2015 Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Conference

Women Chefs

Three days of food, fundamentals and fun. by Marjorie Borell

April 18, 2015 was opening night for this year’s annual conference of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. Held at Times Square’s Hudson Theatre, it ran until April 20 to glowing reviews.

Previews began on Saturday evening with a Secret Garden Party at the McKittrick Hotel where guests chatted and clinked glasses ‘til midnight.

Alarm clocks buzzed Sunday morning for the opening act starring President, Elizabeth Faulkner. A lead role was played by keynote speaker Lydia Bastianch who spoke passionately about the importance of the economics of the food business recommending that her audience seek out the right opportunities and follow through. Inspired by her success, attendees were advised to take a “bigger bite” out of their careers by learning to be “pathologically positive” and ask for help when needed – advice we can all use.

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Following a lavish New York Neighborhood lunch were breakout sessions featuring the production line, food and beverage pairings and advanced strategies for business and career.  Off site tours included a Cookie Hunt and Chelsea Market walk culminating a wild Foods Game III competition that made Iron Chef look like a leisurely round of golf.  The partying continued with a sparkly reception followed by a Studio 54 reboot and after party hosted by Charlie Palmer.

Monday’s second act included talks with talented international chefs, a panel of media advisors, and a workshop on modern culinary techniques. One of my favorites was the history of Women Behind Bars moderated by bartender extraordinaire, Pamela Wiznitzer.

The third act was a tour of the town with a visit to Eataly, a ride on the L-train and a Harlem historical food tour.

The curtain finally came down after a Gala cocktail and yet another after party at the Chefs Club hosted by Food & Wine. It was a feast for the senses, mind and spirit that has me looking forward to what’s on the bill for next year.