Internet Safety

The Judging Panel

Meet the 2018 Judging Panel - coming January 2018!


See the 2017 culinary experts tasked with selecting last year's Purple Dish Award winner!

Michael Klein, Restaurant Columnist, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Michael Klein, a restaurant columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com, has covered the dining scene in Philadelphia and its suburbs since 1993, when he took over the “Table Talk” column. He later edited the paper’s “Mystery Muncher” column, leading a merry band of populist “critics” (e.g. his friends) to scour the region for budget eats. Mike is the son of restaurateurs – precisely why he avoided a career in the business. His primary interests lie in the business and people sides of the industry, not the food itself.​

Chef Barbie Marshall, Partner of Philadelphia’s SOOP Catering, Finalist on Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen

Chef Barbie Marshall is a Southwest Philadelphia native known as "The Farming Chef," as she often utilizes ingredients she has grown and sourced from the soil to the plate. She started cooking on the stovetop at age 5 and developed a passion early on for cooking as well as teaching others how to cook. Barbie began cooking professionally when offered a job at Ritz Hall Catering at the age of 14. She continued to cooking for her friends while attending high school at West Philadelphia Catholic High School. Soon after, Barbie relocated from Philadelphia to Virginia Beach, Virginia working at The Smokehouse & Cooler, Cuisine & Company, and Cobalt Grille. After graduating from Johnson and Wales University in Norfolk, Virginia, Barbie completed her culinary externship at Todd Jurich’s Bistro where she was hired and began researching and using local sustainable ingredients. Barbie continued her research and work on local sustainable ingredients when she returned to Philadelphia at 1224 Raw Sushi Bar and Sake Lounge, Rx Restaurant, and SOOP Catering. In 2007, Barbie’s research and work on sustainable foods led her to accept a position as a farmer which, when combined with her culinary work, led to her becoming known as "The Farming Chef". Barbie has continued her work as Chef of SOOP Catering and also began traveling to share her experiences through private dinners, culinary demonstrations and cooking classes. Barbie is a regular contributor on the radio show Small Bites with Glenn Gross and Derek Timm of Bluejeanfood.com.

Chef Roberta Pipito, Award winning chef; food, beer and wine connoisseur and blogger 

Roberta Pipito is an award winning chef; food, beer and wine connoisseur; TV lifestyle expert, contributor and blogger. Her passion for cooking began with her father (a professional baker) teaching her culinary ways and led her to create her brand in 2011. “Homemade Delish” seemed fitting for this wife and mother of two, who has been called “Philadelphia’s Rachel Ray.” Coming from a long line of family cooks in Brazil and Italy, she enjoys the art and science behind food as well as the taste. She is recognized for her recipes, love for wine, beer and photography, and coverage of major festivals. She wants the world to see that “With creativity and imagination, you can style anything to your taste."

Justin Rosenberg, Founder/CEO, Honeygrow Restaurants

Justin Rosenberg is the Founder and CEO of honeygrow, a wholesome-casual restaurant concept focused on vibrant, healthy and dynamic foods through its stir-fry, salad, and honeybar programs. In 2012, Justin opened and managed the first honeygrow located in Center City, Philadelphia. Since then, Justin and his team have opened 15 stores with locations ranging from the NYC Metro market to Washington DC. In 2016, honeygrow was the recipient of the Nation’s Restaurant News Hot Concept Award. For 2017, the company will be opening 8-10 new locations. While developing honeygrow, Justin spent his weekends working in the kitchen of a fine-dining restaurant within the Washington DC area in an effort to gain a solid foundation to properly run his own restaurant (still then a pipedream!). Lessons learned from the fine-dining kitchen played a significant role in shaping the culture and execution of honeygrow’s fast-casual operations. Justin resides in the Philadelphia suburbs with his wife, two daughters and son.

Diana Sabater, Personal Chef, Cooking Instructor, Urban Gardener and Entrepreneur 

Diana Sabater is a Personal Chef, Cooking Instructor, Urban Gardener and Entrepreneur. Known as the Cop-turned-Chef, she pursued her dreams of becoming a chef after ten years in the Philadelphia Police Department. Diana appeared on Food Network’s Chopped and won three times, becoming the Ultimate Grand Chopped Champion. Cooked for Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Loren Ridinger. Owner of Diana’s Spice Cantina, LLC, , an artisanal spice store set to open in the Latin Quarters of Philadelphia. Latin American Food Enthusiasts, Event Spokesperson, Brand Ambassador, Recipe Developer.

Chef Rick Tarantino, Professional chef, media personality, QVC Celebrity Chef

Chef Rick Tarantino or “Chef Rick” as he’s known in the media is both a professional chef and media personality. He has a BS degree from UMASS Amherst for the college of Food Science and Nutrition and a Master of Science from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University, where he had a 10-year career as both and executive and professor. From there he began his career on TV after befriending and training the Guinness book of world records youngest chef, Justin Miller, the two appeared on every major talk show and news station across the country from The Food Network to Good Morning America. When is not in the test kitchen or on TV, Rick has strong family centered values and spends all the time he can with family. Together with his wife they have two sons and three daughters and of course spend quality time cooking in the kitchen and sharing his love for food and people... 

Niki Hawkins, 6abc Public Affairs Manager

Thank you for your support, Niki! 

waa-ipledge-6.jpg
Georgina O’Hara’s Story

Georgina O’Hara’s Story

Pro bono representation provided by local law firms makes a meaningful difference for the thousands of clients seeking help at our Legal Center.

Read Full Story
Lucia’s Story

Lucia’s Story

Lucia* came to the WAA emergency shelter pregnant and with five children.

Read Full Story
Catherine’s Story

Catherine’s Story

When I first met my abuser, I was just 14 years old and he was 20. I thought I was in love, so I ignored the disapproval of my mom and sister.

Read Full Story
William’s Story

William’s Story

William Spratley flicks through the text messages on his phone until he finds the one he’s been looking for. It’s from his 27-year old daughter, Ameya, and it’s the last words he will ever exchange with her.

Read Full Story
Sheila’s Story

Sheila’s Story

Sheila arrived at the Women Against Abuse Emergency Shelter after waking up in a hospital emergency room.

Read Full Story
Dana’s Story

Dana’s Story

Former emergency shelter resident Dana*, intelligent and bright-spirited, worked hard for her credentials.

Read Full Story
Overbrook Presbyterian’s Story

Overbrook Presbyterian’s Story

The Women’s Dining Circle of Overbrook Presbyterian Church knows how to make fundraising down right fun. In January, the Dining Circle hosted a dinner that raised over $1,200 for Women Against Abuse.

Read Full Story
Justine’s Story

Justine’s Story

Justine got to know Eric in college, while working part time at a Virginia-based home improvement store. They began casually dating in 1999, eventually marrying in May of 2006. Looking back, her sister, Lauren, can see the red flags.

Read Full Story
Sara’s Story

Sara’s Story

Sara* was a victim of domestic violence who transformed into a strong and capable mother with support from Women Against Abuse.

Read Full Story
Lonnie & Jordan’s Story

Lonnie & Jordan’s Story

The life-saving work that Women Against Abuse achieves each day would not be possible without the support of advocates in the community.

Read Full Story

If you or someone you know needs help, call our toll-free 24-hour Hotline:

1.866.723.3014

Sign up for Action Alerts, Updates & Newsletters!