Local, Musings

Travel With Chef Cherryl: Chef Kwame Pop Up

Two Penn medical students, both named Ryan, both of whom have never used Instagram before, are hunched over a dying iPhone, their ears flushed red with embarrassment as a pair of micro-green entrepreneurs coach them on how to tag and post their mediocre pictures of great food using the Penn Appetit account.

That’s one scene you would’ve been met with had you strolled into Chef Kwame Dennis’ pop up dinner last week. Despite our moment of technical illiteracy, Chef Kwame’s get together was by far our favorite dinner party of the year.

Food both gorgeous and delicious flowed out of the kitchen in a constant stream…for four hours. Salads piled high with beautiful micro-greens were followed by delicately fried calamari, which paved the way for the (three!) entrees that showcased Chef Kwame’s impressive mastery of Jamaican flavors. A beautifully charred hunk of jerk-spiced loin, a well-seasoned Jamaican fisherman’s stew, and two perfect teriyaki meatballs were fired at us in quick succession, leaving us dazed, bewildered, and absolutely satisfied.

The dinner party of bloggers and micro-green businessmen and friends-of-the-chef was not immune to the effects of huge quantities of good food and good wine. By about the second entrée, conversation had lulled to a minimum of “oohs” and “mmmmms.” But as we all started stretching our legs and buttoning our pants in preparation to depart, the conversation picked back up.

“Where can we get this food on the reg?”


“What has Chef Kwame got planned next?”


“How cheap are flights to Jamaica this time of year?”


That last one I whispered to Ryan, but the general consensus was: we want more. So in addition to adding Jamaica to my list of google flight alerts, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for Chef Kwame’s next adventure.

Food Instagram Influencers who attended:
Suzzane & Brian Gallagher
If you’re a food Instagrammer in Philly, get in touch with Chef Cherryl for some amazing events and opportunities!
Written by Ryan Zahalka
Photos by Cherryl Lemi-Gutierrez (@phillyfoodgal and @chefcherryl)