Sara Moulton and Toni Tipton-Martin headline programs, there's a fondue party (because it's freezing outside), Sicily Sewell-Johnson opens Colors, Amy Farges vents about NYC's foie gras ban, members recap an Ethiopian coffee ceremony and a Roman Jewish dinner and 12/27 is National Fruitcake Day. Happy Holidays!

        

Newsletter – December 2019


Winter Programs

Attention Members: If you are having difficulty registering for a program, DO NOT register as a non-member. If you register as a non-member your credits cannot be tracked and you will pay a higher price to attend the event. If you are having trouble registering as a member, the website team can troubleshoot and register for you. Email them at nywcawebsite@gmail.com.

"Mastering Spice" and More with Lior Lev Secarz

Monday, December 16, 2019, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Let's Cheer with Cheese: A Fondue Dinner Party

Thursday, January 16, 2020, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Winter Book Club: "32 Yolks" by Eric Ripert

Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Global Dinner: France with Chef Sara Moulton

Monday, January 27, 2020, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Cast-Iron Magic with Joanna Pruess & Renée Marton

Thursday, January 30, 2020, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

An Evening of "Jubilee" with Toni Tipton-Martin

Monday, February 3, 2020, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Sumptuous Family Style Luncheon (Save the Date)

Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 1:00 - 3:00 PM

SEE FULL PROGRAM CALENDAR

Now Open: Sicily Sewell-Johnson's Colors Restaurant

By Stacy Basko

After a whisper opening at the beginning of the month, executive chef and Alliance member Sicily Sewell-Johnson’s new restaurant Colors is officially open for business.  

Like the last version of Colors, which was opened by surviving Windows on the World employees after 9/11, the space operates as a training facility. The name and location are also the samebut Sicily’s concept is completely fresh and new. Her goal is to honor the past while celebrating the intersection of two cultures that brought her culinary team together – hospitality and being unapologetically black in America. 

From top to bottom, the restaurant is a love letter to African-American culture, with black musicians, actors, artists and iconography featured throughout. A large painting of Edna Lewis lights up the back of a glowing purple bar and there’s a quote from the Erik Killmonger character in “Black Panther” on a tabletop.

Sicily herself is no stranger to the big screen. Before becoming a chef, she was an actor with starring roles in "One on One" and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and worked in television.

Today, she nods to other African-American celebrities with her dishes. A starter called Set It Off (the movie, 1996), a plate of breads, vegetables, pimiento cheese and dips, tops the menu. Large plates include fried chicken, fish and spaghetti and a meatloaf burger, each named, respectively, after hits by Jill Scott, G. Dep and Heavy D and the Boys. There's a salad called Black Excellence and a peach cobbler named after Faith Evans’ “Love Like This.”  

The restaurant's connection to the past is the training program which formed along with the advocacy group, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC), in the original post-9/11 version of Colors. Ninety percent of Sicily’s hires come through Colors Hospitality Opportunities for Workers (CHOW), a professional development program where employees gain education and hands-on experience. CHOW started at the ROC chapter in the Bay Area, where Sicily recently lived and owned a restaurant with her mother.

CHOW classes happen on Tuesday and Wednesday, so the restaurant is closed on those nights, but it’s open for dinner the rest of the week and weekend brunch. Follow Colors on Instagram and read more about the opening here.



Foie Gras Ban Ruffles NYC's Feathers

The vicissitudes of government once again rock my business world. My company, M.A.D. Foods, produces and sources speciality foods including truffles, wild mushrooms and duck confit. They are the natural outgrowths of my partner’s Dordogne heritage.

Our Sofi award-winning Duck Fat, produced under our Aux Délices des Bois label, is a national market leader. In addition to selling the fresh product through retail chains such as The Fresh Market, we ship shelf-stable Private Selection Duck Fat to about 3,200 Kroger stores. This product sustains our business to such an extent that the recent flap over foie gras sent shivers up our spine

Then, in stunning concert with our nation’s whacked-out news cycle, the New York City Council voted on Halloween to ban the sale of foie gras in New York City. The Council vote, 42-6, was introduced as part of an animal rights package. Over half the 60 council members co-sponsored the proposed law – some wearing pro-animal rights T-shirts at the hearing.

Sullivan County’s Hudson Valley Foie Gras and LaBelle Farms are two of three foie gras producers in the US. For the preliminary hearing, a busload of farm workers came bearing the stories and pleadings of 400 immigrant farm laborers whose livelihoods would be curtailed or eliminated when/if enforcement takes effect, three years hence. Sullivan County is the second poorest county in the state, and it relies heavily on these duck farms for revenue

A major concern of the farm’s owners is that the council did not investigate the allegations about cruelty. The cruel aspect of gavage, or force feeding, was the raison d’etre for two previous  subsequently reversed  laws banning foie gras in California and Chicago. As the newly formed Catskill Foie Gras Collective explains, current feeding methods are anything but cruel.

