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One day in early 1981, an exciting rumor was weaving its way through the test kitchens, restaurants, magazines, catering halls, food businesses and publishing houses of New York City. There was to be a meeting at La Tulipe, an intimate French restaurant in the Village, and a professional women’s food organization was to be formed. Approximately seventy-five eager women showed up. Sara Moulton and Maria Reuge enthusiastically described their vision of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, which they founded with Julia Child’s encouragement and a strong endorsement by the Boston Women’s Culinary Guild.

The timing for this meeting couldn’t have been more perfect: Young women were struggling to gain entry into and recognition for their contributions in the culinary and related fields. Sara and Maria believed that by banding together under a common cause, women could gain the strength and obtain the support needed to enable them to achieve their goals. Thirty-nine years and currently over 300 members later, it is clear that the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance has seen the hopes and dreams of its membership come true.

Click HERE to see a list of our Past Presidents.


The Oral History Project is a treasured compilation of founding member interviews, spearheaded by member Carol Durst-Wertheim. The project was added to the Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection at NYU's Fales Library in 2014, joining a collection of more than 55,000 cookbooks, archives and memorabilia. The video clip above was created from over 12 hours of original footage.

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