CHICAGO, Feb. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Let’s Talk is a business initiative – women restaurateurs who are battling jointly to survive this crisis. It is centered on dining and restaurants, an industry the country loves and that is hit hard, and it is a women’s story – one of collaboration, hope and battle, amidst doom.
Let’s Talk Womxn was started in July 2020 in Chicago with 15 members. It was created as a forum for women restaurateurs to talk to each other and share resources. It has rapidly evolved to these entrepreneurs undertaking joint initiatives and combining their voice for actions to save their businesses. It is founded and led by Rohini Dey, Ph.D., owner of Vermilion restaurant (Chicago), a former trustee and founder/chair of the James Beard Foundation Women’s Leadership Program and former McKinsey & Co. consultant and World Bank economist. Let’s Talk has expanded to 350+ members across 12 cities including Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Lexington, Louisville, Cincinnati, the Bay Area/San Francisco, Phoenix, Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle. The objective of Let’s Talk is to increase visibility, funds and combine economic power for women restaurateurs through this crisis and beyond.
To celebrate this momentum and women’s positive collaboration, Let’s Talk is delighted to announce its official nationwide debut event on International Women’s Day. Nearly 100 women restaurateurs across nine of its cities invite all to join them for “Dine Together & Let’s Talk” on March 8, 2021. This evening features collaborative, surprise multi-restaurant dining experiences for takeout by the women of Let’s Talk. These dinners span four to ten-course menus priced $45–$150 for order by March 4th, such as at https://www.exploretock.com/letstalkdinetogetherchicago. Guests are invited to Dine Together as one city and join in a Zoom conversation from 7-8pm with the Let’s Talk women. Expect candor and a provocative discourse moderated by marquee names, including Congresswoman Marie Newman and bestselling author/TED speaker Angela Duckworth. Let’s Talk invites you share this event with colleagues, friends, daughters and sons to change the dialogue. They emphasize parity is NOT solely a women’s cause.
“Restaurants are the hardest hit sector,” says Dey. “And women entrepreneurs within this segment are hit hardest. Our restaurants are smaller in scale and often undercapitalized. Women shoulder the inevitable extra home workload, and they are isolated as business owners. Let’s Talk is not an organization, it is not an entity, or an association – from whom we women restaurateurs have received a deluge of webinars, guidelines and manuals – it is an action movement by us.”
More About Let’s Talk: The commitment of each Let’s Talk member is voluntary and out-of-hide. Every Let’s Talk city is cohosted by two to four leading women restaurateurs. Learnings are actively cross-pollinated across cities. On-the-ground city initiatives so far have included Women’s Restaurant Weeks, collaborative tasting menus, food fairs, farmers markets, meal kits, subscriptions, cross-promotions, gift baskets, mentorship and more. Members have pooled voices to apply for grants, meet with governors and city officials, write op-eds and participate on panels to showcase the Let’s Talk model of positive action-oriented collaboration.
Partners of “Dine Together & Let’s Talk” include Beam Suntory, the Network of Executive Women, state restaurant associations (IRA, MRA, WHA) and Choose Chicago. For more information, please follow on Instagram @LetsTalkWomxn and check back at http://www.letstalkwomxn.com as the website is developed.
Additional details on city participants can be found below. Every city offers a moderated Zoom conversation from 7-8pm. Dinner order links will follow on the Let’s Talk website in the coming weeks ahead.
- Participants: Beverly Kim (Parachute and Wherewithall), Julia Momose (Kumiko), Clodagh Lawless (The Dearborn), Rohini Dey (Vermilion), Christine Cikowski (Honey Butter Fried Chicken), Deann Bayless (Frontera Group), Amy Morton (Found Kitchen, Social House), Tigist Reda (Demera), Mary Aregoni (Saigon Sisters), Genie Kwon (Kasama), Sophie Evanoff (Vanille Pâtisserie), Sandra Holl (Floriole), Mindy Gohr (Bittersweet Pastry Shop & Cafe), Julia Shell (The Dandy Crown), Agnes Rapacz (TeeGschwendner), Sarah Stegner (Prairie Grass Café), Laurence Noguier (Bistronomic), Jodi Fyfe (The Paramount Group)
- Offering: Surprise multi-restaurant four-course ($85) or eight-course ($160) for two.
