Job search advice, booze-free cocktails, La Cocina @ La Palapa, lemony berry cake and jammy crostata, Fancy Food Show preview, IACP, a corn symposium, and more.


Newsletter – June 2019

Summer Programs

Meet food entrepreneurs from Bay Area powerhouse La Cocina, sip drinks with a southern twist, and yes, we're having a rooftop party. Here comes summer!

La Cocina at La Palapa, Dinner and Discussion

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Happy Hour June: Welcome Summer at Southern-Inspired Porchlight

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Up On the Roof Picnic Mixer

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


Member News

We Have So Much to Be Proud Of!

Chocolatier Milene Jardine is featured in Edible Queens and mentioned in Better Homes and Gardens.

New member Cha McCoy, a sommelier and international consultant who focuses on equality in hospitality, made the cover of Industry Rules Magazine.

Forbes profiled Chopped Champion Airis Johnson, another new member.

Not one, but three articles by PR guru and board member Joyce Appelman are in the latest issue of Total Food Service, including an exclusive Q&A with celebrity chef Elizabeth Falkner.

On Facebook? Check out our group and share your news. 

Job Hunting? Bring a Pen (But Don't Wear a Hat)

Our theme this month is job or gig hunting. Many of us find ourselves in this boat, so Miriam Rubin asked for guidance from former Alliance president, Barbara Sibley, owner of La Palapa, who has hired lots of employees. Even if you’re not looking, take a moment to give this a read, and hear her tips and what she looks for during an interview.

While we often first apply online, if you do get a face-to-face or phone interview, follow-up with an email or written note to make an impression. And don't forget about friends, family and the Alliance. Old-school but true, networking is often the best way to get your foot in the door and kick your resume out of the electronic mosh-pit and onto the right person’s desk. So brush off your resume, tap into your contacts, and good luck.

Miriam Rubin: What makes a person stand out, what makes a resume stand out?

Barbara Sibley: A person stands out by the way they interact with the interviewer - eye contact, openness, forthright communication.

In a resume - even more important than relevant experience - is a pattern of longevity at the jobs they have held. A person that has only held jobs for a couple of months each time has probably not learned to push through a difficult learning curve.

I look for what the person's dream is. I often ask "why are you in New York?" One of the great perks of being an owner is that I get to choose who I work with and mentor them.

MR: What do you look for when hiring someone? 

BS: There are skills inherent to the hospitality industry that are not skills you can teach. I look for people that are empathetic and that can sense when someone is in trouble or uncomfortable and who have the desire to help. If something spills or drops during the interview, is their first instinct to help or do they hold back - do they even notice?

MR: Any tips for ways to dress or things to say? How does an applicant present themselves best? As an aside, back in the day, when I was looking for kitchen jobs, I never wore a skirt.

BS: It is best to come dressed ready to work if looking for a job in a FOH role. That way the interviewer can picture you in that role. This means researching what type of restaurant you are applying to and what their dress code is.

One of the most important dress tips is to remind applicants of the importance of looking professional for their second evaluation period and/or second interview - you'd be surprised how many people don't understand this.

Never wear a hat of any kind. Always, always, always bring a pen!

Barbara Sibley shown above at her restaurant, La Palapa. (Photo by Stephano Giovannini)

Job Search Sites

NYWCA Job Board

(In the Members Area of our Website, powered by Culinary Agents)

Good Food Jobs

Media Bistro

Journalism Jobs

Food + Tech Jobs

Fancy Food Show  It's Coming Up

  • Check out what's new, exciting, different, a must-taste or gotta-see at the Summer Fancy Food Show, June 23-25 at the Jacob Javits Center. More info here (page 42).

So, How Was IACP? A Member Checks In from This Year's Conference in Santa Fe 

By Jennifer Clair

The 2019 IACP Conference in Santa Fe, NM was a long schlep, but a welcome scenery change and a fantastic way to see old colleagues and meet new ones.

There was a strong emphasis on Native American foods and their history, and a focus on chefs using locally-sourced, native ingredients. We sampled many: pemmican, blue corn mash, wild rice and beef braised in Chimayo chile sauce.

Tours included a trip to Ghost Ranch (Georgia O’Keefe’s summer home) and the Chinle red rock formations. Notable workshops covered creating a compelling cookbook proposal (very thorough) and finding your unique voice in personal essays or recipes.

Keynote speakers included Danny Meyer, Nathan Myhrvold, Deborah Madison, Jessica Harris, and the incredible Lois Ellen Frank, a Native foods historian, who stole the show with her impassioned speech about the history of Native American foods.

Panel highlights were Podcasting 101 with Michael Harlan Turkell (of Food 52’s Burnt Toast podcast), How Cookbooks Go Viral and Anxiety and The Imposter Syndrome. This was packed, with mostly freelancers, struggling with the need to constantly sell themselves in person and on social media to help secure their next project. There was a sense of collective relief that everyone struggles with these feelings of “am I good enough?” no matter the years clocked in the industry.

I hosted a panel, Self Publishing Your Next Cookbook, with fellow authors Kathy Strahs, Kendra Aronson and Omnivore Books’ Celia Sack, providing the bookseller’s point of view. Many were in attendance, including editors from a few big publishing houses, interested in this publishing option, and the esteemed Rose Levy Berenbaum!

The awards ceremony is not much to write about, and lacked the pomp and circumstance of an actual awards show. Winners were announced on slides and acceptance speeches were literally limited to 4 words. Naz Deravian’s winning speech for her cookbook “Bottom of the Pot” was “Tahdig, now and forever.” Sweet, but unfortunate that was all we were allowed to hear from such an eloquent writer and first-time winner.

