Vermilion and the James Beard Foundation recently announced an open call for aspiring female culinary leaders. The Women in Culinary Leadership (WICL) Cookoff is part of the James Beard Foundation Vermilion Women in Culinary Leadership Program, which was created to raise awareness about the rarity of women in leadership roles in the culinary industry as well as provide new leadership opportunities. The contest will identify driven women chefs and restaurateurs and help them develop leadership and culinary skills through internship and mentoring opportunities.
To enter, applicants must submit a resume, essay, and a recipe for one contemporary Indian-Latin dish through Vermillion's online entry form by February 15. A selection committee composed of chefs and culinary influencers will determine eight finalists to participate in the cookoff, where each competitor will execute her recipe for a signature Indian-Latin dish and conduct a brief interview with a panel of judges.
To apply, applicants must submit the following by February 15:
- A resume
- A 700-word essay about the applicant's aspirations and culinary career, what makes her the best candidate for the program, and how the program fits into her career goals OR a 3 to 5 minute video addressing the same points, uploaded to YouTube with a link provided in the application
- Recipe for one contemporary Indian-Latin dish, playing up the historical cross-influences, geographical overlap, or provocative melding that Vermilion's cuisine is based on
Finalists will compete in a cook off on February 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Vermilion NYC.
Judges for the cook off are Ambassador Capricia Marshall (Chief of Protocol of the United States, Department of State), Dorothy Hamilton (President International Culinary Center), Aaron Sanchez (Chef, judge Chopped), Susan Ungaro (President James Beard Foundation), and Rohini Dey (owner, founder Vermilion). If you have any further questions, please forward them here: to Rohini Dey, owner of Vermilion, who is spearheading the program. This program is funded by the JBF Vermilion WICL Scholarship.
Two winners will participate in a one-year leadership intern program at Vermilion in New York and Chicago, where they will be personally mentored by Dey and experience culinary rotation across all stations to learn about kitchen leadership, front of the house management, and get a crash course in restaurant start-up. Winners will also receive a weekly $500 internship grant from the Women in Culinary Leadership Scholarship and participate in a one-week internship at the James Beard House, where they will experience a behind-the-scenes look at how dinners are prepared more than 200 times a year. They will also have the opportunity to work with one of the Chefs for Women participating celebrity chefs including Aarón Sanchez, Emily Luchetti, Michelle Bernstein, Lorena Garcia, Douglas Rodriguez, Patricio Sandoval, Sue Torres, Carmen Gonzalez, Anthony Lamas, and Susan Weaver.
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