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  • Cork & Fork: A Celebration of Female Culinary Talent 1

Cork & Fork: A Celebration of Female Culinary Talent

Cork & Fork: A Celebration of Female Culinary Talent

September 29 – October 1, 2023

Six guest chefs and our own Master Sommelier, Elizabeth Schweitzer, come together for a weekend of fine wine & dining, including culinary events and a six-course tasting event (pink tie dress welcome), in partnership with the James Beard Foundation and benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Main Dining Room 2Elizabeth Schweitzer – Master Sommelier, Grand Hotel

Schweitzer is the eighth woman in the world to achieve the Master Sommelier title, the highest professional qualification in the hospitality industry. This is her 13th season working at Grand Hotel. At Grand Hotel, Schweitzer oversees the Grand Award of Excellence wine list for Salle a Manger, the Main Dining Room, as well as Woods, Jockey Club, Gate House, and Winchester’s wine lists. With over 500 selections on the wine list, she is proud that the wine list offers wine for every taste, occasion, and budget. Schweitzer was previously voted Best Sommelier in California by the California Restaurant Writers Association. Schweitzer donates time to events and fund-raising with Kidsave and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

When asked, “What is your favorite wine?” Schweitzer says, “What time is it? Where am I? Who am I with? What are we eating?” Then, that is my favorite wine!”

Guest Chefs

Chef Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai – Minneapolis, MN

Christina Nguyen is the chef and co-owner of Hola Arepa and Hai Hairestaurants in Minneapolis, MN. Christina is a self-taught chef who startedHola Arepa as a food truck in 2011 with her husband Birk. A couple of years later, they found a permanent home for HolaArepa in South Minneapolis. They serve Venezuelan arepas, Latin American small plates, and tropical cocktails in a space reminiscent of breezy beachside Latin cafes.

Hai Hai, the lush plant-filled oasis has a focus on bright& bold Southeast Asian street food, and the menu pulls inspiration from dishes that Christina grew up eating during her Vietnamese upbringing, and from her travels all around Southeast Asia. Christina was a finalist for the James Beard Award’s Best Chef Midwest category in 2019 & 2020, and a semifinalist in 2018 & 2023.

Amarys Herndon, Palm & Pine – New Orleans, LA

Amarys Koenig Herndon is chef and owner ofPalm&Pine, a vibrant New Orleans restaurant featuring the cuisines and culinary traditions of “the South and south of that” (Louisiana, the southern states, the Caribbean, Mexico, and CentralAmerica). In this role, Amarys works alongside her husband, Chef Jordan Herndon, to lead the kitchen and set the tone for the restaurant’s unique concept. Amarys and Jordan recently landed on the ‘22/’23 James Beard Semifinalist List for ‘Best Chef: South’.

Born in Houston, TX, and raised in New Braunfels, TX, Amarys’true passion for the culinary world began at an early agebaking homemade goods to raise money to attend summer camp. She later worked as a hostess and server in the restaurant her family-owned. Amarys moved to New Orleans at 19 to earn her Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from Delgado Culinary School and officially entered the culinary world.

Jessica Scott, 50 Eggs Hospitality 

Corporate Executive Pastry Chef Jessica Scott of 50 Eggs Hospitality Group, creates a refined, approachable pastry program across 50 Eggs Hospitality Group restaurants, including Yardbird Table & Bar (Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Singapore, Dallas, DC, Denver, Chicago), CHICA (Miami, Las Vegas, Aspen), Spritz, and CAPRI. Scott embraces the bold, bright flavors of her San Diego upbringing and the comforting flavors of the American South to curate a menu that lightens up the indulgent Yardbird menu. Staying true to the 50 Eggs brand, she pushes boundaries with her interactive, over-the-top desserts that create a memorable experience for diners (CHICA’s Flaming Skulls as a notable example). She creates a unique dessert menu that changes with the seasons to suit each location and its distinct diners. Scott’s relentless focus on balancing flavor and eclectic presentation has earned her a reputation as a true innovator among her fellow pastry chefs.

Debbie Gold, LeTour – Evanston, IL

Chef Debbie Gold is a James Beard Foundation award-winner and four-time nominee with a background in French cuisine and over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. After reconnecting with Restaurateur Amy Morton in 2019 and becoming the Corporate Chef of AMDP, Morton and Gold recently embarked on their newest adventure, LeTour. ‘LeTour’ means “circle’/to turn” in French- an ode to the circular layout of the restaurant in downtown Evanston and the ‘full circle’ moments that brought Morton and Gold together for this new venture.

Gold turned to Kansas City to begin a stellar twenty-year run; named Executive Chef of The American Restaurant, where she won a James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Midwest Chef.” She later opened her own restaurant, 40 Sardines, which garnered Gold a coveted James Beard Foundation nomination for “Best New Midwest Restaurant.” She was also recognized by Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, battling against fellow award-winning chefs for two seasons – Season 2 (2010) and Season 4 (2012).

In 2017, Gold found her way back to Chicago as the Executive Chef of Tied House and in 2019 she reconnected with Amy Morton and joined her as AMDP’s Executive Chef. Gold oversaw the kitchen’s of Found kitchen and Social House, The Barn Steakhouse and Stolp Island Social. In November of 2022 she took on the role of Partner at LeTour an “unconventionally French” brasserie, where the modern French menu blends seamlessly.

Deborah VanTrece, Twisted Soul – Atlanta, GA

Chef Deborah VanTrece is one of the South’s most preeminent culinary personalities. In addition to being a James Beard Award-nominated chef and best-selling cookbook author, Chef VanTrece is a successful restauranteur and CEO and founder of the VanTrece Hospitality Group.

The VanTrece Hospitality Group’s portfolio of award-winning restaurants includes the modern, global soul food restaurant, Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, and Oreatha’s at The Point, a concept showcasing comfort food dishes made by mothers around the world. The VanTrece Hospitality Group also includes The Catering Company by VanTrece, which has curated special private and public events for high-profile celebrities, top brands, and special events including The Grammys.

Chef VanTrece has been featured on NBC’s TODAY, Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, NPR, Garden & Gun, and Conde Nast Traveler, among many others. She is also a winner of Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games and was featured in Behind the Dish, the first food documentary produced in virtual reality.

Mia Orino, Kamayan – Atlanta, GA

Bio to come

Cork & Fork: A Celebration of Female Culinary Talent 2

The James Beard Foundation celebrates and supports the people behind America’s food culture, while pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry to create a future where all have the opportunity to thrive. Established over 30 years ago, the Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives and is committed to supporting a resilient and flourishing industry that honors its diverse communities. By amplifying new voices, celebrating those leading the way, and supporting those on the path to do so, the Foundation is working to create a more equitable and sustainable future — what we call Good Food for Good™. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the James Beard Foundation launched the Open for Good campaign to ensure that independent restaurants not only survive, but that the industry is able to rebuild stronger than before.

Chasing Summer Sale

Have a new kind of old-fashioned getaway at Grand Hotel. Stay longer and save to explore all that Mackinac Island and Grand Hotel have to offer. Get away to get together on Mackinac Island, recently named the Best Summer Travel Destination in the 2023 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice awards.

Book today through May 31 and enjoy 25% off Grand Rooms, Lake View Rooms and Lake View Balcony Rooms and 35% off Suites for select dates in June.