Event Information
Winter Warm-Up Networking Event
Celebrating Nashville’s Female Chef Scene
Casa Azafrán
Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 5:30 PM

Join The Women’s Fund for its Winter Warm-Up Networking Event, celebrating Nashville’s female chef community. It will take place February 21st at Casa Azafrán. Networking and happy hour will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a panel of some of Nashville’s most distinguished female chefs and restaurant entrepreneurs including Kathy Bonnet, Maneet Chauhan, Margot McCormack, and Deb Paquette. The Moderator will be Jennifer Justus.

The Women’s Fund, an endowment fund within The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, is dedicated to increasing support in Middle Tennessee for programs serving women and girls. Since 1994, the Fund has issued grants of more than $1.6 million to 40 unique nonprofit organizations throughout Middle Tennessee.

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Jennifer Justus, Nashville native, is a former culture and lifestyles reporter for the Tennessean. Jennifer is the author of two books - The Food Lovers' Guide to Nashville and Nashville Eats. Her work has also appeared in Cornbread Nation: the Best of Southern Food Writing, TIME, Alimentum literary food journal, Nashville Lifestyles magazine, Southern Living, The Local Palate, Imbibe, the Boston Herald and The Boston Globe. Jennifer believes "Food is art, travel, sociology, agriculture and health. But it is also the simple stuff for survival that brings us together at the table."


Kathy Bonnet founded The Picnic Café in 1983. Originally sharing space with Belle Meade Drugs on Harding Road, the Café is a long-standing tradition in Nashville's southern cuisine scene. In the current location (and former Laundromat) since 2007, it offers delicious delicacies all made by hand every day from fresh ingredients. The Café offers breakfast and lunch, with favorites including fresh pastries and muffins, Picnic Chicken Salad, Kathy’s Crescents, and Picnic Tea Punch.

Margot McCormack began her illustrious career as a line cook at Bennigan’s while a student at UT Knoxville. After graduating from the culinary arts program at the Culinary Institute of America, she became the chef at Danal, a quaint European café in the East Village. In 1995 Margot returned home to Nashville and became the executive chef at F. Scott’s. In 2001 she left to pursue her dream of opening her own restaurant, Margot Café & Bar and Marché Artisan Foods. Her philosophy on food and cooking is inspired by the French culture, based on seasonality and the very best locally sourced ingredients.

Deb Paquette became the first woman in Tennessee to qualify as a certified executive chef. She’s been a trailblazer for chefs in the area, a mentor and consultant to some of Nashville’s best talent. She’s won countless awards and accolades and was the chef/owner of Zola - named in Gourmet Magazine as one of the Top Sixty Restaurants in the United States. After successfully coming back to Nashville and opening ETCH in the summer of 2012, Deb turned her attention to etc., located in the Green Hills neighborhood, in August of 2016. This smaller, more intimate version of Etch boasts a swanky vibe with a menu that incorporates all of Deb’s favorite spices, produce and global recipes. A succinct wine and cocktail menu includes wines from around the world, select craft beer and a handful of culinary-minded cocktails.