On The Job

Food 52’s Amanda Hesser

In early June, Food 52’s Amanda Hesser hosted the Toklas Society for a talk about how she started her business and a tour of the website’s offices. Over the hourlong talk, the cookbook author and former Times reporter touched upon how she got started in the business, the lessons from her first failed startup, and how Food 52 has evolved and grown. A huge thanks to all of the women of Food 52 who helped out with this event and to Ali Rosen of Potluck Video for filming it.

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I'm an entrepreneur

Alison Cayne of Haven’s Kitchen


Video of the event, courtesy Ali Rosen of Potluck Video

Alison Cayne had the ambitious idea to open a community space for cooking, learning, and eating. That she managed to do this, in the heart of Manhattan, is no small feat. In early May Cayne hosted the Toklas Society and explained how, along with raising five children, she managed to pull this off while also working towards a Masters in Food Studies at NYU.

In a hushed white room three flights up from street level, forty women, and one child (Cayne’s) sat and listened to Cayne share her story. Toklas’ Sue Chan kicked off the talk by asking Cayne how the seed for Haven’s Kitchen was planted. Continue reading

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On The Job

On the Job with Bon Appetit

In early May Bon Appetit’s Christine Muhlke, Carla Lalli Music, Dawn Perry, and Jennifer McCormick hosted the Toklas Society for a panel discussion, followed by a tour of their test kitchens and a networking hour featuring BYO wines from favorite female winemakers. Check out a recording of the hourlong panel discussion, above, where the women discuss what it’s like to work at the magazine, how the publication has evolved in the last few years, the ins and outs of recipe testing, and women’s representation on the pages and in the offices of BA. A huge thanks to all of the women on Bon App who helped out with this event and to Ali Rosen of Potluck Video for filming it.

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Panels

Behind the Business

Jessica Shupak, Lili Lynton, Katina Pappas, Alex Pemoulie

Jessica Shupack, Lili Lynton, Katina Pappas, Alex Pemoulie

In the restaurant world, we hear a lot about the lives and accomplishments of chefs. We hear about GMs and sommeliers, bartenders and pastry chefs. But there’s an influential sector of the industry, a sector full of men and women who are vital to the success of a restaurant: The back office. The corporate teams of restaurants not only handle human resources and publicity, but also operations, finance, development, and more. For an April Toklas event, we asked a handful of incredibly successful women who work on the business side of things to talk about their experiences, how they’ve seen the industry change, and offer advice for aspiring businesswomen.

We were joined by Jessica Shupak, Head of Business Development for the Altamarea Group, Lili Lynton, Daniel Boulud’s longtime business partner and the head of Dinex, and Katina Pappas, the Director of Operations for Rotisserie Georgette. Alex Pemoulie, the co-owner of Thirty Acres restaurant and the Director of Finance for Momofuku, moderated.

Key excerpts from their discussion are below. A special thanks to our panelists, to The Butterfly for hosting us, and to Alexander Hamilton vodka for the drinks. Continue reading

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Laura Maniec

laura_headshot4.1Laura Maniec, a Master Sommelier and the owner of two year-old restaurant/wine bar/education center Corkbuzz Wine Studio off Union Square, is a tad busy right now. This year she’s expanding her business to Charlotte, North Carolina (where she has a home) AND the Chelsea Market in New York. That’s on top of running the original space, organizing and teaching classes, launching brunch, promoting her Champagne Campaign (all champagnes are half off during brunch and on weekdays after 10 p.m.), and offering blind tasting opportunities for aspiring and studying sommeliers.

In mid-March Maniec hosted the Toklas Society for a talk and blind tasting. See snippets for her personal story of entrepreneurship below as well as some wine tasting pointers and a list of the wines she chose from some of her favorite female winemakers around the world. Continue reading

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Gaeleen Quinn

Feel Food's Gaeleen Quinn discusses her business.

Feel Food’s Gaeleen Quinn discusses her business.

Gaeleen Quinn is the co-owner of four month-old juice bar/healthy food spot/retail store Feel Food on 6th Avenue in the Village and the co-founder of the Bogota Wine and Food Festival, now in its fourth year. Hailing from Colombia, she studied engineering and later earned her masters in business before working full time in the food world. She and her business partner Fernando Aciar hosted the women of Toklas in February and she spoke about the challenges of opening a business, the potential for growth, the importance of her food festival, and more. Below is an excerpt from a follow-up conversation touching on some of the main points of her talk.

Thanks to Gaeleen and Fernando for hosting, to David Bowler Wine and Jenny & Francois Selections for the wine, and to the Feel Food staff for working the event. Continue reading

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