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Deb's Desk: Creative Women in Food & Drink Panel

Everyone loves food (and Raymond). Boys like food. Girls like food. I like food. We all like food. Nothing brings people together like a great meal (and great drinks), especially on crisp and crunchy fall evenings. At times when the world feels a little freaky, and we all just need a fat glass of vino, or delicious vegan tacos, or Oreo gems, or positive words, there’s only one thing the doctor calls for: a get together with a solid group of gals.

Lucky for us at HQ, Deb’s squadron of cool colleagues is packed with amazing female chefs and one, Emmy-award winning news producer, journalist and author, Carol Joynt. *Starry-eyed emoji* Doubly, fortunately, our office squadron has one, Megan Principe, Media Manager, who is a beautiful and kind event planning mastermind. Last week, we gathered for savory and nutritious treats, drinks, and conversation with our compatriots and 5 of DC’s finest.

Co-founders of Chaia Tacos - Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon (en absentia)

Braised mushroom with feta, roasted tomato habanero salsa, and cilantro

Creamy kale and potato with pepper jack, poblano crema, tomatillo salsa, and pickled red onion

Moroccan carrots with goat cheese, chipotle yogurt, and mint

Black beans with jalapeños and crema

Green rice, feta, herb pesto and petitas

A bunch of little baby steps and ideas...

"We started with $1000 dollars, a tent, two folding tables, some camp stoves, and a membership to Union Kitchen, where we cooked—Suzanne and I, we’d make all our tortillas in the kitchen, and then we’d bring them to the market. We’d basically reheat them there, because it was just the two of us, initially, and that changed very quickly as it grew in popularity, but we started really small.”

Founder and CEO of Jrink Juicery - Shizu Okusa

Heal Me Up, 100% cold pressed celery juice & lemon

Black Magic, activated charcoal, aloe Vera water, apple, grape, lemon

Clean Me Up 2, Apple, lemon, 2X ginger, fresh turmeric

Clean Me Up 1, lemon, cayenne pepper, cucumber, pineapple, grapefruit

Make people happy and feel like their best selves...

"Jrink was ‘The fresh-pressed solution for life-pressed people.’ So, we’re all a little bit ‘life-pressed,’ so we have humor inside our own company where we laugh and send each other memes and jokes. . . . Our new parent company slogan is ‘Wellthy is the new wealthy,’ so it’s not about financial wealth, it’s about wellbeing and mental wellness. So, we live, breathe, and really literally, drink, eat, and tincture everything of our own to make ourselves feel better."

Chef and owner of Buttercream Bakeshop - Tiffany MacIsaac

Happy Campers, crispy graham cracker crumble, chocolate ganache, homemade, honey vanilla marshmallow fluff

Oreo Gems, oreos dipped in white chocolate swirled with color and splattered with gold leaf

Rice crispy bars

Macarons

So, my husband said, ‘Just open a bakery—Just do it. You can do it'...

"When I took over at Buzz Bakery, it was a completely different environment which I really enjoyed. I was worried about working with all women as opposed to being the only woman, and I found myself pleasantly surprised at what a nice, supportive, nurturing environment it was. It was totally different than what I’d lived before, not that being the only woman was bad, but it was a lot more tense in a different way. I just really loved it."

Service Director and owner of Tail Up Goat - Jill Tyler

We actually really wanted to get away from fine dining...

"We thought people would interact with Tail Up Goat a little more casually than they do which was really interesting. We thought that people would spend less money, and we’d see a lot more people in and out of our doors. But instead, people hung out for three hours for dinner and did 5 or 6 courses. So, our modeling ended up being pretty close to what we expected but in an entirely different way.”

We also partnered with a local nonprofit, Martha’s Table, in their efforts to end hunger and collected non-perishable canned food donations.

Listening to this panel of female powerhouses converse with OG, female powerhouse, Carol Joynt, truly turned the beat of my week around. And, I’m certain my coworkers and fellow attendants would say the same. These women are mission-driven, selfless, and real. Frankly, I’m dying to invite them over for dinner (we would order pizza because I’d be mortified to serve them one of my hastily made, HelloFresh nightmares). Please, visit their restaurants, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts to taste and see for yourself. Now more than ever, we’ve got to embrace each other as we should. Lastly, I’ll bring it home with happy by the Hamptons’ Sweetheart, Ina Garten, "I get up every day, do the best that I can do, and go home and have a good time.” Keep eating, drinking, and being the best you, my quangels.

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