The quality of food and people are equally integral components at BigBite events. That said, it has always been important to find great judges – people who know a great deal about food – but who are also just great people, period. We are truly thankful for this year’s crop of judges as they are all that and more. Get to know them!
Lily Fischer, Pastry Chef/Founder of A Cupcake Wonderland, and Cake Life Bake Shop
Aside from being a Philly native who is truly a bright ray of sunshine, Lily is a classic example of Philadelphia culinary ingenuity. The former preschool teacher (and Wing King 3 Champ) discovered she had a knack for baking out of this world cupcakes, and other sweets, just six years ago. Eager to develop these talents she graduated from the Art Institute of Philadelphia’s Baking and Pastry program and founded A Cupcake Wonderland in 2009. Having won the “Cupcake Wars” (check out the audition video – dope) and been featured on the reality show three times, Lily has thrived through the recent explosion of the Philly cupcake industry and has grown much larger than just cupcakes. Now partnered with her best friend from Sarah Lawrence College, Nema Etemadi, the Philly queen of confections is poised to present Cake Life Bake Shop, a new venture! We can’t wait and we are very excited, and honored to have her weighing in on this years competition!!!
Christopher Kearse, Chef/Owner, Will BYOB
A Levitown native, Christopher Kearse found a love for food by watching the Food Network. Combining that passion with an exceptional amount of creativity and determination, he has become one of the city’s rising stars, opened Will BYOB his Modern French BYOB, and continues to blow minds with the sheer artistry of his food preparation.Though this will be his first judging post at BigBite’s Philly Chili Bowl, we’ve been blessed with Kearse’s great energy at other events and are very pumped to see what he thinks of this year’s fierce competition. If you are not familiar with Chris, get to the state store before 9 and see his handiwork for yourself at Will BYOB pronto! Welcome to the team Chris!
Drew Lazor, Food & Drink writer
After five years of judging both the Philly Chili Bowl and Wing King, Drew is one of our most beloved judges! This seasoned vet has one of the most respected palettes in the city and is even more widely known for writing great articles about the myriad of notable food and drink attractions in the Philly area. If there is a place that offers good food or fancy cocktails, he has been there – and probably wrote about it. Follow him, introduce yourself, do what you have to do he will not steer you wrong! Welcome back Drew!
Candice Birdsong, Chef/Food Blogger and founder Co-Founder of Addiction Boutique
We are sooooo stoked to welcome this new judge to the BigBite circuit!
You may remember her from this summer’s airing of “Cupcake Wars“, representing Philly with team Cookie Confidential…or perhaps you snatched one of her many delicious recipes off of her blog Pretty Girls Can Cook hmmm… or maybe she gave you a makeup or fashion consultations at the Addiction Boutique in Center City? If you managed to miss this local authority on good food and high fashion, Philly Chili Bowl 5 is your chance to get familiar. Please give a hearty BigBite welcome to Mount Airy’s own Candice Birdsong!!
BigBite is clearly focused on food, but also how food relates to other aspects our culture. That said, it is awesome to have judges with so many talents. Come see how Candice rates this years crop of contestants!!