Last week my friend Debbie invited me to a Women in Culinary Leadership dinner, a James Beard event at Vermillion, a restaurant in midtown Manhattan. Aside from Martha and Lidia, the panel also included the gorgeous and brillant Rohini Day, owner of Vermillion, Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation and Dorothy Hamilton, Founder and CEO of the International Culinary Center. Excellent moderation was provided by Martha Teichner from CBS News.
I arrived right behind Martha (who looked fabulous) and quickly found Debbie who was interviewing Lidia). Sitting at the press table, I was sandwiched in between Debbie who is a bit of a rock star herself, after 10 years as a producer on The Early Show, and the gorgeous and adorable Evette Rios from The Chew. We had a fun corner.
The discussion was interesting. Martha was, well Martha. An admirable and formidable business woman and just when I started thinking once again she has zero personality, she comes out with a dry zinger. Lidia on the the other hand, was so warm and engaging you just wanted to hug her. I resisted the urge when Debbie introduced me to her earlier in the evening. I only shook her hand.
The topics covered ranged from how far women have come in the kitchen, to different gender styles of chefs, to raising babies while working, to women chefs being discriminated from getting a bank loan. I was very interesting to hear all the different perspectives and personal experiences.
The restaurant itself is beautiful and the food was super interesting. During the event, a tasting menu was served of a fusion between of Indian and Latin American cuisine. I have to say everything was excellent and I am putting Vermillion on my list of go to restaurants. I can't wait to go back.
Some of the tidbits served included Duck/Aloo Vindaloo Arepa (Indian spiced braised duck atop latin corn cake with diced mango) and Olive Naan Salad (Tandoori baked naan tossed with fresh greens and spanish olives). The Mango cardamon flan was outstanding and I am the person who normally runs the other way from flan.
Sorry my pictures are horrible. I rarely write posts about these types of events I attend. But decided last minute to snap some photos with my iphone and post. So apologies for the quality.
Oh and taking a cue from someone else at the press table who nabbed Martha Stewart's, I stole this off of the panelists table after the event was over.
Here are the funny food blogger posts that I found entertaining this past month....
David Lebovitz's My Timer
Project Denneler's Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall
Cream Puffs in Venice's Breaking Up is Hard to Do
Cooking Channel's Devour the Blog's The World Domination of Polka Spot the Llama on The Fabulous Beekman Boys
Cake Wreck's And Now, A musical Intermission
Culinary Concoctions By Peabody's I'm not a Best Blog