Q+A with Aliza Green: Cuisine, Culture + Community: A Global Celebration of Women + Food


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Les Dames d'Escoffier's Philadelphia chapter is preparing for its second one-day symposium featuring Nathalie Dupree, Jason Roberts of The Chew, and myriad other talented chefs, authors, and wine and spirits experts. Here's why you should save the date...

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Q+A with Aliza Green: Cuisine, Culture + Community: A Global Celebration of Women + Food

  1. 1. A Global Celebration of Women & Food Comes to Philadelphia On May 4th, Les Dames d’Escoffier Philadelphia will host a daylong culinary fundraising event, Cuisine, Culture and Community: A Global Celebration of Women & Food. The event features a range of regionally and nationally renowned chefs, authors, farmers, wine and spirits experts, and educators, including keynote, Nathalie Dupree and host of The Chew, Jason Roberts. Event participants will have the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops and panel discussions, aimed to provide inspiration and insights into many aspects of the culinary world. The day is both fun and educational, with plenty of room for networking, tasting and sipping. Proceeds from the event benefit the organizations scholarship and Green Tables programs, as well as other community outreach efforts.The event is open to the public, and after you read this Q&A withEvent Chair, Aliza Green, who just happens to be up for a JamesBeard Foundation award; you’ll quickly glean what the excitementis all about. These Dames do a whole lot more than eat and drink!For more information on the organization and event, visit LesDames Philadelphia online here and on Facebook.What was the inspiration for this event?In 2010, Chapter President Kathy Gold and I were invited to bepresenters at the DC Chapter’s bi-annual symposium. We wereboth so inspired by that amazing event that we decided to makeit happen in Philly. With their experience in running theirsymposium for many years, the DC Chapter provided us with all sort of help, which madethe whole thing much easier. As an organization of accomplished women, one of ourstrongest goals it to educate and this symposium is both a chance to share our knowledgewith others and to learn more ourselves. Plus, we all have a lot of fun!What is behind the event name, Cuisine Culture and Community?Our Symposium is called Cuisine, Culture, and Community: A Global Celebration of Womenand Food. As members of Les Dames dEscoffier, it is our mission to support women in thefields of food and hospitality in our communities, and we extend "our" community toinclude women all over the world. We universally share the same goals and concerns, andthrough our Les Dames and Green Tables programs, initiatives, and scholarships, we offeropportunities for success, wherever we can. What we share at our communal table,whether we are speaking physically or metaphorically, are life lessons and skills fromwhich we can all benefit, and pass along to the next generation.
  2. 2. How can those unable to attend support the scholarship and Green Tables programs?We know that there are many who want to support our efforts despite schedulingconflicts. In response to those requests, we have added a donation capability in theRegistration area of the Eventbrite Ticketing website. We are a 501(c)3 charity, and alldonations to us are tax deductible based on US tax laws.What other types of events has LDEI Philadelphia hosted in the past?We hold an annual scholarship dinner to raise funds for that important fund—our last tookplace at Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen Last year, we had a major event—the JulieDannenbaum Culinary Estate Sale. The two daughters of Grande Dame (and CharterMember of the Philly Chapter) Julie Dannenbaum decided to donate their mother’sextensive cookware & tableware collection to Les Dames, an organization she supportedwholeheartedly during her long and productive lifetime. (Earlier, Dannenbaum set up ascholarship endowment for Les Dames. Proceeds from this sale ($20,000) were depositedin that scholarship fund. Additionally: • Our semi-annual potlucks are a tradition—we hold one in winter and one in summer in member homes. These events bring us all together for an evening of great food & libations, a chance to meet prospective new members, and to socialize with our fellow Dames. • We participate in the Philly Farm & Food Fest (this year is our second time). Our Green Tables Initiative has held many programs, including farm visits; and we’ve brought groups of young students to visit Highview Farm, owned by one of our members and LDEI International Green Tables Co-Chair, Linda Geren. • We collaborated with Slow Food in this year’s Food Day Event and had a very lively booth with cookies & book signings. • When WHYY featured LDEI Philadelphia on their show, The Art of Food, our members put on a buffet of culinary delights for a reception to mark the show premiere.What do you view as the most important reason to offer events such as this, to thepublic?We love the opportunity to come together and meet our neighbors, share stories, greatfood and wine, enjoy interesting, fun and thought provoking conversation, and hear whatothers in the community are doing, and talk about what we can do together, goingforward.Are the workshops and panels based on popular trends, or was there a deeper plan increating such a diverse lineup?As Chair of the event, it was very important to me to help to broaden the scope of LesDames by including an exciting panel, “Breaking the Color Barrier,” about the specialchallenges faced by women of color in the culinary field. But, our program for theSymposium is a combination of trends and connections put together with the input of our
  3. 3. Symposium Committee members and Program Chair Kathy Gold. We wanted to design aprogram that would appeal to a wide range of attendees with hands-on classes, tastings,moderated panels and demos. To keep things interesting and live, we chose to have allnew programs and presenters for this, our second bi-annual event.How does LDEI make a difference in the lives of its members? And also outside theorganization, within the community? • LDEI Provides a social and professional venue for members to meet and have meaningful discussions, find new opportunities, support one another’s businesses and problem solve • Several times a year, we raise funds through a number of activities, many of them open to the public: scholarship dinners at local restaurants, bi-annual symposia, quarterly raffles and other events in order to award scholarships to Delaware Valley women in the culinary arts and associated fields • Many of our members go into local schools to mentor and show students how to prepare healthful meals and how to translate that to home meal preparation • Within our Green Tables initiative, we go all over the Delaware Valley teaching, demonstrating and mentoring • We partner with PASA and Slow Food to raise community awareness and award scholarships — and are partnering in this April’s Philly Farm & Food Fest with Slow Food for the 2nd year in a row.What are the top 3 reasons to attend this event? • To have fun and network with local and nationally recognized food professionals and others just like you — starting with a sumptuous Southern breakfast with our Keynote Speaker, Nathalie Dupree…and ending with a wine and hors doeuvres reception sponsored by Wente Vineyards and The Restaurant School. • To have fun while learning from the experts about: Middle Eastern and Cuban food; wine tasting and pairing; making homemade pasta; urban gardening, shaking up cocktails, and much more. • To have fun while assisting LDEI Philadelphia raise money for scholarships and community outreach programs benefitting so many in the Delaware Valley, while sampling delicious locally prepared food.Any insider details that we wont find online?Breakfast is not to be missed! The culinary students at The Restaurant School will be usingNathalie Duprees recipes to bake up some fabulous Southern foods! And, everyone willget a chance to taste some of the fine wine offerings from Wente Vineyards at ourAfternoon Reception. And, seeing what wonderful goodies are in the Swag Bags everyattendee will receive!
  4. 4. And of course, everyone will want to know, whats for lunch?To whet your appetite…we’ll first enjoy a Southern style breakfast, prepared by RestaurantSchool culinary students, based on recipes from Grand Dame and TV Chef, NathalieDupree’s new award winning cookbook, “Mastering the Art of Southern Food.” For lunch,we’ll enjoy a sampling of the delicious food many of our Dame-owned restaurants. Keeplistening and reading... there’s more to come!