Zagat names Philly’s top 30 under 30

Marti Lieberman has made a name for herself in Philly's food truck industry at 24 years old. Credit: Zagat. At just 24 years old, Marti Lieberman has already made a name for herself in Philly’s food truck scene. / Provided

Zagat provides reviews of all things restaurants and nightlife across the globe. This year, for the first time, Zagat released a top 30 under 30 list for Philadelphia, highlighting the best up-and-coming talent in the food scene — from the m… of Jose Garces’ Buks County farm to a food truck entrepreneur. Three of the honorees are just 24 years old.

The Zagat list:

Don Galvano, 24
Beverage Manager
Pub & Kitchen
Galvano’s experience includes stints at Fitler Dining Room and The Diving Horse, which provided him with enough knowledge to become beverage manager of the Rittenhouse tavern.

Marti Lieberman,24
Owner and Cook
Mac Mart Truck
Lieberman is responsible for Philly’s very first mac ’n’ cheese truck, opened in early 2013. She plans to expand her business with two stands in South Philly’s Wells Fargo Center.

Max Sherman, 24
Percy Street Barbecue
Sherman worked his way up at the Percy Street Barbecue. He began as busser and went to front-of-the-house ranks before being promoted to bartender.

Abigail Dahan, 26
Pastry Chef
Dahan’s French background influences the pastries she makes in Stephen Starr’s French-inspired restaurant. She also competed on the Food Network’s “Sweet Genius.”

Sande Friedman, 26
Director of Education and Cheese Director at Tria
Friedman is responsible for running the cheese program at three Tria locations, writing menu descriptions, creating marketing materials and much more.

Jillian Herschlag, 26
Farm Manager
Luna Farm, Garces Group
Before taking the head position at Jose Garces’ Bucks County farm, Herschlag worked at Blooming Glen Farm in Perkasie.

April Nett, 26, and Elysa DiMauro, 29
Menagerie Coffee
Before they were co-owners of a coffee shop, the real-life couple gained experience as baristas at Elixr Coffee Roasters and Bodhi Coffee.

Yuki Schaper, 26
General Manager
Yuki began her managing career at Georges Perrier’s Le Bec-Fin and then helped run Pierre and Charlotte Calmels’ highly praised French BYO. Her managerial duties at Bibou include overseeing all front-of-the house aspects of the Bella Vista dining room.

Justin Swain, 26
Rex 1516
Swain was still attending the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College when he took over for his sick mentor, Regis Jansen, at Rex 1516. He graduated as valedictorian and has been in the top spot at the restaurant ever since.

Alex Bois, 27
Head Baker
Fork and High Street on Market
Bois makes more than 12 types of loaves daily that are sold in High Street, Fork, and Rival Bros Coffee Bar.

Jessica Nolen, 27
Pastry Chef
Brauhaus Schmitz
Nolen met her husband, chef Jeremy Nolen, while making pastries at Coquette and they’ve been working together ever since. The pair will be collaborating at Whetstone, a new American restaurant opening later this year at Coquette’s previous location.

Warren Sewell, 27
General Manager
Iron Hill Brewery Maple Shade
Sewell bartended at several of the brewpub chain locations and then moved from shift manager to overall manager in less than six months.

Yehuda Sichel, 27
Abe Fisher Restaurant
Sichel’s experience studying in Jerusalem made him perfect for the spot as sous chef at Zahav restaurant. He was co-chef at kosher restaurant Citron and Rose in Lower Merion and will hold the same title at Abe Fisher in Center City.

Nich Bazik, 28
Sous Chef
Bistrot La Minette
Bazik has kept busy with jobs at Meme, Fork, Russet, and Peter Woolsey’s Bella Vista bistro, where he was promoted from line cook to sous chef. Next up is a spot at Woolsey’s new FringeArts’ eatery, La Peg

Amanda Bernhardt, 28
Cheesemonger and Store Manager
Di Bruno Bros. at the Franklin
Though Bernhardt began working at Di Bruno Bros. to help pay the bills during college, it kicked off a career in cheesemonger-ing.

Aric Danz, 28
Honest Tom’s Taco Shop
An alum of White Dog Cafe and Var Ferdinand, Danz went from waiting tables to helping Tom McCusker turn his taco truck into a popular taqueria.

Travis Masar, 28
Executive Chef
Sampan Restaurant and Independence Beer Garden
The “Top Chef” contestant started his Philly career at Michael Schulson’s Sampan, then worked on the launch of Schulson’s always-packed Independence Beer Garden.

Jon Nodler, 28
Chef de Cuisine + bar
Nodler continues his work under Eli Kulp, first at Fork and now at, where he was picked by Kulp to become Chef de Cuisine.

Kristopher Serviss, 28
Chef and Co-owner
Blue Duck Sandwich Co.
Serviss worked as a chef-manager at Iron Hill Brewery before striking out on his one with a new BYOB, opening later this year.

Vincent Stipo, 28
Beverage Manager
Vernick Food & Drink
Stipo moved to Philadelphia to help Greg Vernick open this well-received Rittenhouse restaurant.

Aila DeVowe, 29
Executive Sous Chef
Bar Ferdinand
DeVowe has worked under notable restaurateurs including Stephen Starr, Peter McAndrews and now David Ansill.

Ryan Fenton, 29
General Manager and Beverage Director
Pennsylvania 6
Fenton worked his way up in the restaurant business, from a food runner in the Public House restaurant group to GM at Pennsylvania 6.

Christopher Kearse, 29
Chef and Proprietor
Kearse lost his sent of smell due to a car accident, which makes his success as a chef even more impressive. He left a role at Pumpkin to open his own BYOB in 2012.

Nick Macri, 29
Border Springs Farm
Macri cooked at Osteria, Farmicia and Beneluxx Tasting Room while attending Drexel School of Hospitality. He’s now the lead butcher at the only all-lamb shop in the entire country.

Stefani Mahoney, 29
General Manager
Joe’s Steaks and Soda Shop
Mahoney helped transform the long-time Philly establishment, starting with the new name, and is leading the launch of the new Fishtown location.

Palmer Marinelli, 29
Executive Chef
The Diving Horse
Marinelli’s previous work includes roles in the kitchens of Pub & Kitchen and Fitler Dining Room.

Resa Mueller, 29
Twenty Manning Grill and Emmanuelle
In addition to bartending, Mueller helps run Feastival, the FringeArts gala fundraiser.

Brett Naylor, 29
Oyster House
Naylor has experience in all different types of restaurants — he was executive chef for Urban Outfitters and culinary director for the Tria restaurant group.

Courtney Rozsas, 29
Lotus Farm to Table and Farmer’s Road Drive Thru
Rozsas’ business ventures focus on the benefits of eating healthy. Farmer’s Road Drive Thru boasts a menu of organic and locally sourced ingredients.

Chauncey Scates, 29
Lead Bartender
Square 1682
The innovative bartender at this Rittenhouse spot pours 30 signature cocktails.