More Culture:

September 12, 2023

Amanda Shulman, of Her Place Supper Club, named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs

She has risen quickly in the culinary world, and with My Loup, has opened two Rittenhouse restaurants in the last two years

Food & Drink Chefs
Amanda Shulman Chef @herplacesupperclub/Instagram

Philadelphia chef Amanda Shulman was named to Food and Wine's Best New Chefs list. She has two restaurants, the recently opened My Loup and Her Place Supper Club dished from which are shown here.

Chef Amanda Shulman's Her Place Supper Club was born out of a passion for making multicourse meals for her friends while she attended the University of Pennsylvania. 

The pop-up supper club she started two years ago in Rittenhouse transitioned into a permanent thing, backed by popular demand for its coveted reservations. And Shulman's second restaurant, My Loup, opened in Center City earlier this year as a more traditional fine-dining establishment.

With a career arc as swift and impressive as Shulman's, it's no surprise she's been named one of Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chefs in 2023.

Shulman, who majored in journalism and political science at Penn, stepped up her cooking game as a hobby that entertained the people in her life with community and great food. 

Food & Wine described Shulman's dedication as an uncommon trait for an undergraduate student:

While many college kids were doing keg stands and eating cereal or instant ramen for every meal, when she was an undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania, Amanda Shulman would go to the Italian Market in Philadelphia to buy a whole pig. She would spend a weekend breaking the animal down and transforming it into five courses of pork for a dozen or so paying dinner guests. On other weekends, she would play around with a pasta machine and make a multicourse pasta dinner from scratch.

The in-demand dinner parties at Her Place are rooted in French and Italian influences, with some Jewish cooking traditions mixed in for good measure. Open weeknights only, the business at 1740 Sansom St. has two nightly seatings at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., each with a max of 24 guests and a total of six people per party. The decor in the small space, formerly a Slice Pizza shop, has framed art on the walls and long communal tables that fit the home dining room energy of a night out there. 

Shulman and her husband, Alex Kemp, liken the experience at Her Place to "showing up to your mom's friend's house for dinner and just eating whatever she makes," except there's a wine list and more than a little sophistication in the kitchen. Much like a mother's home-cooked dinner, though, the simplicity comes from rejoicing in the appreciation of the hard work behind the meal and the people gathered around to enjoy it.

As an example of the bi-weekly rotating menu at Her Place, the restaurant is currently serving chilled clams with lovage, cucumbers and ramps; beef tartare with peppers, smoked almond and sourdough; pork chops; and layer cake, among other items.

After Shulman graduated from college, she entered the restaurant world with cooking jobs at places like Vetri Cucina in Center City and New York's Momofoku Ko. Her connection to Vetri grew out of an interview with his father, Sal, which prompted the restaurateur to send her to Italy for on-the-job training similar to his own. The supper clubs she started while working in the high-end restaurants were run out of her tiny studio apartment. They generated so much buzz that Shulman received email requests to join from hundreds of people she didn't know, she told Food & Wine. 

Following stints at Vetri's Las Vegas restaurant and with Kemp at Montreal's Joe Beef, the couple returned to the U.S. during the pandemic and Shulman took a chance opening her supper club at the Rittenhouse storefront.

My Loup, on Walnut Street about two blocks from Rittenhouse Square, opened in May and is largely helmed by Kemp. The bar is set in a library-style atmosphere with a menu inspired by fresh market cuisine from France.

The nod from Food & Wine adds to Shulman's growing list of accolades, including her recognition as a James Beard Award finalist in this year's emerging chef category. She had been a semifinalist last year. Her Place Supper Club also was one of three Philly businesses named in Bon Appétit's 50 best new restaurants in 2022.