Fun programs, a new Indian soul food restaurant, perks, publications & pink peppercorn pasta, and our fall potluck - a don't-miss sumptuous Caribbean feast. Welcome new members!


Newsletter – September 2019

From the Newsletter Committee

Hello! Welcome new and returning members to our ever-evolving newsletter. As a committee, we know what we like to promote and write about but we need your news as well. Send us your restaurant announcements, events, the stories you write or publish, the books you birth (or copy-edit or co-write) and your job changes so we can brag about you.  

Joyce, Miriam and Stacy

From the President

Make the Alliance Yours – New Programs, More Locations

I want to welcome our new members and renewing members to the Alliance. This year is sure to be full of exciting programs. Many of these programs will be held in diverse locations such as Inwood, Jersey City, Brooklyn and Harlem. I want to thank Amy Lee and Darlene Banks for taking the lead to create such programs! As a reminder, one of the benefits of being a member is that you have the ability to create a program that is supported by the Alliance. The Alliance is yours! No program is one size fits all, so I encourage you to create the program that you want to see!

Fall Programs

So many ways to connect (and earn a credit). You know what to do – click the links!

New Member Orientation & Networking

Monday, September 16, 2019, 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Cocktail Club: Cognac

Thursday, Sept 19, 2019, 6:30 - 9:00 PM

NYWCA Wellness: Eat Well! Feel Well!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 6:00 - 8:30 PM

Basque Tapas & Dinner at Huertas NYC

Tuesday, October 1, 2019, 7:30 - 9:30 PM

Fall Harvest Lunch with Airis the Chef 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 12:30 - 2:30 PM

Fall Book Club: Buttermilk Graffiti (Waitlist Only)

Thursday, October 10, 2019, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Sumptuous Caribbean Feast - Fall Potluck

Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Discover the Shuk: The Heart of Israeli Home Cooking with Janna Gur (Save the Date)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Meet Jono Pandolfi  Ceramic Dinnerware Designer for the World's Best Chefs (Save the Date)

Friday, November 1, 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Open Board Meeting

Monday, November 4, 2019, 6:00 - 8:30 PM

Sausage-Making Class at Fleishers Craft Butchery

Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 7:30 - 9:30 PM


Member News

Garima Kothari Opens Indian Soul Food Restaurant

Board member Garima Kothari just opened Nukkad, a sparkling new 30-seat Indian soul food restaurant in Jersey City, New Jersey.

As chef and owner, Garima created a concept to satisfy Desi (Indian sub-continent diaspora) nostalgia for foods enjoyed over conversations with family and friends. 

The name Nukkad, Hindi for street corner, tells the story of a place where neighbors gather at day's end to share jokes, troubles and dreams over snacks and steaming cups of chai. 

With the theme of community in mind, Garima developed a menu of regional favorites that also reflect the diversity of India. On the table, dosas and idlis from the south sit next to plates of samosas and biriyanis from the north. There's also a Bombay sandwich, a specialty that's found in the west coast metropolis now called Mumbai. In Jersey City, diners can enjoy everything all at once.

Drop by Nukkad for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and of course, snacks. Located in the busy Exchange Place area, it's just one stop away from NYC on the PATH train. Use your MetroCard to get there and be sure to congratulate Garima. Mmmmm dosa. . . .

Workshops & Publications

New member Jackie Lieberman (left), shares this piece about food allergies from her publication NJFlavor.comStories from the food-focused site appear on more than 40 online town news publications that are part of

New member Amy Kim (left), will lead a class featuring recipes from her blog kimchiMOM at Garden State Kitchen. She'll share her family recipe for kimchi along with dishes to make with it once it's ready. Come out to Orange, NJ  it's closer than you think.

From Board member Joyce Appelman (left), this month in Total Food Service: Meet Yvan Lemoine and learn about Gitano Garden of Love, the Ultimate Outdoor Dining Destination in Manhattan (page 30), and Diane Rossi of Pro-Tek, a 2019 TFS Top Woman in Metro New York Foodservice and Hospitality (page 24).

