This Female-Focused Dinner Series Raises Funds for Cincinnati Women in Food and Drink

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After attending the National Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Conference this past March in Minneapolis with Sandy Gross and Emma Cotter, chef Frances Kroner — all of Aster on Fourth and Sleepy Bee — came back to Cincinnati realizing she needed to create an organization for women in the industry here.

Thus she began the foundational work to create CWFD, Cincinnati Women in Food and Drink. Its mission is to “advance and celebrate women in food and drink through connection, education and mentorship to empower their success,” Kroner says.

“To start, we are spreading the word and putting together a network of women in the food and beverage industries in Cincinnati,” she says. “We are hosting the dinner series to start up a seed fund to do a bit more branding and infrastructure for the group.

“After that, we will work toward education opportunities — small-scale conferences, mentorship. We want the group to properly reflect the needs of the community, so while we have a general direction, the scope and strategy is being influenced by the women we are meeting.”

Getting to enjoy delicious food, created by incredible female talent, in an amazingly intimate setting alongside strangers is exciting enough, but it was even better to learn that the profits from the evening would be used to further the bigger mission of CWFD.

While the dinner pop-ups themselves may have ended — the dinners were held July 25, Aug. 1, 15 and 22 — it is clear that the work to create something bigger and supportive of women in this industry and city is well on its way.

Follow Aster or the “Cincinnati Women Chefs and Restaurateurs” group on Facebook for upcoming CWFD events.

| Photos by Hailey Bollinger