We need volunteers! “Toques in Black” features NYWCA members, Q&A with Alliance founder Sara Moulton, Olive Oil Symposium in Greece, Buunni Coffee redux, Jeannie Chen wishes us happy Chinese New Year and she's illustrated children’s book, and happy 38th anniversary to us! 


Newsletter – January 2020

Call for Volunteers

There are many areas of our organization that need your help: membership, social media, programs, and more. Please sign up to volunteer.

Why Volunteer?

  • Help build the community that you are part of—the Alliance was built and is totally run by volunteers
  • Network and connect with more of your peers—and possibly boost your career
  • Make an impact on the organization
  • Share your special skill or expertise with others
  • Get inspired by meeting and volunteering with members.

Reach out to nywcawebsite@gmail.com to inquire about volunteer opportunities. No matter how much, all help is welcome!



Winter Programs

Let's Cheer with Cheese: A Fondue Dinner Party (Wait List Only)

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

Winter Book Club: "32 Yolks" by Eric Ripert (Wait List Only)

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

Global Dinner: France with Chef Sara Moulton (Wait List Only)

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

Cast-Iron Magic with Joanna Pruess & Renée Marton (Wait List Only)

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

Long Island Family-Style Deli Lunch

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




Q&A with Alliance Founder Sara Moulton

By Joyce Appelman

Sara Moulton talks about founding the NYWCA in the January issue of "Total Food Service" during an interview with Board member Joyce Appelman. Here's an excerpt of their conversation. Read the full article here

Joyce Appelman: The Alliance is celebrating its 38th anniversary this year. How did it start?

Sara Moulton: The NYWCA was supposed to be a junior branch of another women’s culinary group, Les Dames D’Escoffier. Les Dames was a group you had to apply to get in and you needed to have years in the field before you could apply. I was asked to set up the junior version by the founder of Les Dames, Carol Brock, but the Dames’ board did not approve, so my good friend, "Gourmet" food editor, Maria Reuge and I went out and formed our own group in 1982, called The New York Women’s Culinary Alliance. The NYWCA differed from Les Dames in that we would accept anyone who worked full time in the industry and lived in the tri-state area, even if they had just graduated from cooking school. The point of the group was simple: networking and education.

JA: How has the Alliance changed?

SM: NYWCA President Rhadia Hursey and the board of directors have made a conscious effort to recruit the next generation of Alliance members. They have used social media to increase the profile of the Alliance and to recruit a more diverse group of women. Today, one-fifth of the Alliance are women of color, and we hope to grow that number even more next year. The Alliance is also offering more diverse programs in locations such as Harlem and Brooklyn.

JA: What are some of the challenges facing the Alliance?

SM: We are working on new ways to involve our members for our volunteer-based programs that will be meaningful to them. We’ve created diverse events that appeal to our members including cooking classes, happy hours and business-skills workshops. In fact, I’ll be kicking off our new Global Dinner Series with a focus on French cuisine in January. I will demo a French apple tart, and then we'll share a French meal, family-style.


Iesha Williams & Jackie Gordon Featured in "Toques in Black"

By Joyce Appelman

Alan Batt, known as Battman to the industry, has been capturing the essence of New York City’s food scene through the lens of his camera for nearly 25 years. Founder of The Chef’s Connection and the Great Chefs Gathering event, his stellar photography appears in 30 cookbooks, all showcasing the expertise of world-renowned chefs.

His latest project, “Toques In Black: A Celebration of Black Chefs,” is a cookbook replete with recipes and stories about growing up, and the personal successes that have come from what sometimes seems like insurmountable odds. In the book’s pages, 101 of America’s most talented Black chefs share their food and experience – including two members of the Alliance – Iesha Williams (pictured above) and Jackie Gordon (below). Each chef contributes a recipe, a story and a photo of them as a young person along with a current photo.

