I'm an entrepreneur

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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I'm an entrepreneur

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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On The Job

On the Job with Food & Wine’s Dana Cowin and Kate Krader

Kate Krader and Dana Cowin chat about Food & Wine

Kate Krader and Dana Cowin chat about Food & Wine

Dana Cowin, the editor-in-chief of Food & Wine and Kate Krader, the magazine’s restaurant editor, have a combined four decades of experience running the magazine. That means they’ve seen the publication evolve from a resource providing “chicken around the world” recipes to a multi-faceted brand offering recipes, yes, but also content surrounding chefs, restaurants, travel, and lifestyle in print and online. Just this year, the magazine underwent a redesign, launched a new site FWx, and was acquired by Time, Inc. from longtime owner American Express.

And, given the ladies’ long tenure,  they’ve spent more time than most contemplating the recurring hot button issue of coverage of female chefs in the food media and in their Best New Chef awards.

For an early February Toklas event, we spoke with Dana and Kate and the Food & Wine office before hanging out in the Test Kitchen with surprise guest Kristen Kish. Excerpts are below, but first a huge thanks to Dana, Kate, Kristen, Jacque Westbrook, and the whole Test Kitchen team. Continue reading

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I'm an entrepreneur

Christina Tosi

Christina headshot.Daniel Krieger

By Daniel Krieger courtesy Momofuku Milk Bar

To launch the Toklas Society ‘I’m an Entrepreneur’ Series way way way back in May 2013, accomplished pastry chef and all-around rad lady Christina Tosi hosted us at the Momofuku Milk Bar Commissary in Williamsburg. Before offering a tour of the facility, Tosi spoke with Toklas co-founder Sue Chan about her career trajectory, her fears, key management tips, the importance of following your gut, and the Milk Bar’s very smart 10 hours/day, four days/week work schedule. The full audio of the talk is above.

Key takeaways: work harder, faster, and smarter than everyone else. Continue reading

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Networking

Toklas Kickoff at The Little Owl Event Space with Alice Cheng

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Towards the end of January the ladies at The Little Owl Event Space (and chef/owner Joey Campanaro) hosted the Toklas Society to kick off what we know will be a strong year of networking events, speaker series, dinners, and even bigger and better projects and dreams. Since a big focus for a lot of our members is networking and finding and filling positions, we invited Alice Cheng, the founder of hospitality industry job search tool Culinary Agents to share her story. A huge thanks to Liz Rosen, Maggie Baisch Hollingsworth, Joey Campanaro, photographer/Little Owl staffer Jon Selvey and the entire Little Owl team for throwing such a nice party.

Check out photos from the event and learn a little more about Alice Cheng below. Continue reading

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I'm an entrepreneur

JORDAN SALCITO

jordan salcito

For her day (and more often than not night) job, JORDAN SALCITO is the head of beverage operations of the Momofuku restaurant group. It’s an incredibly demanding job, requiring long hours and a great deal of attention. But somehow Salcito has found time to be an entrepreneur on the side. In 2011 she founded the wine label Bellus, where she produces wine that she hopes will tell important stories and enable people to learn about and afford great wines without feeling intimidated by them. Salcito teamed up with designer Tory Burch to design the label (which is very cool) and donates $10 per case of her first bottling to the Tory Burch Foundation, a group that empowers women entrepreneurs through microfinance and mentorship.

She began by releasing 2007 Bellus “Girasole,” from Tuscany followed by 2011 “Les Roches Soeurs” from Burgundy that she made with Alix de Montille (currently sold out). Her next bottling, “La Vie en Bulles” from Sonoma, won’t come out until next month.

At a recent I’m an Entrepreneur event Salcito poured wines from some of her favorite female winemakers (listed at the end of this piece) and shared her Bellus story, some nuggets of wisdom, and her favorite inspiring quotes. Continue reading

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work + life

ALEX RAIJ

work + life

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If there’s one thing ALEX RAIJ the talented chef behind Spanish restaurants El Quinto Pino (photographed above), Txikito, and La Vara and mother of two wanted to make clear at last week’s Toklas Society Work + Life talk, it’s that this industry does not come with a great deal of balance. “I don’t think my life has to have a lot of balance in it, and I just have to accept that. I’m happy to have a lot of work and then enjoy when I have time,” she said at the top of her talk. “It’s pretty chaotic most of the time. I can’t do everything well, I do everything with difficulty,” she added, noting that she wouldn’t really have it any other way (and doesn’t really know any other way).

Raij spoke on a variety of topics including the pitfalls of business partnerships gone wrong and the importance of a good lawyer, the burden of childcare, and how to keep a fresh perspective. Some highlights: Continue reading

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