WomenCook! 2015 Menu Preview

Women's 11th Annual WomenCook! - Dining for a Difference Event

Menu Preview

Join Work Options for Women on April 27, 2015 for a one-of-a-kind menu prepared by some of Denver’s most renowned female chefs. Here is a sneak peak of some of the participating chefs and dishes they are preparing for this charitable event.

Letisha Steele
WaterCourse Bakery
All Gluten Free and Vegan
Lemon Rosemary Bars
Chocolate Eclair Cakes
Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts
Mary Nguyen
Parallel Seventeen and
Olive & Finch
Bulgogi Beef Lettuce Wraps, Pickled Vegetables and Granny Smith Apples
Dana Rodriguez
Work & Class
Citrus-Halibut Ceviche with avocado mousse and tortilla chip
Aniedra Nichols
Elway’s Cherry Creek
Roasted Beet “Tartare”, Carrot Top Pesto, Grilled Bread Crostini
Jennifer Jasinski
Rioja, Euclid Hall, Bistro Vendôme and Stoic & Genuine
Pea and Ramp Risotto
Salmon Tartare
Lisa Bailey
D Bar
Avocado Fondue with Buttery Brioche Crouton

WomenCook Tickets

Temple Emanuel
51 Grape Street, Denver CO 80220
Monday, April 27, 2015
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.


100% of the funds raised at WomenCook! 2015 goes toward helping Work Options for Women with their mission to help impoverished women gain the skills and confidence they need to work their way out of poverty and become gainfully and permanently employed in the food service industry.


Thoughts on Sharing Food

Sharing lunch at WOW

Work Options for Women employees sharing lunch with U of U Alternative Spring Breaks volunteers.

Can you recall a memorable meal? I’m remembering one right now. I was seven years old, and we were having company. My mother put out a little of this and a little of that – olives, crackers, cheese, canned tuna, and pickles. I remember feeling so classy that night because I thought only very fancy people would have something as French sounding as hors d’oeuvres for dinner. Years later, I mentioned this to my mom and learned that it was memorable for her as well, but for a different reason. She told me how at the time we had no money and those many little dishes represented all that was left in our pantry that night.

Another meal that stands out was a first date who made reservations. No one had ever made reservations for me before, and coincidentally he was the one I married.

What is it about food that can bring us together and even make us fall in love? Thanksgiving, backyard barbecues, candlelight dinners, milk and cookies on the first day of school? Maybe it’s the way food helps us to engage our senses or maybe there’s some connection between nourishing our bodies and nourishing our souls. Perhaps it’s as simple as the way food gives us a reason to slow down and spend time with others. Whatever the case, this draw in humans to share food is universal. And, just this year, researchers discovered that it isn’t only humans who bond over food. Chimpanzees who shared food were found to experience a rise in oxytocin, the chemical released by hugs and the one that helps us fall in love with our partners and bond with our children. One interesting tidbit from this study was that it didn’t matter if the chimps were on the giving or receiving end, the oxytocin was released for all who shared. Another interesting finding was that sharing food was especially important for helping chimps to form new social bonds – so, maybe making reservations for a special first date really is a good idea.

Yummy, desset.

Cafe Options Cooking Class goers enjoying dessert with Pastry Chef Samm Sherman.

Food is a big part of our identity at Work Options for Women. For us, food is something everyone needs; and learning how to handle, prepare, and cook food gives our students a chance to become quickly employable in a way that enhances dignity and respect. There is an old cowboy saying that goes, “Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule, or a cook.” And, it’s true. People instinctively recognize that those who prepare our food deserve to be honored, and being the one who brings the food instantly raises one’s status in a group.

Just as food bonds us together with our family and friends, food bonds Work Options for Women to the community. On May 5th, 2014, Work Options for Women looks forward to our 10th annual WomenCook! fundraiser. WomenCook! will celebrate all of this: the delight inherent in food, the company of good friends, and the way that food continues to create opportunity for our graduates to care for themselves and their families. Stay tuned for more about WomenCook!, and in the meantime, take some time to appreciate sharing a meal with the people you love.


A WOW Mother’s Day


Looking for a unique gift this Mother’s Day? 
Take that special someone to WomenCook! Dining for a Difference to help women in our community.

Jodine, 2013 Graduate of the Year, talks about her Mom.

When: Monday, May 6th, 2013
Where: Temple Emanuel
Why: To support the mission of WOW and the women we serve.
What: A walk-around casual event benefiting women and their families.


Chef Mary Nguyen supports WOW!

Chef Mary Nguyen

Chef Mary Nguyen supports Work Options for Women!

After participating in our 8th Annual WomenCook! event, Chef Mary continues to support WOW by donating $1 for every Facebook check in at Parallel Seventeen and at Street Kitchen Asian Bistro for the month of May!




Visit their Facebook page now.

Parallel 17Street Kitchen Asian Bistro

WomenCook! and Silent Auction Trips

Please join us for our 8th Annual WomenCook! event on Monday, May 7, 2012.  Work Options for Women is celebrating our 15th Year Anniversary!

Here are a few trips that will be available through our silent auction.  If you would like to place a bid and are unable to attend the event, you are still eligible to place a bid.  Contact Laurie Peterson at laurie@workoptions.org to submit an amount.  You will be notified on Tuesday, May 8th, if you have won!