Any Wine & Spirits PR Account Execs Out There?

Teuwen Communications, Stephanie Teuwen's award-winning marketing/PR agency, which specializes in wine, spirits and food, is looking for an Account Executive/SAE for the New York City office. Accounts include international and domestic clients ranging from Cognac, Paso Robles Wines to Côtes de Bordeaux, and more. Visit for details and send a resume with cover letter to

New Members Offer Kitchen Space (and Much More)

New member Bella Karakis is co-founder and chief business development officer of ChefScape Kitchen. She is generously donating a portion of her amazing space for our new member orientation and networking event, pictured at left.

ChefScape, located at 180 Maiden Lane, is a culinary incubator with a commercial kitchen, a food hall, event space and a catering operation. If you're planning a wedding or conference, they have an expansive and gorgeous atrium with all the amenities. Looking for space for a pop-up or to grow your brand or develop a concept? They can help. For more information, contact Bella or call her at (917) 215-3309.

Food writer and new member Katie Workman has a lovely and brand-new, shoot-in kitchen on the Upper East Side. The space is built for photo and video shoots, small events, off-sites, chef demos, and more. She'd be delighted to show it to anyone interested. For Alliance members, she’s offering a 15% discount. Contact Katie to tour the space or discuss availability.

Kris Ohleth, who also just joined the Alliance, is owner/founder of Garden State Kitchen. She's offering members 15% off their first booking or event at her commercial kitchen/incubator space. Located in the Valley Arts District of Orange, New Jersey, Garden State Kitchen is a state-of-the-art facility with kitchen rental, specialty classes, event space and unique networking opportunities. Contact Kris (or member Stacy Basko who works with her) to schedule a tour or discuss hosting an event, workshop or photo shoot.

Party Pix: September Happy Hour at Red Rooster

(Don't You Wish You'd Been There?)


Members partying at Red Rooster in Harlem at our most recent cocktail event. Next time, go!

(Photos courtesy of member Irene Yager)

Member Perks

 Spend Your Money Where it Counts

Check out these great new perks for members – and from members. Try out new products and support your colleagues, too. (Shout-out to Amy Lee for working with Brooklyn Slate, Buunni Coffee and SerendipiTea to arrange for these!)

You'll find the discount codes for these in the Members Area/Perks section of the website. If you have ideas for other perks, please email

Buunni Coffee offers 15% off hand-picked, small-batch roasted Ethiopian coffee beans. Buy the beans at or at one of their stores: 213 Pinehurst Avenue (at 187th Street); 4961 Broadway, in Inwood; or 3702 Riverdale Avenue, in the Bronx.

Brooklyn Slate produces slate boards, coasters and more, and they’re offering a 25% discount to the Alliance at Members of the trade can contact them about wholesale prices at

SerendipTea works closely with tea gardens, estates and tea specialists around the world to bring you the highest quality loose-leaf tea. It's available to members at a 20% discount at

Bottoms Up 

Meet KLEOS, the First Greek Spirit Created by a Woman

By Francine Cohen

As adults, returning to school is a choice. Studying KLEOS promises to be a delicious, spirited, ancient history-filled one. So grab a glass and a study buddy as we explore the first super-premium brand mastiha spirit that only took 3,000 years to get here.

Mastiha, the sap from the indigenous skinos tree that only grows on the southern part of the Greek island Chios, is a superfood traditionally used as a spice in Greek baking and cooking. Now this PDO (protected designation of origin) product is also the darling of Michelin-starred chefs and award-winning bartenders.

First referenced in 500 BC by Herodotus, the Greek father of history, and first prescribed for medicinal purposes by Hippocrates, the Greek father of Medicine, skinos was also the world’s first chewing gum and is the root of the word “to chew” in many romance languages.

So chew on this...Kleos is the first Greek spirit created by a woman. Spirits industry veteran Effie Panagopoulos poured her heart and soul into this project for nine years to get Kleos right. Leading the team at Kleos's distillery on Lesvos is Greece’s first female distiller, Maroussa Tsachaki.