By Amy Farges

The vicissitudes of government once again rock my business world. My company, M.A.D. Foods, produces and sources speciality foods including truffles, wild mushrooms and duck confit. They are the natural outgrowths of my partner’s Dordogne heritage.

Our Sofi award-winning Duck Fat, produced under our Aux Délices des Bois label, is a national market leader. In addition to selling the fresh product through retail chains such as The Fresh Market, we ship shelf-stable Private Selection Duck Fat to about 3,200 Kroger stores. This product sustains our business to such an extent that the recent flap over foie gras sent shivers up our spine.

Then, in stunning concert with our nation’s whacked-out news cycle, the New York City Council voted on Halloween to ban the sale of foie gras in New York City. The Council vote, 42-6, was introduced as part of an animal rights package. Over half the 60 council members co-sponsored the proposed law – some wearing pro-animal rights T-shirts at the hearing.

Sullivan County’s Hudson Valley Foie Gras and LaBelle Farms are two of three foie gras producers in the US. For the preliminary hearing, a busload of farm workers came bearing the stories and pleadings of 400 immigrant farm laborers whose livelihoods would be curtailed or eliminated when/if enforcement takes effect, three years hence. Sullivan County is the second poorest county in the state, and it relies heavily on these duck farms for revenue.

A major concern of the farm’s owners is that the council did not investigate the allegations about cruelty. The cruel aspect of gavage, or force feeding, was the raison d’etre for two previous  subsequently reversed  laws banning foie gras in California and Chicago. As the newly formed Catskill Foie Gras Collective explains, current feeding methods are anything but cruel.

Many chefs have visited the farms to “see for themselves that the feeding is ethical and caring,” said Sergio Saravai, president of La Belle Farms, “Yet no current lawmakers or animal rights advocates have visited.”

Polls were conducted by both sides. Voters for Animal Rights, a proponent, reports that 81 percent of NYC voters support a foie gras ban. They presented an ancient depiction of French gavage, then went straight to the yay or nay question, failing to mention this was an inaccurate description of New York duck feeding practices. Language that's been denounced by the USDA was included.

On the other hand, The Change Research Foie Gras Survey found that 54 percent of New York City residents opposed banning foie, while just 34 percent were in favor.

The law will not go unchallenged. On November 14, Sullivan County’s legislature passed a resolution requesting that the Department of Agriculture and Markets perform an Agriculture and Markets 305 review. This protects farmers against local laws which unreasonably restrict farm operations within an agricultural district. The Collective is pursuing local, state and even federal avenues to reverse the decision, stating the ban is unconstitutional because a governing body in New York City cannot restrict farm operations in another district in New York State.

According to Marcus Henley, VP and Operations Manager of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, New York City accounts for about 30 percent of the farms’ total sales. Duck production yields more than the liver (foie). The whole bird is processed - as breast, duck leg confit, wings and one of M.A.D. Foods’ top sellers, duck fat. In all, these products churn out vast amounts of tax revenue for NYC, by both foodservice and retailers. This bird provides jobs to chefs, cooks, retail workers, truck drivers, accountants, graphic artists and us … NYWCA members. Fewer ducks down the road will mean a lot less quack to go around.

One NYC voter, paying both corporate and personal tax bills, will be on the campaign trail long before the 2020 City Council elections. She’ll be inviting candidates to take a stand on the foie gras ban, publicizing the results and voting loud and clear for the right candidates. That will be me.

Many chefs have visited the farms to “see for themselves that the feeding is ethical and caring,” said Sergio Saravai, president of La Belle Farms, “Yet no current lawmakers or animal rights advocates have visited.”

Polls were conducted by both sides. Voters for Animal Rights, a proponent, reports that 81 percent of NYC voters support a foie gras ban. They presented an ancient depiction of French gavage, then went straight to the yay or nay question, failing to mention this was an inaccurate description of New York duck feeding practices. Language that's been denounced by the USDA was included.

On the other hand, The Change Research Foie Gras Survey found that 54 percent of New York City residents opposed banning foie, while just 34 percent were in favor.

