Female restaurant leaders host pop-up dinner event


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Monday, on International Women’s Day, female chefs and restaurant owners came together for a one-night dinner event.

It was hosted at Honeywood in the Summit at Fritz Farm and featured Kentucky Duchess members for “Snack Queens Seven-Course Menu.”

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Snack Queen Chefs unite, bringing you a menu of seven shareable snacks for one-night only. Pick a few or get them all. Each item available a la carte or the whole slew to share with a friend! The menu includes plates like • Savory Chevre Cheesecake, Katy Startzman (Native Bagel Company) • Apple Manchego Salad, Allison Davis (Wild Thyme Cooking School) • Scallops & 24 Hour Braised Bacon, Debbie Long with Mark Richardson (Dudley’s on Short) • Jaffna Coconut Chicken Curry, Sam Fore (Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites) • Grits and Grillades, Melissa Jackson (Doodles) • Quesabirria Tacos, Kristin Smith (Wrigley Tap Room) • Trio of Financiers, Martine Holzman (Martine’s Pastries) • and a complimentary amuse bouche from Ouita Michel and Hannah Arvin. Renee Saunier Brewer of Wine and Market will lend her expert sommelier skills to pair wines for the entire evening.

“It feels so awesome to be together, cooking together, celebrating women’s day in the way we know how in our industry and telling people that look like us, that they can do what we’re doing, or even more exciting things so it’s a exciting day to be with each other and to celebrate women’s day,” said Kristin Smith, the chef/owner of The Wrigley Taproom in Corbin.

“It’s really nice to be able to cook with people that you admired and respected around town,” said Samantha Fore, the chef/owner of Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites.

“It seemed like a no-brainer to be part of that and be around all the creativity and strength,” Melissa Jackson said, the chef/owner of Doodles.

“Being together in the same kitchen, with the services that’s going on today, I’m just so proud to be here and be part of this,” said Martine Holzman, chef/owner Martine’s Pastries.

“Let’s not forget the social aspect to be with all these women chefs and just to be back in the, you know, just in a fun environment and feel like events are back. It’s just been great,” added Allison Davis, chef/owner of Wild Thyme Cooking.

“Yeah, we couldn’t do it without each other. I feel that way,” Smith said.

“It’s not about the fall, it’s about how you get back up, and how it’s easier to stand up if you have a group of people around you to sort of reach down and help you up,” Jackson concluded.

“And don’t let anything deter you from that, not 2020, 2021, don’t let anything, turn you away,” Davis advised.

“You can do anything you want to do,” Fore said when asked about what she would say to any young girls watching.

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com