Summer Fridays: Camille Cogswell

James Beard Winner Camille Cogswell tells us what she's looking forward to most this summer. | Alexandra Hawkins
Alexandra Hawkins

As a high school student, Camille Cogswell used to spend her summers working at Bruegger’s Bagels in Asheville, NC. A lot has changed since then, however, and the 27-year-old now spends her time whipping up magical desserts at Zahav as pastry chef. Her culinary talents even earned her the prestigious James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef this week.

So how is Cogswell spending her summer? She’s ready for picnicking in Fairmount Park, Fourth of July celebrations and beer gardens.

Name:  Camille Cogswell

Age: 27

Neighborhood:  South Philly

Occupation/Company:  Pastry Chef – Zahav

What do you love most about Philly in the summer?  Philly is so beautiful in the summer.  It’s also such a great (and easy!) city to bike around in.

Best way to keep cool?  Eat soft serve from the Mr. Softee truck as many times as possible.

Best thing to eat?  Water ice and a soft pretzel. That uniquely Philly combo is just awesome. 

Best way to spend a free day?  Biking along the Schuylkill River and picnicking in the beautiful Fairmount Park.

Favorite outdoor event? The outdoor event I’m looking forward to most is Fourth of July because The Fourth of July because Philly is the birthplace of the nation and everyone gets very caught up in the spirit.  The air is warm and smells like hot dogs grilling.  Neighborhood fireworks are set off in the streets for the whole week!  And the city’s fireworks show is also great.

Best place to hang out with friends?  At any of the beer garden pop ups in the parks around town.

Best summer memory in Philly?  Renting a lawn at FDR park to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  We grilled, hung a piñata, and rode our bikes around the park.  It was so much fun to see other culturally diverse groups of families and friends enjoying the space and warm weather together.

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