The Art of Keeping It Green

“Rochelle has been an integral part of the WCR organization almost since it’s inception, and under her leadership, the organization has grown tremendously.  In fact, the 21st Annual National Conference in Chicago, held in March 2014, was the most successful in the history of the WCR organization, and it is all thanks to Rochelle and her amazing team.  Rochelle is an outstanding public speaker and renowned in the culinary world for many things, not the least of which is a highly successful entrepreneur and business owner”

– Lisa Necrason, Executive Director of Women Chefs & Restauranteurs

The theme of the 2014 Women Chefs & Restauranteurs conference was The Art of Keeping it Green.

The recent farm-to-table movement and focus on food sustainability are both important industry trends that are relevant to women in all aspects of the culinary world.

The prevailing perception is that going green in the food industry isn’t cheap or easy. But for some restauranteurs, creating & operating a sustainable business ends up being as much a sound (and less costly) financial move as it is a personal & ethical one.

To continue with the 2014 ‘green initiative’ of the WCR conference, Chefwear, Inc. launched their eco-friendly apparel line. The sustainable line was branded in 2008. The natural material’s of; Hemp, Organic Cotton, & Bamboo are used to create the fabrics.

Chefwear’s Eco Friendly Line

Chefwear, Inc. has been a proud sponsor of WCR since the organization was founded in the early 1990’s.

Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR)

The mission of WCR is to promote and enhance the education, advancement, and connection of women in the culinary industry.

Formed in 1993 by eight of the nation’s top women chefs and restaurateurs, WCR has grown to a membership of over 2,000 members, offering a variety of networking, professional and support services.

The WCR National Conference is a “Who’s Who” of the culinary world. Presenters and participating chefs represent the very best women chefs and restaurateurs in the industry. WCR enjoys working with the conference hotel to have their national chefs interact with the conference hotel chefs, especially their female chefs. All conference meals are prepared by WCR member chefs using the hotel’s kitchen facilities.

The WCR membership consists of individuals currently employed in a restaurant or in the food industry as a chef, cook, caterer, wine professional and culinary educators. The membership is 90 percent female.

The challenge is to produce a conference program that has strong educational content; includes topics of interest for every membership segment and culinary discipline; offer opportunities for suppliers to showcase their products; includes entertaining social events; and showcases the cuisine, history and culture of the host/city/region without making it the focus of the conference.

Rochelle Huppin is an original member of Women Chefs & Restauranteurs when the organization formed 22 years ago. Also, her company Chefwear is a founding corporate sponsor.

Rochelle became president of the organization in the Spring of 2012 until March of 2014.

Mini interview with Rochelle based on her experience with WCR:

1. Was being President of WCR difficult to manage while also being the President of Chefwear & the many other projects you worked with?

The group became self-run when I first became president and this was just what our organization needed at the time. As a board we became very strong because of our constant communication. During my presidency I was able to bring WCR to a place of financial stability. I feel very good that I was able to benefit the organization in this way and I will continue to help with fund-raising in the future.

2. What has been your favorite memory of the WCR?

I have so many great WCR memories.Board meetings are in different cities throughout the year and we have such a blast wherever we are. Every board meeting in each different city holds memories of great conversations, tasty meals and realizations of how much we can all benefit from our collective knowledge and how we can improve our industry for ourselves and generations to follow. The conferences are chock-full of opportunities to learn about a multitude of topics and network with other attendees about a myriad of topics.

Women Chef & Restauranteurs is a magnificent organization for women passionate in the hospitality industry to get together & show off their skills, in the best of ways.

This entry was posted in WCR.

Don’t Postpone Joy

Marni Mendelsohn – May 12th, 2014

Laurey Masterton, of Asheville, North Carolina, was a chef and beekeeper before losing her battle to cancer on February 18. Masterton was recognized within the community for her farm-to-table cooking at Laurey’s and as a beekeeper. She also wrote The Fresh Honey Cookbook. In honor of Masterton, and recognizing women entrepreneurs in the foodservice industry, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs has teamed up with the National Honey Board to establish the Laurey Masterton Golden Amulet Award. The name of the award came from an amulet she wore around her neck, containing one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey, the amount made by one worker bee in its lifetime.

As a longtime member of the WCR and the National Honey Board, her involvement and friendship inspired this award in her memory. “Laurey was one of the spunkiest women I’ve ever met and had the honor of knowing,” says WCR president Rochelle Huppin. “At home, I’ve hung up the towel she gave out at a WCR board meeting that had her personal motto silk-screened on in very large letters: ‘Don’t Postpone Joy.’ I smile when I see the towel because it reminds me of the sparkle in her eyes and her phenomenal zest for life. We will all miss her more than words can say.” Announced by the National Honey Board at the 2014 WCR annual conference in March, the Golden Amulet Award will be launching in 2015. “Laurey was such a joy to work with, and we think she would have approved of this unique recognition that only she could have inspired,” said Catherine Barry, director of marketing for the National Honey Board.

Food Arts – Honored Bee-ing

This entry was posted in WCR.