Iesha, who runs an online bake shop called The Salty Heifer, says in the book that her Panamanian-Carribean-American heritage influenced her point of view on food and her career path. She studied hard, went to graduate school and landed a lucrative corporate job. She was successful, but unhappy, so she ditched her suits and donned an apron after enrolling at what was then called the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center). Her culinary career includes stints at Corton and Barbuto, senior positions running busy kitchens and ten years cooking in Michelin-starred restaurants in France and Italy. Today, she creates big flavors with simple, quality ingredients. Her motto? "Adulting is hard – eat a cookie.”

Owner of Divalicious Chocolate! Events in NYC, the multi-talented Jackie Gordon is an award-winning chef, a professional speaker and an expert at connecting people through her performances that combine food and humor – and she sings! A passionate food professional, she’s worn just about every hat in the business and always with style. Her websites are www.jackiegordon.com and www.divaliciouschocolate.com, and she’s known as The Diva that Ate New York. Jackie is also a long-time member of the Alliance.

Sales of the new cookbook will help fund The Chef’s Connection Line Cook Program at Food and Finance High School, a free training and placement program to get people jobs in restaurants. The majority of the participants in these programs are Black and Hispanic.

Support the cause & BUY IT!


Digging into the World of Olive Oil in Delphi

By Hannah Howard

Pro tip: when you get invited to the Yale Symposium on Olive Oil and Health in Delphi, Greece, say yes! In December, I joined a motley and brilliant crew of academics, scientists, nutritionists, industry people, entrepreneurs and advocates to talk all things olive. The three days of research presentations, panel conversations, and tastings—so much delicious olive oil!—were so rich with information that by the time I left to drive back to Athens, my head was spinning.

We talked about everything from the cultural history of the olive tree in landscape architecture to the role of olives in fighting climate change to advances in processing table olives (olives to eat, rather than for oil), with less sodium. We heard from farmers, chefs, chemists and agronomists. (We also danced the night away to live music at one of the world’s oldest cafes, or kafenios, fueling ourselves with shots of ouzo and cubes of roasted lamb. The mayor of Delphi danced right along with us.)

I spoke about my experience writing about olive oil both as a journalist and as a marketer and copywriter for olive oil brands and grocery stores. In my job, I get to directly communicate with consumers to shape their experience of and knowledge about olive oil, and (hopefully) I tell stories that inform and inspire. I talked about the challenges of cutting through the deluge of marketing speak, clarifying mistruths and half-truths, and making sure my own information is accurate and clear. I’m not used to speaking to a room full of so many scientists and academics — I was nervous, but I definitely brought a different perspective. I came home with a suitcase full of olive oil and a notebook full of olive oil-related scribbles and stories I can’t wait to dig into.


Member News

Linda Villano and SerendipiTea Get Some Press

Member Linda Villano, founder of the award-winning SerendipiTea, was featured with her partner, Sonam Curreri, and her family (her brother is also a partner), in several local papers including “The Island Now.

In the article, the Port Washington resident, whose business is located in Manhasset, explains that the name, SerendipiTea has special meaning. She founded the company with her late husband.

“The word serendipity means ‘happening across happy accidents,’ but what a lot of people don’t realize is that the origin of the word was in Sri Lanka, one of the world’s largest tea producers,” Villano said. “But before [it was] Sri Lanka, it was known as Ceylon, and before it was Ceylon, it was the Isle of Serendip. So the company name itself is rooted in tea.”

While the majority of their tea business is in foodservice, they also sell retail in their Manhasset shop. And they recently provided tea swag for the Mastering Spice event.

Multi-talented Jeannie Chen Illustrates Children's Book

Food stylist and Board member Jeannie Chen’s illustrations are featured in “Gordon and Li Li Celebrate Chinese New Year," a bilingual children’s book that was released on January 7. Part of a series, the book features cousins who celebrate the traditions and festivities of Chinese New Year, communicating in two different languages, English and Mandarin. Order the book here. Chinese New Year begins January 25; it’s the Year of the Metal Rat.