- Participants: Tracy Chang (PAGU), Jen Ziskin (La Morra, Heritage of Sherborn, Punch Bowl), Kathy Turner (Turner Fisheries), Nia Grace (Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen), Rachel Sundet (State Park), Nancy Cushman (Bianca’s, Hojoko), Carolyn Johnson (80 Thoreau), Sarah Wade (Stillwater), Rebecca Roth Gullo (Blackbird Doughnuts), Rhonda Kallman (Boston Harbor Distillery), Emily Vena (Cobble), Rachel Miller Munzer (Mamaleh’s Delicatessen), Karen Akunowicz (Fox & the Knife), Sumiao Chen (Sumiao Hunan Kitchen), Seana R.Gaherin (Dunn Gaherins), Cheryl Straughter (Soleil), Kate Smith (Thistle & Leek)
- Offering: Multi-restaurant four-course dinner for two ($85).
- Participants: Nok Suntanaron (Kalaya), Tova du Plessis (Essen Bakery), Sofia Deleon (El Merkury), Jezabel Careaga (Jezabel’s), Judy Ni (Baology), Bridget Foy (Bridget Foy’s, Cry Baby Pasta), Ellen Yin (Fork, a. kitchen, High Street), Jill Weber (Cafe Ynez, Rex 1516), Tanesha Trippett (Brotherly Grub Café), Bonnie Sarana Noll (Vanilya Bakery)
- Offering: Surprise multi-restaurant four-course dinner for one ($45) or two ($85).
- Participants: Ruth Gresser (Pizzeria Paradiso), Ris Lacoste (Ris), Shannan Tronosco (Brookland’s Finest Bar and Kitchen), Tiffany MacIsaac (Buttercream Bakeshop)
- Offering: Four-course multi-restaurant dinner for two ($90).
- Participants: Deborah VanTrece (Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours), Anne Quatrano (Bacchanalia), Archna Molhotra Becker (Bhojanic), Natalie Keng (Chinese Southern Belle), Savannah Sasser (Sasser Culinary Insights), Suzi Sheffield (Beautiful Briny Sea), Rosa Thurnher and Jarina Naone (El Ponce, Tiendita, La Palapa), Julia Leroy (Produce and Provide), Amber West (Gathering Industries), Sarah Pierre (3 Parks Wine), Julie Pender (Ria’s Bluebird)
- Offering: Ten courses of small plates and wine ($150 per person).
- Participants: Jennifer Russo (The MARKET by Jennifer’s Restaurant + Bar and Jennifer’s Catering LLC), Danielle Leoni (The Breadfruit), Shannon Rush (My Wine Cellar), Jennifer Caraway (The Joy Bus Diner), Helen Yung (Sweet Republic), Valentina Huerta (Nonna Urban Eatery), Lori Hashimoto (Hana Japanese Eatery), Sasha Raj (24 Carrots), Rochelle Daniel (Atria, Fat Ox)
- Offering: Surprise multi-restaurant four-course dinner for two ($85).
- Participants: Kristin Smith (The Wrigley Taproom & Eatery), Allison Davis (Wild Thyme Cooking), Martine Holzman (Martine’s Pastries), Samantha Fore (Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites), Melissa Jackson (Doodles), and Ouita Michel (Ouita Michel Family of Restaurants)
- Offering: During a pop-up takeover of Honeywood by Kentucky Duchess, an affiliate of Let’s Talk, diners can select from two packages including Snack Queens: A menu of shareable snacks available as a six-course dinner ($64) or a la carte ($12 per course) and Kentucky Duchess Snack Packs: a customizable assortment of bagels, baked goods, ice cream, cocktails and more.
- Participants: Julia Petiprin (Homemakers Bar), Isis Arrieta-Dennis (The Arepa Place), Louisa Reckman (Maize), Joby Bowman (BrewRiver), Carla Chalkley and Patricia Sabino (Aladdin’s Eatery), Kate Nycz (North South Baking Co.), Molly Wellmann (Japp’s), Bonnie Collins (Third Eye Brewery)
- Offering: Five-course multi-restaurant dinner for two ($90).
BAY AREA/SAN FRANCISCO
- Participants: May German (alaMar Kitchen), Jen Biesty (Shakewell), Heena Patel (Besharam), Leilani Baugh (Magnolia Street Wine Lounge and Kitchen), Romney Steele (The Cook and Her Farmer)
- Offering: Four-course multi-restaurant dinner for two ($100).
SOURCE Let’s Talk