The law will not go unchallenged. On November 14, Sullivan County’s legislature passed a resolution requesting that the Department of Agriculture and Markets perform an Agriculture and Markets 305 review. This protects farmers against local laws which unreasonably restrict farm operations within an agricultural district. The Collective is pursuing local, state and even federal avenues to reverse the decision, stating the ban is unconstitutional because a governing body in New York City cannot restrict farm operations in another district in New York State.

According to Marcus Henley, VP and Operations Manager of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, New York City accounts for about 30 percent of the farms’ total sales. Duck production yields more than the liver (foie). The whole bird is processed - as breast, duck leg confit, wings and one of M.A.D. Foods’ top sellers, duck fat. In all, these products churn out vast amounts of tax revenue for NYC, by both foodservice and retailers. This bird provides jobs to chefs, cooks, retail workers, truck drivers, accountants, graphic artists and us … NYWCA members. Fewer ducks down the road will mean a lot less quack to go around.

One NYC voter, paying both corporate and personal tax bills, will be on the campaign trail long before the 2020 City Council elections. She’ll be inviting candidates to take a stand on the foie gras ban, publicizing the results and voting loud and clear for the right candidates. That will be me

Member News


 

2020 Top Women in Food Service Announced – Members Make the List

From Board member Joyce Appelman: Total Food Service’s Top Women in Metro New York Foodservice and Hospitality 2020 recognizes

 the integral role women play across all sectors of the dynamic and fast-paced Metro New York marketplace. The December issue salutes these women showcasing their talents and achievements including NYWCA President Rhadia Hursey and NYWCA members Shari Bayer, Francine Cohen, Amelia Ekus, Sharon Franke, Sicily Sewell-Johnson, Sara Moulton, Joanna Pruess, Barbara Sibley, Ellen Yin and Melanie Young.

 

Members Collaborate After Meeting at the Fall Potluck

After getting acquainted at the recent Fall Potluck, members Jackie Lieberman and Stacy Basko started working together. It was a good match.

Jackie (pictured top left) is the publisher of "NJ Flavor," and Stacy (bottom left) is a writer and recipe developer (and Newsletter editor). But wait, there's more. Stacy's "NJ Flavor" articles feature entrepreneurs who cook out of Garden State Kitchen, a shared commercial kitchen incubator owned by Kris Ohleth, another member. Read Stacy's stories below:

She Lost Part of Her Leg, but That Didn't Stop This NJ Soul Food Chef

Shared Spaces Help a Small New Jersey Baking Business Rise

Want to connect with members? Check out the online directory.

 

Miriam Rubin Leads Two Classes 

Unless we get to press early, you may miss Miriam Rubin’s latke class at HGS Home Chef in Hillsdale, NY on December 15. No worries, join her instead on January 18 when she’ll teach a class on comforting soups. Ask her nicely and she might make you a latke.


Gatherings

Ethiopian Dinner and Coffee Ceremony with Buunni Coffee 

By Carol Durst-Wertheim

Member Sarina Prabasi and her husband, Elias Gumru, owners of Buunni Coffee, treated members and guests to an evening of warm hospitality in Inwood on September 12. Sarina shared a few words from her memoir “The Coffeehouse Resistance.” She lit frankincense, often used during the coffee ceremony to enhance the coffee roasting fragrances and to encourage relaxation, while she spoke of the couple’s immigrant experience, their goals and their daughters.

Delightful wines were provided by La Vieille Ferme. Other libations included St. George Ethiopian beer, Honey Wine and hand-roasted Ethiopian coffee. The Coffee Ceremony takes a leisurely two hours, a social time to catch up with family and friends, meet with community and discuss political ideology. Sharing coffee in Ethiopia is all about love and community.

Dinner was an extraordinary buffet prepared and served by Elias, Sarina and their staff with dessert – tiramisu made with Buunni coffee – by Dina Melendez-Bonnet. The range of colorful foods, mostly vegetarian with subtle Italian influences, was flavorful with distinctive textures and incredible depth of flavors.

Sarina and Elias are currently running three shops and seeking to develop a fourth, while intending to expand their coffee roasting. They’re a remarkable couple, delightful to meet as they build their successful American Dream. See their new program below.

A Roman Jewish Dinner

New member Jacquie Greaves and co-host Claire Treves Brezel put on a sumptuous Roman Jewish feast at Jacquie's Upper West Side apartment. Both women have strong ties to Rome. Claire and her family maintain a villa outside Rome, and she hosted members there last year, touring them about. Jacquie has lived in Rome and now visits multiple times per year.

Claire described some of the dishes she made:

The Suppli al Telefono, fried rice croquettes, are popular as "Roman street" food, so there were two types: tomato sauce and cacio e pepe - both with a surprise of stringy mozzarella in the center. The recipe is an adaptation of one in "The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews I" by Edda Servi Machlin.