Entrepreneur Workshops Begin at Kris Ohleth's Garden State Kitchen

The Formula, Garden State Kitchen’s six-week program for start-up food businesses looking to expand, begins February 22. Each week, business founders/owners, financial advisors, food scientists, coaches, chefs and hospitality consultants will bring their real-life experience to lead informative, interactive workshops. Sign up for one session or all six here. Save 20% with code GSK2020. 

Georgette Farkas Closes Her Restaurant 

On New Year’s Eve, Georgette Farkas served the last meal at her Upper East Side restaurant, Rotisserie Georgette, ending a six-year run. We’re sorry to see this woman-owned restaurant close. More info here.



One Spicy Event

By Roberta Roberti

The Mastering Spice event, held in the Artistic Tile Showroom in the Flatiron District, was a lively evening of chatting, nibbles, spice…and tiles! Attendees sampled snacks and drinks while meandering through the displays and looking at gorgeous tiles.

The spiced (and sometimes spicy) spread consisted of jams and compotes from Le Bon Magot; cheeses from Firefly Farm, Beehive Cheese and Cheese Grotto; honeys from Mad Rose; wine from Barterhouse; gourmet chocolates from Brooklyn Born Chocolate and divine bread from Balthazar Bakery.

The main course was the discussion and book signing with Lior Lev Sercarz, owner of La Boîte in Manhattan. Sercarz introduced us to his philosophy of cooking with spice and discussed his latest book, “Mastering Spice.” He answered spice-related questions, then turned the proverbial mic over to member Dina Melendez-Bonnet, who demoed a recipe from his book.

All attendees were gifted with a copy of the book to take home. It’s a hefty, beautifully-crafted volume that takes a refreshing look at the world of spices. As usual, winners of the raffle received fabulous prizes, from aromatic brews from SerendipiTea, to storage containers from OXO, to slates from Brooklyn Slate Co. What started as a chilly winter day ended in a warm and cheerful evening, whether it was because of the camaraderie, the wines, or simply all those fabulous spices.

Photos courtesy of Maria "Bing" Reid and Rose Cirrincione.

Here's a recap on "Socially Superlative" from special guest Lindsay Appelman.

Scenes from the Ethiopian Dinner and Coffee Ceremony at Sarina Prabasi's Buunni Coffee 

Here are photos from the incredible Ethiopian feast and coffee ceremony at Buunni Coffee in Inwood. (Last month, we posted the wrong photos – oops – so we wanted to make sure you got a chance to check it out!)


New Year – New Perks

If you weren't gifted the Vitamix you were hoping for this holiday season, now is the time to treat yourself! We've been offered an even deeper discount on the Venturist V1200 blender. Check out both Q1 Spotlight Offers in the NYWCA perks section of the website. 


Things to Read, See or Do 

Must See! 

  • More food art, including history dating from 18th century Europe and programs at Savor: A Revolution in Food Culture. It’s at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT. through May 25.

Good Reads

  • Food Ed, a new program developed at Stone Barns, helps educators teach teens about the intersection of nutrition, culture, farming and the environment.
  • Most-read stories of the year at New Food Economy. Spoiler alert: they are all fascinating. Do not miss the one on "compostable" salad bowls. Time to "bring your own bowl?"
  • On our radar: “Rage Baking” – a collection of essays and recipes for our times. (Releases February 4.)
  • A profile of Mariya Russell, the first Black woman to command a Michelin-starred kitchen.

Things to Do 

  • Donate some of your time to the Alliance—we need your help! Email nywcawebsite@gmail.com to discuss volunteer opportunities large and small. 

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


Joyce Appelman
Stacy Basko

Hannah Howard
Miriam Rubin


Roberta Roberti


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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New York Women's Culinary Alliance

1221 Sixth Avenue 

New York, NY 10020



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