Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Memorable Event

Me with Susan Feniger & Nancy Silverton

Santa Monica Airport Hanger 8 where the event was held
Today I was fortunate to attend a very special
event! I just got home from the The Power of Women Luncheon, a Centennial Celebration held by The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. The luncheon was especially jaw dropping for me not only because I proudly took part in a charitable cause but because I got to meet inspirational, incredibly successful and powerful female chefs.

My heart was racing when Susan Feniger (Chef, Restaurateur, Author and Top Chef Masters Winner), Nancy Silverton (Renown Pastry Chef, La Brea  Bakery creator http://www.labreabakery.com/index.html#/our-story, Co-founder of Pizzeria Mozza http://www.pizzeriamozza.com/ and Author) and Suzanne Tracht (Executive Chef/Owner of JAR, Top Chef Contestant) took the stage. I got to not only eat their food, but learn a little about their lives, their cultural upbringing and take part in live culinary demos. I walked away inspired, moved and truly amazed by their presence. Oh yeas and with a full and satisfied belly, a new cook book (Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book) and butterflies in my tummy from having met these incredible women!

Susan Feniger, Nancy Silverton, Suzanne Tracht

The menu consisted of Suzanne Tracht's feta, roasted beets, cucumber salad, Susan Fenigers's Vareniky with zucchini, ricotta and spinach filling and Nancy Silverton's chocolate dipped honeycomb for dessert. Beautiful centerpieces of gourmet delicious breads adorned the middle of each table (there were 750 attendees) and we dove right into them shortly after starting our tasty meals.

Bread Centerpieces

Suzanna Tracht's Salad 1st course

Susan Feniger's Varenyky

Nancy Silverton's Chocolate Dipped Honeycomb
(or what's left of it after I devoured!)

Three chefs cooked together, united as women, artists in my opinion bound by their heritage. The momentum of the three of them together, live on that stage was so much fun and a joy to watch. They spoke of their mothers and grandmothers influencing their cooking. They spoke of their reformed Jewish upbringing and how regular family dinners for all three were the "ultimate" connection to their culture. I easily related to "not necessarily having to attend Temple to feel Jewish, but rather reinforcing the family bond of eating together, living through food, importance of sharing mealtime together" as the key in our culture, in most cultures really. I completely agree with Susan Finiger's statement of "food shaping us as people and all of them as chefs".

Looking back at this wonderful experience I had today, I am not only proud to be a woman but am proud to have learned so much more about successful women in the culinary world. I am so passionate about this world already and this event justified my passion that much more.  

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