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Cookin' with Who?


Representing the Community

 Cindy Bass - Councilwoman, 8th District, Philadelphia
recipe: Pasta and Clams

Philadelphia Councilwoman Cindy Bass represents the 8th Council District in Northwest Philadelphia. She has a strong background as a policy formulator and community activist, and has a deep commitment to increasing the role of women and minorities in the political arena. Prior to her election as Councilwoman, she served as a Senior Policy Advisor to Congressman Chaka Fattah, and before that was Special Assistant to then State Senator (now Congresswoman) Allyson Schwartz.

Councilwoman Bass lives in East Mt. Airy with her husband, Scott, and their young daughter, Carson. Cindy is a past president of East Mt. Airy Neighbors, and has a special place in her heart for community associations and related nonprofit organizations!

Representing East Mt. Airy Neighbors

Kent Reichert - EMAN President
recipe: Spanish Tortilla with Alioli condiment and fresh garden salad side

Kent Reichert is President of East Mt. Airy Neighbors.  He lives on Crittenden Street with his wife Amanda and three school-age children, Nuria, Van and Lali, who all help run the family business, Llum, Inc., a children's clothing design and manufacturing company. Kent’s favorite cuisines, in no particular order, are Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Diner, Indian, and Italian. And Mexican. And any kind of schnitzel. He eats cereal for breakfast and whatever his kids are eating for dinner, if they leave him any. Kent learned to make sauces from his father and the best ever orange cranberry relish from his mother.

Anuj Gupta - Executive Director of Mt. Airy USA
recipe: Keema Curry

Anuj Gupta is the Executive Director of Mt. Airy, USA, a community development corporation in Northwest Philadelphia focused on commercial and residential real estate development and rehabilitation, commercial corridor revitalization and housing counseling. Under his direction, Mt. Airy USA has undertaken the redevelopment of one of the largest Transit Oriented Development sites in Philadelphia, invested over $1 million in redeveloping blighted sections of Germantown Avenue, launched a new business association and destination website for Mt. Airy, and expanded the organization’s housing counseling capacity to serve nearly 600 people annually. 

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School and Fels Institute of Government, as well as Carnegie Mellon University, Anuj currently serves on the board of the Philadelphia Historical Commission, of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, and of West Mt. Airy Neighbors.  Anuj is an avid baseball (and no longer forelorn Phillies) fan and enjoys swimming and running.

Phil Allen -  Sports talker Phil from Mt. Airy
recipe
: Philly's Cool Carrot Lasagne 

Philip Allen, aka "Phil from Mt. Airy," is the host of the "Saturday Night Main Event" on 97.5FM TheFanatic. Phil has been a Mt. Airy resident for two decades. Phil also is the studio host for The Sixers, Flyers & Eagles post games shows on TheFanatic, and is the voice of Arcadia University basketball and sideline announcer for Manor College men's & women's basketball. You can also hear him as the host of "Philly SportsWrap" on 900AM WURD.

Philip is married to Dr. Valerie Allen, Director, African American Resource Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Together they live high atop Mt. Airy with their two children, Kendall and Phillip. He was featured in the documentary E-A-G-L-E-S, which followed his life as an Eagles fan for the full 2004 season, and was profiled in the book "A Sunday Pilgrimage" by Anthony L. Gargano about the football lives of the Philadelphia faithful. Philip is actively committed to the Lupus Foundation of America and Mt. Airy baseball, and is the founder of the Henry Houston Elementary School food pantry to benefit senior citizens.

Representing The Lutheran Theological Seminary

Dean J. Jayakiran Sebastian - Dean; H. George Anderson
Professor of Mission and Cultures;
Director, Multicultural Mission Resource Center
, LTSP
recipe: Salmon in Coconut Milk served with Fragrant Rice

The Rev Dr J. Jayakiran Sebastian is a Presbyter of the Church of South India, and is LTSP's Dean and H. George Anderson Professor of Mission and Culture and Director of the Multicultural Mission Resource Center. He has been Professor in the Department of Theology and Ethics at the United Theological College, Bangalore, India, where he has served as Chairperson of the Department and also as Dean of Doctoral Studies at the College.

