Get-togethers, culinary trends, it’s Heart Month, we say goodbye to a long-time member, a new film featuring female chefs and your reading list just got longer. Happy (belated) Valentine's Day! 


Newsletter – February 2020


Almost-Spring Programs

Long Island Family-Style Deli Lunch

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

February Happy Hour at Prospect Bar and Grill

Monday, February 24, 2020, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Diversity Kitchen Presents Chocolate Conversations 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Meet, Paint, and Enjoy Afternoon Tea with Artist Ruby Silvious              

Monday, March 2, 2020, 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Almost-Spring Fling at Sahadi's

Monday, March 9, 2020, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Did you know you can bring a friend - or two - to this event for free? Sign up now!




February is Healthy Heart Month

By Mindy Hermann

While February is best known for Valentine’s Day, it is also Heart Month, a time to recommit to living and eating to support the health of your heart. General guidance is relatively simple – get regular physical activity, maintain a weight that is healthy for you and eat a balanced diet. When you drill down into diet, you’ll find a number of food tweaks that can benefit your heart in a tasty way. The best news of all is that a number of NYWCA members specialize in the types of healthful foods and beverages associated with a healthy heart:

Wine, especially red wine, contains antioxidants that appear to help protect against coronary artery disease. Looking for suggestions? We’re fortunate to have at least 10 members who describe themselves as wine professionals.

When chocolate was first associated with love and Valentine’s Day, researchers didn’t know that it also contains compounds that help the heart. Choose dark over milk for heart health; just keep in mind that you have to eat a lot of it for any possible benefit. Look no further than the beautiful chocolates from Milene Jardine Chocolatier, the nutty deliciousness of Jessie’s Nutty Cups or the indulgent flavor of the Blondery’s Brooklyn Blackout Blondies.

Nut and seed oils are rich in unsaturated fats, the type of fat that is recommended in place of butter and other types of animal fats. Enjoy Ulli’s Oil Mill's cold-pressed, Austrian-style seed oils; they'll keep any heart happy.

The antioxidants and other compounds in green tea offer a multitude of heart-friendly benefits, including helping to reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. The selection of teas at SerendipiTea includes not only green teas but also other types filled with calming flavors that can help you, and your heart, to relax.


In Memoriam: Karen Berman

We recently received the sad news that Karen Berman, age 63, died on October 16, 2019. She was a long-time member, until about 2016. Residing in Fairfield, CT, she was a writer, editor and the author of six books. Karen was a strong, steady support to the Alliance, serving as co-chair of the Nominating Committee for 10 years. She will be missed.

To send thoughts, email Karen’s sister, Ellen, at Donations can be made to the ACLU, the Anti-Defamation League or Smilow Cancer Center. 

Member Terry Frishman has this remembrance:

Karen was a very kind person who generously volunteered her time and editorial expertise for the NYWCA. Her health didn't permit her to attend many events, so she actively helped from afar. As co-chair of the Nominating Committee, with Sharron McCarthy, Karen regularly called members to check-in and see how they were doing and then facilitated filling needed volunteer positions across our organization. Most recently, even in her last year of life, she wrote the Culinary Historians of New York newsletter.


Trending Foods & Ingredients: Terry Frishman Covers the Winter Fancy Food Show 

Story and Photos by Terry Frishman

At the Winter Fancy Food Show and Good Food Mercantile, I was excited to see the Profits with Purpose Movement – layering meaningful values and sustainability into business models. Increasingly, these are crossovers from the natural foods industry. I attended the show for my company, Culinest, a New York City-based boutique consultancy firm. 

The following ingredients and products with purpose were some of my  favorites.

Upcycled Ingredients to Reduce Food Waste

Okara: Now available as an organic flour substitute from Renewal Mill, a female-owned Public Benefit Corporation, this gluten-free byproduct from tofu/soy milk production is popular in Asian cuisines. 

WheyCowcohol Vodka is America’s first whey vodka. It's very clear and smooth. Inspired by English, Tasmanian and New Zealand milk-based vodkas, Oregon’s third-generation TMK Creamery partnered with Divine Distillery to upcycle excess whey from their farmstead cheese production for this vodka. Whey to go!

Nigari: This mineral-intensive, Appalachian salt byproduct from West Virginia's J.Q. Dickinson Salt Works is available as Dr. Dickinson’s hangover helper with 74 trace minerals and electrolytes, as well as a bottled Liquid Nigari for making tofu and cheeses.

See Upcycled Food Association for other brands. 

Global Flavors – Inclusiveness + Empowerment

KukuOyna Natural Foods now offers four versions of these Persian frittatas. Their excellent Sabzi Kuku combines 70% chives, parsley, cilantro, dill, walnuts and barberries with egg. 

Paneer: Fresh paneer cheese just became livelier and more available! Sach Foods offered samples of organic habanero, turmeric and original flavor.

Sweet Apricot Kernels, Shakhurbai and Gurbandi AlmondsZiba Foods, while promoting an Afghani renaissance and empowering local farmers, is marketing sweet apricot kernels (safely cyanide-free) and single origin almonds for snacking. 

