HughE Dillon, “the Gentleman Paparazzi,” delights a sellout crowd at Yangming.

HughE Dillon’s spicy Tasty Talk and slide show at Yangming on Wednesday, February 28 brought all the celebrity sparkle of his PhillyChitChat.com blog to life. As HughE told the sell-out crowd of more than 90 guests, “I got my start as a celebrity photographer in New York City. I was a paralegal at the time, sent to Manhattan for 18 months to work on a case. I’m fascinated by the whole culture that surrounds celebrities, so I started going out at night to try to shoot them at parties, clubs and red carpet events. I shared my photos and stories with friends via email, and when my list grew to 100 names, I launched my first blog, “Confessions of a Paparazzi.” Eventually I was able to shoot many stars, from Halle Berry to Rod Stewart. But it was still just a hobby.”

Maybe so, but few hobbyists have their photos in US and People magazines. And HughE even broke the story about Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon’s big fight.

When Hugh returned to Philly, he started PhillyChitChat.com to shine a light on charities, especially smaller charities, by shooting and posting their events on his blog, along with Philadelphia’s own celebrity parade. “There’s a network of people,” Hugh explained, “who know what stars are in town and where they’re going to be. I set out to earn their trust and get the calls. For one thing, if a celebrity’s dining out, I won’t shoot them as they enter the restaurant. That just signals that they’re being stalked – not a good feeling. Whey they’re leaving the restaurant, and there’s rarely many people around, then I ask if I can take their photo. Usually they’re very nice. Courtney Love calls me “the Gentleman Paparazzi.”

All of Yangming’s guests, including Tasty Talk alums Marilyn Russell, Kyree Terrell and Ken Dunek, enjoyed beef kimchi dumplings, crabmeat & shrimp cakes, and firecracker spring roll hors d’oeuvres. During a communal lunch of tarragon chicken with shiitake mushrooms, beef and string beans, and grilled tamarind shrimp, Hugh shared more of his celebrity photos, and Kelly Harris of Cancer Support Greater Philadelphia described the workshops and programs Hugh’s selected charity provides for people impacted by cancer.

Yangming wishes to thank our devoted coChairs, Tasty Talk founder Realtor Michelle Leonard and Dr. Thanuja Hamilton, for their tremendous efforts to cultivate such a large and wonderful guest list. Our next Tasty Talk is Wednesday, March 28, when the effervescent Eddie Keels, publisher of Philly Current magazine, will headline a benefit for The Child Life Department at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Hors d’oeuvres begin at 12:30, followed by Eddie’s talk and a wonderful communal lunch, all for just $20, including dessert, tax and tip ($25 at the door, if seats available).

Come experience a Tasty Talk for yourself. Call 610-527-3200 to reserve your seat via credit card.