The Philadelphia Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International will be holding a one-day symposium “Cuisine, Culture and Community – A Global Celebration of Women & Food” this Saturday from 8am to 5 pm at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Les Dames has a multitude of fantastic speakers lined up kicking it off with the one and only, Nathalie Dupree giving the keynote. Ms. Dupree an expert on all things Southern cuisine, has written a slew of cookbooks and is the first woman since Julia Child to host over 100 cooking episodes on public television.
Saturday will be jam packed with discussions, cooking classes, and demos including a Cuban cooking class with Chef Marta Quintana as well as a class on gluten-free baking that The Chew’s Jason Roberts will be on hand for. There will be sessions in pasta making, molecular gastronomy, local cocktails will be shaken up by mixologist Katie Loeb, and some hot topics will be discussed such as urban farming, women in the French kitchen, and breaking the color barrier in the kitchen. There will be a book signing with several of the panelists and LDEI members and, to cap off the day, Les Dames will be ending the symposium on a high note with a fabulous wine reception.
Proceeds from this event will help raise funds for LDEI Educational, Scholarship and Green Tables initiatives, as well as shine a light on the many talented individuals working in the culinary, hospitality, farming, beverage and education fields. Les Dames d’Escoffier is an amazing group of women who are leaders in food, beverage and hospitality with a mission of education, advocacy and philanthropy.
Tickets for Saturday’s event are normally $105, but Les Dames is extending an offer to Cooking In Stilettos’ readers for $75. Just register on their website to get the special discount under “Professional Member Registration”. The cost of the ticket includes breakfast, panel discussions, lunch and the afternoon reception.
Hope to see you at Cuisine, Culture and Community this Saturday. With Les Dames at the helm, you know it’s going to be a delicious day!
Bourbon Blue holds a very special place in my heart. This Philadelphia restaurant first crossed my path when I was planning our buddy Romeo’s 40th many moons ago. Trying to find a spot to wrangle a bunch of DOA/DPUSA Alum is always an adventure but the Bourbon Blue crew were kind enough to open their doors and the event was a rousing success.
It was because of the Bourbon Blue and that event that exposed me to the area that I would now call home. I remember telling Meowmix that I knew I would settle in the Manayunk area. Manyunk is chic yet cozy, the people are friendly and the energy is electric. Whenever I would fly up to Philly from Florida, there were always dinner plans made for the Bourbon and, whenever Meowmix visits town – yup, you guessed it – we head to the Bourbon. I also tend to drag a number of my friends there when they are looking for a killer dinner spot with excellent service, a delectable menu and divine cocktails. There’s nothing better than dinner on the deck at the Bourbon Blue in the spring and summer.
During my recent trip to Orlando, I reacquainted myself with one of my fave grocery stores, Publix. Sadly, they won’t be coming north of the Mason Dixon line anytime soon according to one of their clerks. Publix always has some of the freshest produce, well cut meats and, pretty much, if I needed something for a recipe that might have been a bit unusual, there was a strong likelihood that I could find it at my local Publix. It got me to thinking about this week’s question:
What is your favorite grocery store and why? Did location factor into your decision or will you go that “extra mile” to go to your favorite store?
One thing I’m looking forward to is a day of R&R in one of my favorite cities – The Big Apple. This year’s Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival is set up a bit differently in that the demos are at the Grand Tasting Tents so the likelihood of me running around the city like a chicken with my head cut off like last year is null and void. The tents are near one of my favorite happy places, Chelsea Market, and, if time allows, perhaps a quick jaunt to the store with a shoe floor that has its own zip code might be on the agenda.
1. I’m on the fence between sassy flat and wedgy boot. However, in a perfect world, what I would LOVE to wear is this Tory Burch Lawson bootie. I’m a sucker for wool and lace up details. I know I know – when it comes to shoes, I will never learn.
2. Well, I can say that I learned my lesson last time and, in addition to NOT wearing 4″ stiletto boots, I will also not be lugging anything super heavy – whether it be cookbooks, magazines, etc. until I’m heading home. It’s bad enough that the dslr cameras are a bit hefty. One must item to take is my lovely iPad to do some blogging and writing in my travels and this Rebecca Minkoff Touch And Go iPad Case has been a lifesaver – chic and functional. I broke down and got the pink one but I will say that when I’m looking for my iPad among a slurry of books, binders and other items, I always can see the bright pink and smile.
Now – if only this gorgeous Jimmy Choo nude iPad case would be priced MUCH lower, I’d be a very happy stiletto wench. Sadly, it’s about the cost of a pair of stilettos *sigh* Oh well…
3. One of my must visit places is the Chelsea Market. Every time I head to the city, I drop by there to pick up a thing (or three) and I have definite plans on picking up some seriously delish pumpkin seed brittle from Jacques Torres, perusing the cookbooks at Posman Books, looking for intriguing cooking finds at Bowery Kitchen Supply and picking up this lovely Pembroke Salt Dish from Anthropologie for my Aleppo pepper.
4. One of the demos I’m excited about seeing is the Beekman Boys. They have a great cookbook, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook: Heirloom fruits and vegetables, and more than 100 heritage recipes to inspire every generation, that is garnering quite the buzz. Amazon has it but it was a bit of a wait time on delivery. Luckily for me this weekend, Barnes & Noble had copies prominently displayed and a copy immediately went home for the cookbook arsenal. This is a cookbook that will be treasured – beautifully photographed with vintage notepad touches and the recipes – oh the recipes. We’re talking seasonal recipes that scream comfort such as Beer Braised Beef with Onion Dumplings, Harvest Beef Chili with Pumpkin and Beans, Orange Gingerbread with Bourbon Custard and Jumbleberry Pie. Seriously – get this cookbook because I promise you will cook from it often. These are recipes that I’m sure are “Polka Spot The Llama Approved”.
5. Finally, after the chaos of the day to day and all that’s gone on with the Sous Pug recently, I reached my exasperation point and made an executive decision – the hair needed to be chopped. I’m a serial cheater when it comes to hairstylists and always have been. When I went to SOBE, the ‘do was the result of last minute rushing to someone I didn’t know and, when I saw the photos, I winced. Also, knowing that I was cutting off a ton of hair, I didn’t want my fabulous friend Heather to be put into a position of dealing with my crazy “Cut. It. Off.” moments as I adore her too much. Looking at my packed schedule, I made a call to Manayunk’s own Salon L’Etoile and begged the gals to see if my favorite stylist there, Jeff, had an opening. Thankfully there was one spot left and thanks to Jeff’s very skilled scissors, the hair is short (well for me) and sassy and will do fine in NYC. Jeff accepted me back with open arms and he’s aware of my stylist commitment issues but never judges. Seriously, if you are in Philly and need a fab salon that will spoil you rotten, check them (and him) out.
What do you have planned for the weekend?