The IACP Conference is not inexpensive, but it’s an expense that seems to pay for itself over time. The networking is great (if you take full advantage and introduce yourself to everyone) and there are many like-minded people to share stories with. Of note is the value of the conference app, Whova, that allows you to see who is attending the conference months before and make connections and meetings before arriving, maximizing your time. The Job Bulletin on the app allows you to apply in person at conference. I landed a recipe development job for (posted on the app) and met with their content editor that weekend.

I hope to see many of you next year in Pittsburgh (blessedly, only a train ride away!).

2019 IACP award winners can be found here

Kendra Aronson, Kathy Strahs and Jennifer Clair, shown L-R outside the panel they led at the IACP Conference.

Member Planning a Symposium on Corn Asks for Support

Johanna Kolodny and her colleague Mira Evnine are producing a two-day corn symposium, the first planned by Topic 48, on September 8 and 9. The first day of the seminar will be held at the New School's Tischman Auditorium and will focus on speakers. The following day will feature smaller groups and will be held primarily at restaurants, and will include hands-on workshops, demos and tastings. The symposium is industry-focused, but events are also open to the public. Topic 48 is planning programs now and seeks your input on:

  • any kind of sponsorship and partnerships, ideally connected to corn in some capacity.
  • industry feedback on participant and topic suggestions as the programming is finalized. See the short survey here.
  • restaurants and locations to host on Monday.

There are decks for sponsorship and participants upon request. More information can be found at, and for direct communication, contact

Member Recipes

Lemon Berry Ricotta Bundt Cake Topped with Lemon Curd Whipped Cream

By Diana Andrews

The bright summer flavors of fresh berries, lemon and ricotta combine to create a warm-weather treat. Top with lemon-curd whipped cream for a tangy hit of flavor.

Lemon Berry Ricotta Bundt Cake


Neutral flavored cooking spray

½ cup turbinado sugar

11¼ oz. (2½ cups) all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. table salt

8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2½ cups granulated sugar

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup fresh ricotta, about 8¾ oz.

2 Tbs. lemon zest

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1½ tsp. lemon juice

1 cup fresh berries such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or a combination


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 300°F. Generously spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray, being sure to coat all the crevices. Coat the pan evenly with the turbinado sugar, discarding any excess. Set the pan aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a stand mixer, with the paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until very pale. Sprinkle in the granulated sugar and beat well until incorporated and slightly fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until blended before adding the next. The mixture should be light and fluffy.

Add the ricotta, zest, vanilla and lemon juice and beat until incorporated, scraping bowl as necessary.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three batches, mixing until blended before adding the next. After the last batch of flour is incorporated, switch to a rubber spatula and fold until the batter is well blended and smooth, scraping the bowl’s bottom and sides.

Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the berries evenly over, then cover with the remaining batter. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs clinging, 60 to 75 minutes; start checking doneness at about 50 minutes. Let the cake cool 20 to 25 minutes, then invert it onto a rack, tapping the pan with a spoon to release the cake. Cool completely. Serve with the lemon curd whipped cream.

Lemon Curd Whipped Cream


1½ cups heavy cream

½ cup good quality store-bought lemon curd


In a medium bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the lemon curd to loosen. Fold half of the whipped cream into the lemon curd. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the lemon curd mixture until well combined. Serve with the cake.

Serves 8 to 10.

Diana Andrews, pictured above, developed this recipe. She's a food editor at Fine Cooking. 

A Tale of Three Jam Crostatas

by Miriam Rubin

This gorgeous jam crostata was baked by Vera Eisenberg, pictured here, for the program Discover “The Italian Table,” featuring Elizabeth Minchelli's new book. The filling was rhubarb and strawberry jam. Co-host of the program, Carrie Bachman, also baked one for her family, and used rhubarb from my garden for her filling. 

Carrie shared the crostata recipe with me, and I also made a rhubarb-strawberry jam for the filling. Hey, it's in the garden and it was the season. The crostata recipe's as easy as pie (easier), and you can make it with any jam – doesn't have to be homemade – and doesn't have to be rhubarb. Elizabeth writes that she loves to prepare the crust with stone-ground, whole-wheat flour for a "complex and nutty flavor."


1½ cups all-purpose or whole-wheat flour

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

½ cup sugar

Grated zest of 1 organic, unsprayed lemon

Pinch of sea salt

About 1 cup of jam


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the butter, egg yolks, sugar, zest and salt to the well. Mix the wet ingredients with your fingers, then slowly start mixing in the flour. Just use your fingers, and eventually the heel of your hand, to mush it all together until it forms a ball. This should only take a few minutes.

Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, covered with plastic wrap.

Line a 10-inch round tart pan with a removable rim with parchment paper. Place the dough in the tart pan. Don’t try to roll it out, just spread it out to the edges with the palm of your hand to form an even crust.

Spread the jam evenly over the crust with the back of a spoon. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the jam is bubbling and the crust is golden. Let it cool completely before serving.

Serves 8.

Adapted from “The Italian Table” by Elizabeth Minchelli (Rizzoli)

Vera Eisenberg, the Strudel Queen, pictured here with the jam crostata she made for last month's program.

Things to Read, See or Do

  • Tips for acing your next video interview here.


  • Alliance members enjoyed three different mocktails prepared with Seedlip, a nonalcoholic, herbal spirit that's based on a 300-year-old formula. The drinks were served at the recent Greenhouse Herbal Supper at the NY Horticultural Society's outpost at Riverbank State Park.

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
Miriam Rubin

Committee Members

Lana Bortolot

Francine Cohen

Leslie Super


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 7 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 7 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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