Dr. Sebastian comes from Bangalore, and following his theological training at the United Theological College, he served both rural and urban pastorates of the Karnataka Central Diocese of the Church of South India, and, even after becoming a theological teacher, continued to be associated with the pastoral ministry by serving as an Associate Presbyter in churches where the Diocese needed him. His Master's degree is from the Federated Faculty for Research in Religion and Culture, Kerala, and his doctorate (magna cum laude) from the University of Hamburg, Germany, where his dissertation, which was later published, was entitled "... baptisma unum in sancta ecclesia...": A Theological Appraisal of the Baptismal Controversy in the Work and Writings of Cyprian of Carthage.

recipe: Sweet Thai Bites

Jon Pahl, Ph.D. is Professor of the History of Christianity in North America and Director of MA Programs at LTSP. He has also served as Visiting Professor of Religion at Temple University, in Philadelphia, and as Visiting Professor of Religion at Princeton University.

Dr. Pahl has published dozens of articles, essays, columns, and reviews; has appeared on media outlets from the BBC to ABC, and is author or editor of six books, most recently Shopping Malls and Other Sacred Spaces:  Putting God in Place (Wipf and Stock), and Empire of Sacrifice: The Religious Origins of American Violence (NYU). He also appeared, along with his son, Justin, in the feature documentary film Malls R Us.

As a social justice activist, Dr. Pahl founded the Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity at Valparaiso University, and served on the Board of Directors at Lutheran Settlement House in Philadelphia.  Jon is also avidly engaged in interreligious dialogue, especially in Christian-Muslim and Christian-Vaishnava dialogues. Jon is a sports fan and amateur musician who sits in on the saxophone with gospel choirs and blues bands, and helped form a Seminary jazz, r & b, and rock band, The Groove Daemons. Watch a clip Jammin with The Groove Daemons.

Prof. Katie Day - The Charles A. Scheiren Professor, Church and Society;
Director, Metropolitan/Urban Concentration
, LTSP
recipe: Genuine Eastern Shore Crab Cakes

The Rev. Dr. Katie Day holds the Charles A. Schieren Chair in Church and Society at LTSP. As a sociologist, with degrees in social ethics and theology as well, she teaches courses which draw heavily on both the social sciences and social ethics. She also directs the Metropolitan/Urban Program at LTSP.

Dr. Day's research interests have included extensive studies in African American congregations, cross-cultural volunteerism and faith-based involvement in economic development, community organizing and social services. Her long-standing research project focused on religious communities along Germantown Ave. in Philadelphia recently was turned into a soon to be published book. Dr. Day is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Representing Neighborhood Interfaith Movement

 Jane Maloney - NIM Executive Director
recipe: Autumn Chicken

Jane Maloney recently returned to the Philadelphia area to become Executive Director of Neighborhood Interfaith Movement (NIM). A graduate of Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Virginia, Jane received he M.A. from Washington Theological Union in Washington, DC, and served for a time as a member of the order of the Sisters of the Holy Child. She previously lived in the Philadelphia area, serving early in her career as Director of Admissions at Rosemont College before living and working in the Chicago area as Director of the Corporate Work Study Program at St. Martin de Porres High School. Jane is excited to be part of the NIM community, and recently moved into the neighborhood on McCallum Street.

Lissette Rivera - Early Childhood Specialist, NIM
recipe: Chicken with Rice (Arroz con Pollo)

Lissette Rivera was born and raised in the capital city of El Salvador, Central America. The fourth of five sisters, Lissette learned to cook at an early age by watching her grandmother and mother prepare the family’s daily meals. She says her family’s food was delicious, freshly bought at the market, and always left her wanting more, but since meals were always cooked by portions in her household, she had to make do or learn to cook the recipes herself! Now living in Philadelphia, cooking is the way she keeps her family close-knit; family members meet on Sundays with all the sisters, nephews, nieces, brothers in law and friends to enjoy traditional meals.

Trained as an Early Childhood Specialist, Lissette spent 13 years working in early childhood education, providing technical assistance to practitioners in the area of child care, prior to joining NIM in 2010. Her expertise continues to be providing child care professionals with assistance and innovative training opportunities so they can provide safe, high quality child care in Philadelphia.

Rabbi George Stern -  Returning Platinum Spatula winner
recipe: Kasha Varnishkes and Stuffed Cabbage
with Sweet-and-Sour Potted Meatballs

Rabbi George Stern previously served as Executive Director of Neighborhood Interfaith Movement, and is now serving as a consultant and Program Coordinator at Friends Center City, a grassroots organization started in 2004 as the vision of several Quaker couples seeking to age in place in an intentional community in Center City rather than move to a retirement facility. His work has involved people of all ages, faiths, races, and ethnicities. I truly believe in the power of people of faith to make a difference. He returns to Cookin' with Who? after taking the first Platinum Spatula with his recipe for latkas and brisket.

 

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