Penn Attracts Foodie Luminary Alums

By Tatianna Losk, Marketing Manager

Author and Penn alum Kim O’Donnel with Houston Market Executive Chef Christopher Smith

The University of Pennsylvania has friends in high places. The Penn Bookstore invited three food-focused alumnae back to their Philadelphia alma mater to talk about their work and share their experiences fostering a more sustainable, but still deeply satisfying and celebratory way of eating.

First up was author and chef Kim O’Donnel. Flavorful meat-free recipes from her book The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook were offered in Houston Market’s Hemisphere Station, much to the enthusiasm of the author, who hasn’t had much opportunity to experience her recipes executed by other chefs. During the lunch period, Kim spoke to students and passed out samples of dishes. Students were excited to meet her and taste the food. Later that evening, she signed books at the Penn bookstore. Kim seemed to especially enjoy meeting Penn’s expert vegan/vegetarian Executive Chef and Chef Manager of Kings Court, Lydia Kumpa.


A few months later, farmer Kathleen Fields came to Wharton’s newly opened Joe’s Café to talk about her 28-acre farm. Flint Hill Farm produces eggs and dairy products and is also an agro-educational facility where the public can learn more about the workings of a farm. Flint Hill’s head chef and cheesemaker, Eric Lipscomb, spoke to guests about the farm, the products, and offered tastes of several different varieties of cheeses and yogurts made on the farm.

The third visitor was guest chef and author of a book on “cooking for an eco-conscious life,” Louisa Shafia. Louisa spoke with students and offered samples of three of her dishes, which were also featured at Houston Market’s Hemispheres section. Louisa later met with executive chefs to exchange ideas and discuss Lucid Food.

The Penn community enjoyed meeting and interacting with their Penn alumni while tasting some very delectable dishes