In July 2020, Rohini Dey – owner of the Vermilion restaurant in Chicago – wanted to create a movement for female restaurateurs to connect with one another while trying to keep their businesses alive during the pandemic, sharing resources, offering support and economic Power to combine.
The initiative was called Let’s Talk Womxn and started with 15 members in Chicago before rapidly expanding to more than 350 members in 12 cities, including Boston. To celebrate International Women’s Day, Let’s Talk Womxn will present its first nationwide event – and you are invited.
Nine cities will take part in Dine Together & Let’s Talk on March 8th, when restaurateurs come together to compose multi-course menus along with a zoom talk hosted by celebrity movers and shakers, including Attorney General Maura Healey. In Boston, the event offers a four-course meal for two ($ 85). You can choose between a vegetarian or an omnivorous dinner that highlights dishes from the following local chefs and restaurateurs:
- Jen Ziskin from La Morra, Heritage, Punch Bowl
- Tracy Chang from PAGU
- Seana Gaherin by Dunn Gaherin
- Karen Akunowicz from Fox & The Knife
- Nancy Cushman from O Ya, Hojoko, Bianca
- Rachel Miller Munzer of State Park, Mamaleh’s, Vincent’s Corner Grocery
- Heather Mojer of State Park, Mamaleh’s, Vincent’s Corner Grocery
- Rachel Sundet of State Park, Mamaleh’s, Vincent’s Corner Grocery
- Carolyn Johnson from 80 Thoreau, Mooncusser
- Sarah Wade from Stillwater
- Olive Chase of the casual gourmet
- Kathi Turner from Turner’s Seafood
- Rhonda Kallman of the Boston Harbor Distillery
- Sumiao Chen from Sumiao Hunan Kitchen
- Cheryl Straughter from Soleil
- Nia Grace from Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen
- Kristine Higgins and Noelle Somers from Somers Pub
- Emily Vena and Rachel Trudel from Cobble
- Kate Smith from Thistle & Leek
- Denise Herrera from Burton’s Grill
In addition to the four-course meal, guests can enjoy bottled espresso martinis and old-fashioned produce from the Boston Harbor Distillery.
“Restaurants are the hardest hit sector,” Dey said in a press release. “Women entrepreneurs in this segment are hardest hit. Our restaurants are smaller and often undercapitalized. Women carry the inevitable extra workload at home and are isolated as business owners. Let’s Talk is not an organization, entity, or association – from which we restaurateurs have received a deluge of webinars, guidelines and manuals – it’s a movement of action from us. “
Brooklines Cobble’s Emily Vena and Rachel Trudel are part of the Let’s Talk Womxn branch in Boston. You were introduced to the initiative through Jen Ziskin (La Morra, Heritage, Punch Bowl) who acts as one of the industry ambassadors and worked with Vena when Vena was the chef at La Morra. For dinner on March 8th, Vena makes a “fresh and roasted root salad”.
“This community is full of talented women chefs, restaurants and entrepreneurs,” Trudel told Boston.com in an email. “Instead of fighting for a seat at the table with other women, it is important for us to build a larger table with other talented and resilient female chefs, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs, not only for ourselves, but also for the future of women in restaurants . ”
Guests who purchase the Dine Together & Let’s Talk menu can choose from four pickup locations: Boston, Cambridge, Metro / West, and North Shore. The deadline for orders is March 4th; Orders can be placed here.
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