A Drexel University junior studying culinary arts just won a $25,000 scholarship from celebrity chef Guy Fieri that will help propel her dream to one day open a small restaurant in Delco.
Fieri surprised student Charmaine Royal when he announced the award Saturday night during an event he livestreamed on Facebook to celebrate the next generation of restaurant owners and diners.
Royal hopes to go into the restaurant industry, which was hard-hit during the pandemic, to honor her grandmother’s love of cooking. The gift will support her education at Drexel. She hopes to open a restaurant in her native Secane.
Fieri has been lauded during the coronavirus pandemic for aiding ailing restaurants across the country. He partnered with the National Restaurant Association to launch the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which has raised close to $25 million for restaurant workers.
Fieri is also no stranger to Philadelphia. Right before the pandemic, he visited South Philly Indonesian joint Hardena, Port Richmond pub Gaul and Co. and South Philly bar Stogie Joe’s.
He also has two restaurants at South Philly’s Live! Casino: a burger joint and an American kitchen.