According Panagopoulos, the brand takes its name from Homerian times; in Homer’s "The Iliad" writing days, Greek heroes were striving to “earn their kleos.” She continues, “It means they performed deeds so grandiose they would be immortalized in epic poetry—having earned 'eternal glory' or 'everlasting fame.'”

Panagopoulos has strived just as hard to develop this spirit, which felt sometimes like a Sisyphean task. She shared challenges beyond bottle production gone awry, “Most of the challenges have to do with being a female in a male dominated industry, navigating those dynamics, and being slighted many times by males who were in greater positions of power.”

She continues, “I had to walk away from a another mastiha project because the revenue wasn’t fairly distributed. I said no to a $1.5 million seed investment  because this investor attempted to incorporate a pregnancy clause in an operating agreement, stating that if I were to get pregnant I could be removed from the company as CEO.”

These may not be the last awful situations she'll face as an entrepreneur. As she says: “My story may be unique to me, but the recent new-wave women’s movement is a pure example that it is not unusual. Thankfully, I expect problems, so I don’t freak out when they arise. Still, I have never been tested so much in my life as with getting Kleos off the ground.”

Kleos is great reward for hard work -- try it on the rocks with a wedge of lemon or in a cocktail. Find it at great bars and restaurants throughout the city: Pouring Ribbons, The Aviary, The Look-up, Made hotel, Dead Rabbit, The Up and Up, Dante, Shuka, Sweetwater Social, Ousia, Kellari, Avra, Elysian Fields, Milos midtown, Shuka, Nur, Ovelia and Akrotiri. Or purchase it at these liquor stores:

Photo of Effie Panagopoulos by Anthony Nader @52chefs.

KLEOS photo by Guillaume Jubien.

Member Recipe

Pink Peppercorn Pasta

By Francesca Zani

This pasta is simple, it’s amazing and it’s feminine, due to the color  which I love! It’s my take on cacio e pepe but with a different cheese, different “peppercorns” (pink peppercorns are actually dried berries) and seasoned pasta water. I used Benedetto Cavalieri’s Spaghettoni pasta which is fairly traditional for this Roman-style dish. The game changer was the Sicilian incanestrato cheese, which is an aged, hard cheese like Parmesan or pecorino. I find it’s much better.

I discovered this cheese at a small Italian market on the Upper East Side, but I imagine it’s sold elsewhere? The pink peppercorn berries took a little hunting, but I am in love now! The seasoned pasta water adds another level of flavor. Other than salting your water to taste like the equivalent of the Black Sea, I think cooking pasta in brothy water with the addition of aromatics accentuates the flavor so much more.


Salt to taste

10 garlic cloves, smashed

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered

1 pound Benedetto Cavalieri Spaghettoni pasta, or other spaghetti

4 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons pink peppercorns, coarsely ground

3 cups grated Sicilian incanestrato cheese

2 cups reserved pasta water


In a large saucepot, add 1½ to 2 gallons water, salt to taste (it should taste like the ocean), the garlic and onions. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the aromatics and bring the mixture back to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook until al dente (very al dente).The pasta should hold its shape quite well and have a really nice bite. Before draining, reserve 2 cups of starchy pasta water. Drain the pasta.

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter, and once it begins to sizzle add the peppercorns to toast slightly. Add 1½ cups of the reserved pasta water and half of the cheese and whisk until combined and the cheese has melted.

Add the pasta and toss, gently folding in more cheese. Cook on very low heat until the pasta has a glossy, cheesy coating of sauce. Add more pasta water if necessary.

Swirl the pasta into a deep bowl or onto a large plate and sprinkle with additional pink peppercorns and more cheese.

New member Francesca Zani, left, developed this recipe. She's an associate culinary producer at PowerHouse Productions and blogs at

Things to Read, See or Do 

  • Hurry! This panel of women in food happens in two days at Hunter College and it's free! Discussions cover gender, equal pay, harassment, sustainability, career advancement and more.

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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
Miriam Rubin

Committee Members

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. 

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