In an effort to examine the role of women in leadership positions in the culinary industry, the James Beard Foundation and Vermilion are proud to announce the Women in Culinary Leadership Program. This new initiative includes a:

1. Women in Culinary scholarship, launched by Vermilion and the Beard Foundation to create opportunities for women restaurateurs and chefs. Funds will be raised for this by a donation by Vermilion, a portion of the proceeds of the September 18 Leadership evening, the ongoing Chefs for Women, and contributions by donors.

2. Women in Culinary Leadership Evening panel and dinner evening on September 18 that features a panel discussion by industry leaders addressing and exploring the gender imbalance in the food industry. Moderated by Emmy and James Beard Award winner Martha Teichner of CBS News, the panel will feature Martha Stewart, founder, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; Lidia Bastianich, chef, author and restaurateur; Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder and CEO, the International Culinary Center; Rohini Dey, Ph.D., founder/owner, Vermilion (NYC and Chicago); and Susan Ungaro, president, James Beard Foundation. The event will feature a five-course Indian-Latin fusion dinner, as well as a panel discussion.

3. “Chefs for Women” program, which will be unveiled on September 18 at the Women in Culinary Leadership Evening at Vermilion in New York City. More than seven highly acclaimed and lauded chefs across the country have signed up to support this scholarship initiative and will be contributing their time and culinary talent to this effort.

Spearheaded by Rohini Dey, founder of the Indian-Latin restaurants Vermilion in New York City and Chicago, and Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation, the Women in Culinary Leadership Program aims to examine the gender imbalance in the food industry, celebrate the accomplishments of women in the field, and support women working to make it in the culinary world as chefs and restaurateurs. An integral part of Ungaro’s work at the James Beard Foundation has been to expand culinary scholarship programs and perpetuate dialogue about food in our society today. This collaborative effort with Dey, who is a passionate supporter and mentor of women through her entrepreneurial involvement and charity work, is a natural next step toward reaching their goals.

The Women in Culinary Leadership Evening will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Vermilion in New York City (480 Lexington Ave.) and will raise funds for the James Beard Foundation Vermilion Women in Culinary Leadership Scholarship  The evening is $100 for a five-course Indian-Latin dinner and panel discussion; $135 with wine pairing. Prepaid reservations are necessary and can be made by calling Vermilion at 212.871.6600 or emailing

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