Xander Gottfried

Executive Director

When Xander ('21) sees anything particularly delicious, his first instinct is to ferment it. There will always be a handful of colorful mixtures bubbling on his countertop, probably including fermenting mushrooms and a sourdough starter to whom he has addressed several love letters. If being this close to achieving a life-long goal of being an alchemist wasn't close enough, he also studies biochemistry and burns the midnight oil dissecting the salivary glands of baby fruit flies.

Grace Leahy

Managing Editor

When Grace Leahy ('21) announced that she planned to be a cook when she grew up, her family laughed it off. She didn't have the patience - everything had too much salt, or was left in the oven for just a bit too long. And even though college (more specifically, Penn Appetit) has improved her success rate, she sticks primarily to eating and writing these days.

Malia Kealaluhi

Creative Director

Malia Kealaluhi, Class of 2022, studies Marketing & Operations Management in the Wharton School of Business with a minor in Fine Arts in design. Malia has taught herself the arts and digital design since the age of 8 when her mother got her her first digital drawing tablet. She also grew up cooking with her father learning all his tips and tricks for creating a massive Hawaiian feast for the family. Now that she is in college she has become a “Chopped” champion, opening her fridge and cooking whatever scraps she can find left over, transforming them into a four-star meal. Definitely not a five-star meal, but pretty close. Malia loves the outdoors and enjoys going on backpacking trips. To keep the flavor alive, she has started to explore the art of cooking on trail with one 17oz pot and a dream.

Emily Yao

Photo Director

Emily ('21) studies Communications and Fine Arts and joined Penn Appetit out of spontaniety--turns out she's good with food photography despite not being a real foodie. Emily is interested in working in the liquor industry in the future, and she has been very interested in food anthropology. She believes that the food from each region tells a story about the culture there.

Alyssa Furukawa

Culinary Director

Alyssa Furukawa ('21) hails from Los Angeles, CA, which she likes to think of as America's Food Haven. With intensely rich, diverse cultures around her, she grew up around fresh produce, innovative restaurants, and has seen the rise of veganism firsthand (shoutout Oat Milk). Her great aunt & uncle own a breakfast house in Koreatown that she claims has the best pancakes in the world. She loves studying classic French pastry techniques, indulging in handmade pastas, and bringing her own Japanese and Californian twists to recipes. She runs her own food blog (alyssa.kitchen) and foodstagram where she posts her own recipes and restaurant reviews. She's an avid chef, baker, and bartender and leads culinary with a fierce love of food.

Eliza (Elle) Cagnoli

Marketing Director

Elle Cagnoli, Class of 2022, studies German & Economics in the College of Arts & Sciences. Originally from Philadelphia, she is familiar with the great restaurants and cafes the city has to offer. She loves exploring the best brunch spots and creating new taco recipes. In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym, weekend trips to D.C. and New York City, and watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix.

Shaila Lothe

Digital Content Director

Shaila, Class of 2022, is studying behavioral economics and Spanish. After running a vegan food blog and working at Chipotle in high school, joining Penn Appetit was a natural next step. You can find her meal-prepping, hanging out in a Philly coffee shop, or scouring the aisles of Trader Joe’s.

Stephanie Yoon

Social Impact Chair

Stephanie is a freshman planning to study Economics and Consumer Psychology. Raised in the suburbs of Washington D.C., she has been spoiled with enjoying a diverse array of cuisines — authentic and fusion alike! She is passionate about making food as a source of nourishment and hopes to channel this passion through Social Impact this year. In her free time, she can be found journaling out her overthinking tendencies, taking afternoon naps and reading with a fresh cup of tea.

Maggie Tang

Communications Director

Maggie, class of 2022, is studying finance and management with a minor in anthropology. Growing up in Los Angeles and the Santa Barbara area, she has always loved all things food and farm-to-table cooking. In high school, she wrote her thesis on fine dining, which led her to stage at Atelier Crenn and Chez Panisse in the Bay Area. This past summer, she was an operations intern at Eleven Madison Park. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new restaurants, traveling, and eating alphabet cookies from Trader Joes.

Josephine Cheng

Events Director

Josephine, class of 2022, majors in Communications with a side of Creative Writing. Having grown up in Taiwan, she has a love for all foods flavorful and funky. Think hole-in-the-wall restaurants, street stalls, braised animal organs, nightmarket deep fried anything — the weirder the better. And no, she doesn't like boba.

Lisa Yang


Lisa, Class of 2022, is Penn Appétit's webmaster who hasn't skipped a single restaurant week in the northeast for the past years, much to the chagrin of her attendance grades and bank account. As much as she loves food, she can't cook for her life and has embarassingly messed up mac n' cheese more times than she'd like to admit. You can probably find her at Starbucks avoiding her computer science and physics studies over a trenta strawberry acai refresher.

Diya Sethi

Finance Director

Diya, class of 2022, is studying PPE with a minor in Consumer Psychology. She has been baking since she could walk and has dedicated many an hour to cooking meals for her friends. Besides eating pizza for every meal, Diya loves to explore Philly's restaurant scene and can give you a personalized review of practically every restaurant in the Tri-State.