As the coronavirus pandemic continues to decimate the restaurant industry, a group of women restaurateurs from Los Angeles plans to fight back with food.
But the RE:Her food festival, which takes place Jan. 21-Jan. 30, is just an appetizer for their new organization’s main purpose, which is to empower female restaurant owners.
The 10-day event, which includes restaurants throughout the Los Angeles County serving food specials as well as panel discussions and conversations, is organized by the recently formed charitable organization RE:Her, a nonprofit created by nine veteran female chefs in the area in response to the devastating impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the industry with the specific goal of helping female restaurant owners
“What we’re trying to do is uplift women restaurateurs. Uplift them and at some point we want to be able to provide mentorship and grants,” said Sylvie Gabriele, owner of Manhattan Beach’s Love & Salt restaurant and one of the founders of the new organization.
“The festival is really phase one of the Re:Her mission,” she added.
Other founding members include Lien Ta (All Day Baby), Sandra Cordero (Gasolina Cafe), Bricia Lopez (Guelaguetza), Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill, Socalo), Kimberly Prince (Hotville Chicken), Dina Samson (Rossoblu, Superfine Pizza), Heather Sperling (Botanica), and Brittney Valles (Guerrilla Tacos).
The new organization was launched in late December after conversations the founding members were having about the effects of the pandemic and how they, as experienced owners, could help others.
With an initial fundraising goal of $500,000, the organization is hoping to eventually provide grants that can be used for myriad reasons, including paying past-due bills, payroll costs, or sprucing up their patios once outdoor dining returns as well as mentoring help.
“We wanted to start a nonprofit that would mean more collaborating, more mentorship, more supporting each other, especially our sisters who have smaller restaurants who don’t have the same resources as maybe someone like me who’s been around for 40 years,” Milliken said.
“I have been around a long time and this is all so energizing for me,” she added.
Mary Sue Milliken owner of Border Grill and Socalo, is one of nine founding members of RE:Her, a new restaurant association that aims to empower female restaurant owners . The organizing is launching a 10-day food festival from Jan.21-30 called 10 Days RE:Her.(Photo by Anne Fishbein)On the menu
The festival will launch with more than 100 eateries and their chefs coming up with special menus for the event.
Similar to the Dine L.A. events, participating restaurants will prepare special menu items available during the 10-day festival. But due to COVID-19 restrictions, the festival will offer takeout only options for dishes they are preparing for the event.
Besides the food, the festival will include online panel discussions between restaurant owners and chefs that people can drop in on. They are free but donations are suggested.
And with the hopes of introducing diners to more female-owned restaurants across the county that they otherwise may not be familiar with, 10 Days RE:Her will also include collaborations between restaurants.
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Source:: Los Angeles Daily News