Best Buddies Brings Together Food, Friends & Awareness With The Help Of Chefs Around The City

Best Buddies 2018

Some of Pittsburgh’s most noteworthy and popular restaurants are coming together with Best Buddies for a not to miss event. The fourth annual Tastebuds Event will feature bites and tastings from thirty chefs across the city, with the help of their Buddies. 


This year’s event will be the biggest to date for the organization and will also feature live music, an open bar, a silent auction, and all proceeds will be donated to Best Buddies Pennsylvania’s Friendship programs for people of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Overall, Tastebuds has raised more than $335,000 and funded more than 20 buddy programs since its inaugural event in 2016.

For those that are immersed in Pittsburgh’s culinary community, there is a wide array of chefs participating in the event, whether for their first time or are repeating participants. However, what’s noteworthy to highlight this year is the increase of female chefs participating in the program as well as the event. 

Being a Hungry Grl in both my brand and IRL, I want to focus on just a few of the outstanding women bringing amazingness to this year’s Tastebuds Event: 

Jessica Lewis, Spirits & Tales 

Photo by Elan Mizrahi

Located in The Oaklander, Spirits & Tales is just under a year old under the command of renowned Chef Jessica, whose new role received a large amount of media attention… and for good reason. Jessica brings French classics to the table with an American spin and is constantly working to evolve her work both in the kitchen and out of it; spending time running and with her dog helps to bring her best self to the kitchen. 

Becca Romagnoli, The Vandal

Photo by Elan Mizrahi

Even as The Vandal underwent some major internal shifts, including the departure of their head Chef, Becca stepped up and brought her love of homemade pasta and Italian-upbringing to the kitchen at full speed. Chef Becca has brought her A1 pasta game to the menu and has helped the team evolve into dining events outside of their Lawrenceville space, such as a dinner at Goat Rodeo and other curated wine and tasting dinners. Chef Becca has also launched a pasta subscription service, Forma, where    the pasta changes every month. 

Meghann Walsh, Cioppino

Photo by Elan Mizrahi

With a menu focused on seafood and hand-cut steaks, Meghann is a part of Cioppino as the Executive Pastry Chef. Chef Meghann has been with the restaurant since its early formation days and oversees the pastry design and execution at both Cioppino and their fast-casual Italian spot, Osteria 2350. Meghann has played a huge role in the design and formation of both menus and continues to evolve them on a daily basis. When she’s not busy evolving the dessert courses, Meghann finds time for herself outside of her day-to-day by hiking and spending time outdoors. 

With over thirty Chefs coming together for this event, there will be no shortness of delicious food and great company. Find the full event details on the official Tastebuds event page and secure your ticket today. 


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Born and raised in New Jersey, I have always understood the importance of an ideal pizza toppings to crust ratio and how to spot an amazing bagel from one that tastes like cardboard. I've also endlessly debated the "gravy or sauce" question and joined in many traditional 'Sunday Dinners.' But at the end of the day, I'm just a girl that likes to eat and tell other people about it. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, came back to NYC, and have since returned to the 412, I have also developed my journalistic skills for both my website and outside publications as well as creating a newsletter that I can call my own.