PlantPure Café; Emily Cobb: Designer + Maker, Jewelry & Objects; Dino’s Backstage: Come To The Cabaret!

PlantPure Café
Producer: Monica Rogozinski

PlantPure Café is a casual, whole foods, plant-based restaurant guided by the scientific research of Dr T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, on plant-based nutrition. Research shows that avoiding animal protein and fats, added oils, and high levels of salt and sugar can help to prevent, and sometimes even reverse serious chronic conditions. Nelson Campbell documented his father’s findings and trajectory during his medical career on the feature film “PlantPure Nation, The truth is a stubborn thing. It doesn’t go away.”

Friday Arts catches up with director and activist Nelson Campbell and his wife, cookbook author Kim Campbell, as they visit Philadelphia for the opening of the first PlantPure Café. Chef Fernando Peralta, partner at PlantPure Café, explains the health benefits of a plant pure diet and demonstrates simple techniques of cooking delicious whole plant based meals without any added oils or refined ingredients.

Emily Cobb: Designer + Maker, Jewelry & Objects
Producer: Michael O’Reilly

It’s not every artist who sees a sketch from the archives of the Wagner Institute of Free Science (a Victorian-era science museum in Philadelphia), and thinks, “that sketch of a paramecium would make a great ruby-studded brooch.” But this is exactly what Emily Cobb did, the first time she was introduced to the Wagner’s voluminous collection. She is one of the recipients of the Temple University-Wagner Free Institute of Science Humanities & Arts Research Fellowships – a joint fellowship between the science museum and Temple University (the campus of which practically surrounds the W. Montgomery Avenue building the museum has called home for over 150 years). Students and staff of Temple (where Cobb teaches as an adjunct) are encouraged to pursue a research project using the Wagner’s vast holdings.

Cobb came at this thinking she would probably end up using one of the many display animals. Her work up until that point had gained inspiration from living things – snakes, giraffes, fish – the distinctly “macro” world of living things. Much to her surprise, she found herself gravitating towards delicate but finely rendered drawings of the “microscopic” world. Most of these drawings were by Joseph Leidy, to whom the museum owes much of the direction of it’s collection. “Direction” because while he may not have collected the majority of the specimens himself, he was advising others of the things they should try to acquire.

We follow Emily all over Philadelphia – from the Wagner in North Philadelphia to NextFab, in South Philadelphia, where Emily uses a 3D printer to produce a small prototype of a model that up until that time, had only existed on the display of the computer. We end in what used to be the disciplinarian office in a converted high school in South Philly, to visit with the JV Collective, of which Emily is a part. Comprised of 5 different women artists working in jewelry, object, fabric and metals, they were just written up in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Jewelry is not “just” ornamental, according to Cobb. Instead of hanging it on the wall of a museum or gallery, it is a way to wear the art out in the world. And what better way of engaging people and art by wearing those pieces around your neck?


Dino’s Backstage: Come To The Cabaret!
Producer: Karen Smyles

If you’re looking for great food, glamour, and a good time, venture just outside Philadelphia to the Montgomery County suburbs. Dino’s Backstage located next door to the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, will give you all of that and more. The hotspot, owned by Dino J. Kelly-Cataldi and Michael Richard Kelly Cataldi, opened last summer and is attracting folks from throughout the Philadelphia area.
The restaurant, bar and cabaret is bringing glamour to Keswick Village, a street lined with various charming businesses. Dino and Michael, also partners in life, said they chose the location because of it’s proximity to their home and because they were attracted to the quaintness of the area.
They wanted the venue to be a “throw back” to the 1940’s, 1950’s, when people went out for the evening and dined, not simply to get a bite to eat. They compare it to what many people might have experienced at the Latin Casino or Palumbo’s, which are both now closed, but hold fond memories for many in this area. It was glamour and glitz. People got dressed up and spent the entire evening at the same location. The moment you step through the door of Dino’s you’ll realize you have no reason to leave.
If experience counts, Dino’s Backstage should be a success. In 1989, Dino opened the Napoleon Cafe in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia. Many may recall the restaurant that started as a coffee shop and later evolved into lunch and dinner menus. In 1996 the cafe moved into Center City where it enjoyed enormous popularity. On the entertainment side, Michael brings years of experience in singing and the theater, and you’ll often find him gracing the stage in their beautifully decorated cabaret room.
The menu is sure to please thanks to veteran chef, Scott Howlett who creates mouth-watering dishes and desserts that compliment the nostalgic theme of the 40’s and 50’s supper clubs. All presented with the refinement you would expect in any fine dining establishment because general manager, Thomas Finnegan is always on hand to make sure you have the best experience possible. Finnegan brings extensive experience from working for restaurant giants like George Perrier at Le Bec Fin and Jean-Marie Lacroix at the Rittenhouse.

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