
NEW! Enhancements to the Fan Experience:
Ballpark App & iBeacons:
New to the Ballpark app is the addition of in-stadium offers
through iBeacon technology. Users with their Bluetooth and location
services enabled on their iOS or Android devices will receive
notifications through the app with special offers for retail,
concessions, and more.
Coca-Cola Morphing Station:
Turn into a virtual bobblehead and share via social media!
Located behind Section 122, fans can have their picture taken by the
unit’s embedded camera. The facial recognition software registers the
users face and their image appears on the 55” touchscreen, where the fan
can choose from options including hairdos, skin
tone and jerseys to customize their bobblehead. The final result: a
virtual bobblehead that fans can choose to receive by entering their
email address and then uploading directly to Facebook or Twitter.
XFINITY Live! Post-Game Specials & Monthly Parties:
New Phillies-themed Post-Game
specials and monthly parties at 1100 Social for the 2016 season.
Following every Phillies home game, this new tradition at XFINITY Live!
will feature $3 select drafts and 50% off select appetizers. The deals
begin immediately after the last out and continue
for one hour post-game. Click here for more details and Monthly Party dates.
Budweiser Digital Media Deck (Budweiser Rooftop):
Fans can view interactive social
media activity via an oversized screen, charge their mobile devices and
more. The Ballpark check-in desk is also located in this area.
SugarHouse Instagram-to-Screen: Fans have the chance to have their posts on PhanaVision
during a Phillies game! Just share photos to @Phillies.
  • Citizens Bank – ‘New for 2016’:
    • New Ask a Phillie
      Feature on PhanaVision: Always a Phan favorite, Citizens Bank
      Ballpark Bankers and participants in the Jr. RBI program will ask your
      favorite players questions ranging from the best gift they’ve ever given
      to how best to record a strikeout.
    • Phan Rewards:
      Every Wednesday and Businesspersons Special,
      Citizens Bank customers will receive 10% off all merchandise and
      concessions at the ballpark when paying with their Citizens Bank Visa
      Debit Card. Customers purchasing tickets to these games with their debit
      cards can also take advantage of a buy, one get
      one free offer. All season long Citizens customers will receive 15% off
      when shopping for Phillies merchandise online.  Details at

Newborn Club:
Welcoming a new Phillies fan into the family? The Phillies Newborn Club
is the perfect way to help any bundle of joy become a fan for life.
Membership includes a Phillies Birth Certificate, Personalized
PhanaVision Birth Announcement, pre-walk sneakers, Rookie
of the Year bib
and more


Nicki Minaj Celebrates Easter in Philly, Heather Mitts Feeley Gives Birth, Dom Streater Is Pregnant, Molly Eichel is Engaged Plus More

Good Monday morning, hope you had a fantastic weekend.

Mike and I were in DC enjoying the Cherry Trees, old friends and stay at Capital Hill Hotel, located in the cutest neighborhood in DC, Capital Hill. (sponsored partnership). More on that later this week when the majority of my photos and story will be published.


After performing overseas to adoring fans, Nicki Minaj flew back to Philly to be with her main Easter hunny, Meek Mill, who is going into his 2nd month of house arrest.
Just a few weeks ago we saw AJ Feeley and Heather Mitts Feeley at the IMS Dance for Future Stars. She was looking stunning in her Badgley Mischka dress.

Congratulations are in order as the happy couple had a baby girl, Miss Blake Harper.

She joins brother Connor who was born 2 years ago.
Next up babies are due for  

 Todd and Elizabeth Herremans
and Brent and Celeste Celek, who were also at the event, in the late stage of their pregnancies.

Speaking of pregnancies, Philly’s other winner of Project Runway, Dom Streater, who is currently on Project Runway All Stars,
announced on her social media this weekend, that she too is pregnant. Congrats to Dom and Ivan Shpylchak on their upcoming project.

I thought the biggest story at the Eichel household this weekend would be how I was finally able to get a photo of Barbara Beck Eichel, and then put it in my PhillyMag column. She’s camera shy, but Mazol Tov to Molly and Jesse on their engagement!!

Speaking of new projects, Edward Barnes, who has worked at Saks Fifth Avenue for the past 6 years, is leaving and going to Barneys Philadelphia, located at Rittenhouse Square. He’s also notable for being a dancer in the Philadelphia Ballet. It’s like an end of an era over at Saks, first the longtime store GM leaves, then Randi Edelman and now Edward. Change is the one constant thing that happens in life.  This also tells me that Barneys of New York, is staying put after rebranding itself from Barney’s Co-op last year. So stop by and say hi.

Congrats are also in order for Joules Santos, Joan Rivera’s niece. Who won the best Easter Bonnet (homemade too) at the South Street Easter Parade yesterday. She’s wearing a gorgeous outfit bought by Matt Clifford (l).  It’s their tradition to go to the promenade, then head to the 7th Street carnival in South Philly. It was a great day to do that.

How awesome that she’s on the cover of the Philadelphia Inquirer today too.

Other notables seen at the parade yesterday: Matt, Priscilla Pantaleno and mom Alicia Vitarelli Pantaleno

Alex Holley, Fox29, Mayor Kenney and Councilman Mark Squilla has a great story and photos of the event were taken by Clem Murray, check it out here.

What’s Happening TODAY:
Who is going to Let Them Eat
is Philadelphia’s Wedding Cake Design competition today? Do you need VIP tickets?
I have a pair to give away. Make sure you are a subscriber to PhillyChitChat, and send me an email that you want the tickets. The 7th person will get them. I will meet you at the Loews at 530PM.
my email is buzz@philly thanks and have a sweet day.