Eight Women Commence Mentorship Program with Top Industry Leaders
(Long Island, NY) The James Beard Foundation (JBF) has announced the recipients of the 2015 Women in Culinary Leadership Grant. Over sixty women with a background in hospitality and the culinary arts applied to participate in a six- or twelve-month mentor/grantee program with top industry leaders. The eight women selected are: Kimberly Fenoy, Laurel, NY; Vanessa Goldberg, Seattle, WA; Alexandra Hare, Snyder, NY; Delilah Amanda Lynn, Brooklyn, NY; Shay Pacetti, Brooklyn, NY; Courtney Segal, Providence, RI;Titik Suprati, Lake Forest, CA; Katrin Sydnor, Cary, NC.
Launched in 2012, the Women in Culinary Leadership (WICL) Program was spearheaded by Rohini Dey, JBF trustee and restaurateur, and Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. The mentoring program for aspiring chefs and restaurateurs aims to build in-depth skills in the kitchen and in restaurant management.
“We deliberately chose to focus on building women’s skills both in the kitchen and in front-of-house management to amplify their career acceleration,” said Rohini Dey, owner and founder of the Indian-Latin restaurants Vermilion in New York City and Chicago. “With the guidance of eight phenomenal mentors, JBF’s Women in Culinary Leadership grantees are embarking on rigorous programs that will include business training in kitchen, floor management, marketing, and entrepreneurship. We congratulate our recipients who went through a three-step selection process based on applications, interviews, and trials with their mentors.”
The 2015 Women in Culinary Leadership Grant Program paired the following grantees with these restaurant industry leaders:
- Kimberly Fenoy – Will complete a six-month, front-of-house program overseen by Kevin Boehm, Boka Restaurant Group, Chicago: bokagrp.com
- Vanessa Goldberg – Will complete a twelve-month, back- and front-of-houseprogram overseen by Tom Douglas, Multiple Restaurants, Seattle:tomdouglas.com
- Alexandra Hare – Will complete a six-month, back- and front-of-house program overseen by Donnie Madia, Nico Osteria, Chicago: nicoosteria.com
- Delilah Amanda Lynn – Will complete a six-month, back- and front-of-house program overseen by Kevin Brown, Lettuce Entertain You® Enterprises, Chicago:leye.com
- Shay Pacetti – Will complete a twelve-month, back-and front-of-house program overseen by Christina Tosi, Milk Bar, New York City: milkbarstore.com
- Courtney Segal – Will complete a twelve-month, back- and front-of-houseprogram overseen by Matt and Kate Jennings, Townsman, Boston:townsmanboston.com
- Titik Suprati – Will complete a twelve-month, back- and front-of-house program overseen by Rohini Dey, Vermilion, Chicago: thevermilionrestaurant.com
- Katrin Sydnor – Will complete a six-month, back-of house program overseen by Anthony Lamas, Seviche, Louisville, KY: sevicherestaurant.com
“This mentorship program is a part of the Foundation’s overall mission to help launch the careers of the next generation of chefs and restaurateurs. As of 2015, we have awarded over $5.6 million in financial aid to 1,750 culinary students and mid-life career changers,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “Our Foundation is grateful to our eight mentors, who, in addition to training our WICL grantees, are financially supporting this women’s leadership program. We are excited to see how these women’s careers will blossom under the inspiration of such talented industry veterans.”
Each grantee will also have the opportunity to work alongside guest chefs cooking at the historic James Beard House for one week. For more information about the WICL Grant program, please visit: jamesbeard.org/education/women-culinary-leadership-program.
“No other program I know of packs so much into an individual’s experience. I took business classes, worked on food and beverage costs, learned and owned an entirely unfamiliar cuisine, tried my hand at ordering and scheduling, and event planning, all of which was new to me,” said Eliza Martin, the first WICL grant recipient. “The WICL Program gave me more insight into the culinary realm than any other experience I’ve had in a kitchen. I came away with an invaluable tool set of knowledge, skills, and adventures.”
About the James Beard Foundation (JBF)
Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. In September of 2012, JBF launched the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Protocol and helped create the American Chef Corps as a way to champion American chefs abroad, promote American food products, and foster an interest in American culinary culture and history through international programs and initiatives. One such project is the next world’s fair, Expo Milano 2015, for which the James Beard Foundation is co-leading the effort for the State Department to design and produce the USA Pavilion, a global gathering of 147 countries addressing the challenges of how we will feed ourselves in the future. The pavilion, whose theme will be “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet,” will showcase America’s contributions to global food security and gastronomy. For more information, please visit jamesbeard.org. Find insights on food at the James Beard Foundation’s blog Delights & Prejudices. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.