Oat Innovation: from cereal, to milk, to cheese! This new plant-based product was inspired by the owners’ daughter's lactose intolerance. OATzarella’s soft, flavorful “mozzarella,” primarily made from steel cut oats and Greek olive oil, was delicious and inventive. 

For more information on other sustainable, plant-based offerings, see Plant-Based Foods Association.

Member News

Member Tresia Smith hosts You Are Enough, a women’s empowerment luncheon, on Saturday, March 21. Tickets are $40 but Tresia’s graciously offering members a reduced price of $25.

Board member Joyce Appelman’s latest from “Total Food Service” is a spotlight on chef Allison Fasano: She cooks and tells jokes for free so it’s a win-win for everyone around her!  

Joyce also has a new assignment at "Total Food Service" writing the SCOOP column. She's looking for Metro New York foodservice and hospitality news. Send items for SCOOP to her at or

Food writer and member Hannah Howard wrote a story about the death of Fairway – her former employer – for "New York Magazine’s" Grub Street. 



Winter Book Club – "32 Yolks by Eric Ripert"

Members gathered to discuss renowned Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert’s memoir “32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line,” which recounts his journey, beginning with a tough childhood in France. Dishes sampled included a chickpea flour vegetable pizza (shown above) and a smoked salmon Croque Monsieur topped with Polanco caviar from Uruguay, provided by member Julie Flanaghan of Gourmet Cargo. Dessert was Ripert’s favorite: Mousse au Chocolat with whipped cream. This spring, the book club reaches a milestone, reading book number 50.  

By Julieta Velasco

Fondue Dinner Party

The cheese-forward fondue dinner party was a great way to banish the winter blues. It was a sold-out event with wine pairings, cheese fondue with many dippers, an assortment of appetizers and a winter salad. All guests received a lunch tote filled with cheese and other goodies. 

Rose Cirricione organized the event and arranged for the space at Meredith. Jackie Gordon took home an entire wheel of "Altu" Yellowstone Door Creamery cheese from sponsor Shuman Cheese. No one else was willing to schlep it, she told us, so it went home with her. Visit Jackie if you need some cheese. 

Cast-Iron Magic

Photos by Yolanda Shoshana

Food and travel writer, Joanna Pruess and author and ICE culinary instructor Renee Marton cooked up a cast-iron storm, using some of the recipes from Joanna's latest book, "Cast-Iron: Cooking for Two." In her beloved Lodge cast-iron skillets, Joanna prepared a mushroom flat-bread, Turkey Pot Pie, Lavender Pan-Roasted Squash and unbelievable moist and gooey brownies.

Chef Renee Marton’s cast-iron creations included duck-fat roasted potatoes with sage leaves, and, for dessert, deep-fried, Japanese-style donuts rolled in ground sesame seed, poppy seed and sugar. All were paired with wine and ‘asides’ from Danica Stitz, Wine Committee Co-Chair. Attendees also received a copy of Joanna’s new book.

By Maria "Bing" Reid


Things to Read, See or Do 

Must See! 

Good Reads

  • Here's what Kitchen Arts & Letters sold the most last year.
  • More about the Mafia and NYC food (See last month’s piece on the Mafia and bagels.) But baby artichokes, really?
  • Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce aka Mother Gooseberry, passes away at 96.  

Things to Do 

  • The NYC premiere of “A Fine Line: A Woman’s Place in the Kitchen” opens February 28 at Cinema Village, running to March 3. The documentary recognizes the profound contributions of women in our  industry and explores why only about 6% of head chefs and restaurateurs are women, when, traditionally, women have always held the central role in the kitchen. Purchase tickets hereProceeds ($12) go to the film's #MAPP social impact campaign to increase women in culinary leadership through mentorship and advocacy. Angie Mar and Dana Cowin will attend the March 1 screening at 3:00 PM.
  • Bingo night cookbook release party with Lukas Goldberg of "Jarry" magazine.
  • Join the creative team behind Eat, Darling, Eat in celebrating Stories of Wontons to Waffles, an emotional, funny and delicious evening of storytelling. Storytellers will focus on mothers and daughters and the role that cooking, meals and food play in the transmission of family history, values and love. Tickets available here
  • Can't make it to Stories of Wontons to Waffles? Submit your mother-daughter story for inclusion in an upcoming newsletter and become part of the Eat, Darling, Eat family.
  • Donate some of your time to the Alliance – we need your help! Email to discuss volunteer opportunities large and small.


Book Club: Wines were provided by Member Alison Hass from Vineyard Brands: Delamotte Brut NV, Miraval Rosé 2018, Vincent Girardin Pouilly-Fuissé 2017 and Famille Perrin Gigondas La Gille 2017.

Fondue Party: Cello Cheese provided cheese. Edwards Smokehouse sent smoked sausages. Broccoli, potato and artisanal bread from Simple Loaf Bakehouse. Wine was provided by Vineyard Brands; honey by Mad Rose Specialty Food and artisanal condiments from Le Bon Magot.

Let's Connect

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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


Joyce Appelman
Stacy Basko

Hannah Howard
Miriam Rubin


Terry Frishman

Mindy Hermann

Maria "Bing" Reid

Yolanda Shoshana

Julieta Velasco


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

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. 

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