Sure, she’s a bit nutty — definitely not your typical Ottawa girl — but Catherine Landry’s creative energy is utterly infectious. I find myself as charmed by her raw enthusiasm today as I was seven years ago when I met the one-of-a-kind event planner. Back then she was giving birth to Cherry Pie, a series of unique networking event opportunities for women in Ottawa. I’ve lost count now, but Cherry Pie events have been held at various venues over the years, including Helsinki and Lago, and the number of regular attendees have swelled into the hundreds. Suffice it to say, when Landry sets her mind to something, she has a knack for getting the girls on board.
Why? She’s unconventional and fearless. She’s also a champion networker herself insofar as she seems to know everybody and everything that’s going on, but she’s a bit of a throwback too. She still uses the telephone to call and chat! She loves nothing more than to brainstorm, toss around ideas, try things out, just to see how it sounds or how it looks on paper. You can see her mind turning when she talks. Above all, she seems genuinely driven to bring women together so that everyone can thrive and succeed, feed off of and learn from one another. In many ways, it’s a way of translating a lovely old-fashioned idea for modern women, and that alone makes it a pretty radical idea.
SPOON began percolating back in 2009. I got an email from Landry who was soliciting feedback from a handful of savvy women in the community on the idea of holding something like Bon Appétit, but an all-girl version. And here it is, September 27, the dream is about to become a reality. Landry seems most excited about the idea of showcasing women farmers and hooking them up with the city’s great female chefs. But it’s great fun for everyone — men are certainly welcome to attend, but not participate at the “showcase” level.
The ticket price includes: 2 glasses of Ontario wine, one glass of pink champagne, 5 appetizers from the SideDoor Menu, and samples from all the food purveyors at the event.
The idea: The concept for every Cherry Pie event is simple — pack your purse (or “murse” if you’re a dude with a purse) with business cards, wander around shopping, drinking. and nibbling. And the networking comes naturally.
Ottawa Magazine will be there with copies of the October issue hot off the press. And by coincidence, I have an article in there about women who are kicking butt in restaurant kitchens in town.
What: SPOON – Ottawa’s First Ever Gastronomique Showcase of Powerhouse Women in the Food and Wine Industry
When: Tuesday, September 27 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Where: SideDoor Restaurant, 20 York St.
How to purchase tickets: http://spoonottawa.eventbrite.com/
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=137228006365193
- The Red Apron
- Tiraislin Farm
- Coutts Country Flavors
- Heritage Farm
- Algonquin Tea
- The Whalesbone Catering
- Donegal Heritage farm
- The Mix Company
- Three Sisters
- Simply Raw
- The Magic Fridge
- Algonquin College (Culinary)
- Executive Chef Gabrielle Sexton (4 Points Hotel)
- The Cake Whisperer
- KOKO Chocolates
- Suzy Q Doughnuts
- Fultons Maple Products
- Glorious Greens & Vegetables
- Folies Bergeres Cheeses
- Geek Sweets
- OPEONGO Rainwater Soaps