Le Cordon Bleu Paris Experience, Paris, France (value is $12,935 for 2; airfare IS included) – five nights at Renaissance Paris Hotels (Renaissance Paris Le Parc Trocadero or Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe), choice of culinary experience for 2 at Le Cordon Bleu Paris (Le Cordon Bleu Discovery Workshops in Cuisine and Pastry or Le Cordon Bleu Paris Market Tour or In Honor of Julia Childs), and daily breakfast for two.  Minimum bid $5,750.

South African Safari, Zulu Nyala Game Lodge (value is $4950 for 2; airfare is NOT included) – six days and six nights, 3 full meals daily, and 2 guided game viewing activities each day.  Minimum bid $1,000.

Perfect Wine Region Escape, California’s Wine Country (value is $3,900 for 2, round trip air IS included) – four days and three nights at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, daily breakfast, daily complimentary wine tastings in hotel lobby, and complimentary bottle of wine upon arrival.  Minimum bid $2,500.

Don CeSar, St. Pete, Florida (value is $2,375 for 2; airfare is NOT included) – six days and five nights, $200 gift card for the Spa Oceana, $100 gift card for the Maritana Grilled Restaurant; all room related taxes and parking fees are paid.  Blackout dates:  Christmas and New Year’s week, July 2 – 5, 2012.  Minimum bid $1,300.


For more information or detail on any of these trips, feel free to contact Laurie Peterson at laurie@workoptions.org.

Give the gift of WOW for Mother’s Day.

Looking for a unique gift this Mother’s Day?  Take that special someone to WomenCook!  Dining for a Difference to help women in our community.  WOW’s Mission is to help impoverished women gain the skills and confidence they need to work their way out of poverty and become gainfully and permanently employed in the food service industry.

  “When I was younger, I would always try and guess what Mom was making for dinner by smelling the air when I came home from school. I would walk in the door and sniff…I would yell out my guesses as I walked down the hall towards the kitchen. As I got closer I could smell the food better and my guesses became more accurate. When I finally got to the kitchen, Mom would tell me if I guessed correctly.”  Nico, a student and graduate of Work Options for Women

What?  A walk-around casual event benefitting women and their families.

When?  Monday, May 7th, 2012

Where?  Temple Emanuel

Why?  Women helping women by supporting the mission of WOW and the women and children that we serve in our community. 

Click here to order tickets!


Mother’s Day has never been easier.  Use our order form to have a customized invitation mailed out to your mother, daughter, or friend.  Feel free to call with any questions – 720.944.1917.

Click here to view the card! 

Download Order Form!


WOW, what an event. It has been a few weeks since our WomenCook! 7th annual dining for a difference event and we have so much to be thankful for.

Our event was once again held at Temple Emanuel, a venue that is so magnificent.  This venue provided the perfect place for everyone to experience the event, to share stories and meet new people while surrounded by incredible architecture of Colorado’s oldest Jewish congregation.

We were all touched by the speech from Karisha who with a lot of hard work and dedication has excelled since she completed the program with Work Options for Women with a series of promotions in a very short period of time.

Experiencing the carefully prepared dishes that our fine contributing chefs served up throughout the walk-around dinner brought on a choir of “WOWs” from the 500 attendees as they went from station to station. Dishes such as grilled slices of New York strip mounded on Parmesan-polenta crackers crowned with arugula pesto from Aniedra Nichols at Elway’s Cherry Creek, the Green garlic panna cotta with a spring vegetable fricassée from Crickett Burns at the Squeaky Bean or the Colorado lamb burger with goat cheese, cucumber rounds and hummus from our own chef Craig Dixon of Cafe Options were the topic of conversation between old friends and new friends at the event. Westword captured some lovely pictures of some of the dishes.

Huge thanks to our amazing chefs:

  • Black Pearl – Kate Horton
  • Elway’s Cherry Creek – Aniedra Nichols
  • D Bar Desserts – Lisa Bailey
  • Duo and Olivéa – Yasmin Lozada-Hissom
  • Gateaux – Kathleen Kenny Davia
  • Grand Hyatt Hotel Denver – Sandra Adams
  • Jax Fish House – Sheila Lucero
  • Johnson & Wales University – Marcia Kramer, Stacy Griest, Jamie B. Daugherty, Carrie Stebbins, Kristen Cofrades
  • Panzano – Elise Wiggins
  • Parallel Seventeen and Street Kitchen – Mary Nguyen
  • Rioja and Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall – Jennifer Jasinski
  • Squeaky Bean – Crickett BurnsCrickett Burns
  • Work Options for Women – Stephanie Mitro and Craig Dixon

Of course we are very fortunate and grateful for our event sponsors including:

Our Sous Chef Sponsors:

  • Bank of the West
  • Shamrock Foods
  • SLI GlobalSolutions.

Our Foodie Sponsors:

  • Blue Sky Plumbing
  • Dorsey & Whitney
  • EKS&H
  • FreshPoint of Denver
  • Gay & Lesbian fund for Colorado
  • Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher LLP
  • Key Bank
  • Pie Forensic Consultants

Throughout the night, we heard how the event truly helped to showcase what Work Options for Women is all about. It is through the support of our community, that we are able to help combat homelessness and poverty by providing unemployed women with the confidence and skills they need to become gainfully and permanently employed in the food service industry. Our contributing chefs serve as the role models for what women can become with hard work and support. Together we can make a difference, together we give women in Denver the opportunity to do wonderful things.

Thanks to everyone that helped make WomenCook! 2011 a great success.