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Events FEASTmas Dinner: Jill Weber with Lucio Palazzo, Chris Vacca, and Fimy Ishkanian

FEASTmas Dinner: Jill Weber with Lucio Palazzo, Chris Vacca, and Fimy Ishkanian

Theme: Food As Connector

December 13, 2019

120 minutes



Wheelchair Accessible

Friday, December 13 at 7pm

Restaurateur and archeologist Jill Weber teams up with chefs Lucio Palazzo, Chris Vacca, and Fimy Ishkanian for a menu inspired by Weber’s archeological work in Italy and the Fertile Crescent. Featuring Middle Eastern mezze and ancient Roman delicacies, the evening will highlight how food connects people to place, past to present.

All FEASTmas dinners include four courses, wine pairings, and a presentation by the chefs around the evening’s theme. All proceeds benefit FringeArts.

$100 per seat

To buy out an entire evening for up to 35 people ($3500), please contact or 215.413.1318. 

What’s On The Menu

Mezze (muhammara, baba ganoush, hummus)
Kibbeh Nayyah (lamb tartar)
Apicius (pork prepared in the manner of wild boar) braised in it’s marinade(fig, wine, garum, lovage, herbs and aromatics). With “fig-stuffed liver” sauce and herb farro salad

Halawat Al-Jibn (an Arab sweet-cheese dessert)

Lebanese and Italian wines

Menu subject to change.

About the Chefs

feastmas dinner jill webber headshotJill Weber is a professional archaeologist and restaurateur. She sought a career that would allow her to travel, which led to earning a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1992, Jill has worked in Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Oman, Iraq, and Italy. Along the way, she gained an intimate knowledge of these countries, their cultures, and native cuisines, which inspired her to open a restaurant back in Philly. She is now the proud founder of Sojourn Philly, consisting of restaurants Jet Wine Bar, Rex 1516, Café Ynez, and (soon!) Sor Ynez. She enjoys sharing her love of wine, history, and culture with others, and is able to combine all three in her monthly wine tastings and in her new radio show, Digging into Dining, which airs on SiriusXM Business Radio Channel 132.

Lucio Palazzo was born and raised in Italy. While he never thought of a career in the restaurant industry, he found his calling working at Brasserie Perrier. He later joined the opening team at the acclaimed Zahav, which led to Palazzo’s first Head Chef gig at Xochitl. Thus followed an ongoing fascination with Mexican cuisine and culture, leading to stops at La Calaca Feliz and Loco Pez. In 2019 Palazzo became Culinary Director for Sojourn Philly, whose restaurants include Jet Wine Bar, Rex 1516, Café Ynez, and soon-to-open Sor Ynez. When he’s not in the kitchen, Palazzo can be found tending to his vegetable garden with his wife and two children, as well as his oldest friend, Calvin — the family’s Pomeranian. 

 Chris Vacca earned an MA in Classics at Tulane, where his studies focused mostly on early and Classical Greek intellectual history. After a year fellowship at Freie Universitsät in Berlin, he entered a PhD program at Bryn Mawr College. Chris supplemented these studies by enrolling in the American School of Classical Studies at Athens Summer Session, during which he visited and surveyed numerous archaeological sites and museums throughout Greece.

Chef Fimy Ishkanian is the youngest of four children born to an Armenian family in Aleppo, Syria in 1958. From childhood she spent most of her time in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother learning the nuances of cooking family meals incorporating old Armenian dishes and their Syrian counterparts. Chef Fimy emigrated to Toronto, Canada with her family and relocated to the Philadelphia area after marriage in 1981. She spent years as a mother preparing homemade meals to two growing boys. In 1993 she opened her flagship ‘Fimy’s Kitchen’ location in the Albrecth’s Farmer’s Market on the Main Line in 1993 and in 1995 a second location. In 2008 Fimy moved back to Toronto and ran an event space complex with 3 banquet halls, a cafeteria and a casual restaurant. In 2015 Chef Fimy and her son Ara embarked her newest project, Apricot Stone, providing traditional Armenian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern flavors.

About FEASTmas Dinners

Celebrate the holidays and support groundbreaking performing arts at this series of intimate dinners on the FringeArts Theater stage Dec 9—13. Centered around a unique theme each night, the FEASTmas dinners include original four-course menus personally prepared by Philadelphia’s most exciting culinary talent. Participating chefs and restaurateurs include Kiki Aranita, Ari Miller, Jill Weber, Pete Woolsey, and Joncarl Lachman with Lee Styer and Randy Rucker. See what’s cooking the rest of the week at FEASTmas!


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