Also a Polpettone Di Tacchino, or turkey roll. When sliced, you can see the pistachio nuts peeking through. The recipe was from "The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews II" by Edda Servi Machlin.

Tortelli Di Zucca Gialla, butternut squash ravioli, were filled with yellow squash, Parmesan, ground amaretti cookies and Mostarda Mele di Montavana, according to a recipe from chef Giustino at Osteria il Bersegliere, Colonna.

The Caveteppi with Salsa Di Funghi was from "The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews I" by Edda Servi Machlin. It used dried porcini mushrooms and white cultivated mushrooms.

Additional cooking support came from Erica De Mane, who prepared a memorable caponata (she said it was her best ever) and chicken liver toasts. 

Photo courtesy of Lora Wiley



A New Perk from Hestan



 

Hestan Culinary, the luxury cookware division of Hestan, is offering members a 25% discount! You can check out their beautiful pots, pans and skillets here and login to the NYWCA perks page for the members-only discount code


Things to Read, See or Do 

Must See! 

Good Reads


Things to Do 

  • The Jewish Food Society and The Wing are hosting a Hanukkah Potluck and discussion on holiday traditions. Space is limited and open only for those who identify as women. It's December 18, at 6 PM. You must register: hi@jewishfoodsociety.org.
  • Join members Sarina Prabasi of Buunni Coffee and Chef Grace Odogbili of Dining with Grace on December 20 for a memorable evening featuring live music by Biodun Kuti, an acclaimed Nigerian guitarist. A menu of Nigerian favorites from Grace Odogbili will be served prior to the show at 7 PM. The performance begins at 8 PM. Tickets for dinner and the concert or the concert only are available on Eventbrite. NYWCA members get a discounted rate of $35 for dinner and concert (code NYWCA). Contact sarina@buunnicoffee.com for details.
  • From member Shari Bayer:

I am thrilled to let NYWCA members know about H.O.S.T. SUMMIT + SOCIAL, an all-day, inspirational, interactive and educational conference for and about the dynamic hospitality industry, taking place on Monday, January 27, 2020 at The William Vale in Williamsburg.  

Building on the momentum of my "All in the Industry” podcast on Heritage Radio Network, H.O.S.T. (Hospitality. Operations. Services. Technology.) will bring behind-the-scenes talent in hospitality to the forefront in a live conference format with social networking opportunities. Tickets are now available at www.allintheindustry.com. 



Let's Connect


Here's the best way to reach out to committee leaders:


President: nywcapresident@gmail.com

Newsletter: nywcanewsletter@gmail.com

Programs: nywcaprograms@gmail.com

Social Media: nywcasocialmedia@gmail.com

Website: nywcawebsite@gmail.com

Member Benefits: nywcamemberbenefits@gmail.com



About Us

NYWCA is an organization of professional women in the food and wine industry, dedicated to encouraging cooperation, networking and education among its members.  Learn more.

Newsletter Team

Editors

Joyce Appelman
Stacy Basko

Hannah Howard
Miriam Rubin

Contributors 

Carol Durst-Wertheim

Amy Farges

Submissions

Have an idea? We're always looking for insider tips on trends, happenings and things to see and do. Drop us a line at nywcanewsletter@gmail.com.

Guidelines: All submissions must be ready to publish. Articles should be edited and copy edited to a maximum of 300 words. Recipes should include headnotes that provide context and do not exceed 200 words. Photos, illustrations or artwork must be cropped, sized and ready to go. Editors reserve the right to edit for space and style when necessary.

Deadline: All files must be received by the 5th of the month to publish on the 15th.

Specs: Please send articles in Word or Google Docs and JPEGs of artwork. If using a cellphone, large size photos preferred (please turn off location on phone before taking pictures).

Policy: The newsletter is published by and for members of the Alliance, with a focus on events that take place in and around New York City. If an event is local, but run by a nonmember, the committee will consider publishing it in the newsletter. Events run by non-members that are located outside the area will not be included. 

Program Cancellation Policy: 

NYWCA policy is that cancellations made seven days or less before an event are not refundable, unless the member who is canceling can fill her space with someone on the wait list or another replacement. Up to seven days, members can cancel through their profile page, or by contacting the  organizer. The Treasurer will issue the refund via original form of payment, less the $5 cancellation fee to cover processing cost. 

Copyright © 2019 New York Women's Culinary Alliance, all rights reserved. You are receiving this email because you currently have, or have previously had, a New York Women's Culinary Alliance membership.


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