Joseph M. Brandolo President
My culinary roots date back to my childhood surrounded by immigrants in a multi ethnic neighborhood in Manayunk. My culinary career has been equally divided into working in some of the great restaurants that built a foundation for the Philly culinary explosion we know today and also in sales and marketing for some great wine and spirit companies. Currently I manage a sales team in PA for Winebow, a national wine company that imports and distributes fine wines and boutique spirits. At one time my good fortune allowed me the opportunity to spend several glorious years as a “whiskey ambassador” for one of the largest holders of whiskey in the world. Over the years, my culinary travels have taken me around the world dining in extraordinary restaurants, kicking dirt in some famous vineyards, and touring wineries and distilleries guided by the winemakers and Master Distillers. My home has an extensive culinary garden that is pollinated by my bees. The Slow Food culture and lifestyle have always been a part of my life and we hope that our team of leaders will provide you with many inspirational activities.
Laura Barron Co-President
Laura is a employee and graduate student at The University of Pennsylvania. Her love of food stems from spending time in the kitchen with her mom, as well her international studies in anthropology and behavioral health. She has worked with many food-related organizations including Greener Partners, SHFT Mobile Kitchen Classroom, Seeing Green, and Philabundance Community Kitchen.
Freshly churned butter, tomatoes warm from the vine, corn straight from the field just outside his grandparents’ farm are among Tom Sherman’s best early memories. Add childhood meals in his hometown, Portland, Oregon, cooked by Don Daniels — “one of the best chefs” James Beard ever knew — as well as fishing for salmon and digging razor clams on the coast. In a diversified career — literature professor (Antioch, Swarthmore), photographer, nonprofit manager, computer communication consultant — focus on inspired local and seasonal food remains a continuing purpose and constant pleasure.
Tom got involved with Slow Food Philadelphia in 2001, when he helped to organize a garlic tasting. Since then, he’s assisted with many other events, both local and international. A co-leader of the Philadelphia chapter since 2006, he’s especially interested in food policy and education.
Susan C. Lee Treasurer
Heidi Panek Webmaster and IT Creative & Technical Advisor
Heidi is a freelance web designer and food enthusiast. Although her degree from Widener University is in Mathematics, her favorite courses were food science and nutrition. She enjoys experimenting with recipes, keeping a food blog, and growing herbs and vegetables.