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.


You’re invited to a cooking class that benefits Work Options for Women
January Cooking Class

Chef Ian Kleinman has been described as a “Mad (Food) Scientist” and “A Modern Day Willy Wonka” in news stories and food blogs across the country. With his affinity for liquid nitrogen and belief that amazing food should also be entertaining, it’s no wonder why this chef’s catering business, The Inventing Room, is so popular.

Would you like an opportunity to see some of Chef Ian Kleinman’s molecular magic and possibly learn some of his best-kept secrets? Make sure to get your tickets to his cooking class this January at Café Options.

100% of the proceeds will go toward Work Options for Women 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.




Chef Ian Kleinman
Chef/Owner of The Inventing Room
Monday, January 19, 2015
at 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Cafe Options 1650 Curtis Street


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.


Meet Jasmine!

Not many of us are forced to make a life-or-death decision in our lifetimes, but Jasmine had to do just that. The mother of four had been in an abusive relationship since she married at age 14 and knew that if she did not leave her husband soon, his abuse would eventually lead to her death. Jasmine matter-of-factly states, “I had to leave or I was going to die.” Fearing for her life, she made the difficult decision to leave the marriage and fled with nothing more than her four children and $200 she had taken from her husband. That money did not last long – 2 nights in a hotel to be exact – and Jasmine soon found herself in various homeless shelters around the Denver area. Though she wanted to work to support her family, Jasmine had been a stay-at-home mom for 14 years and lacked the work experience and skills necessary to find a decent paying job.

After expressing her frustrations to her TANF manager, Jasmine was asked a simple but important question: what do you like to do. Jasmine said she liked to cook, a skill she picked up from her own kitchen while preparing family meals. Recognizing that Jasmine would be a perfect fit for WOW, her TANF manager suggested she attend an orientation to learn more about the program.

When Jasmine joined the WOW program, she faced many obstacles in her life. She still lacked stable housing and childcare, and her children were not enrolled in school. Her WOW Case Manager – Courtney – saw her determination and did what she could to assist her. Courtney partnered with Jasmine to secure housing and even helped her find furniture! She directed Jasmine to childcare options and facilitated registering her children in school.

Once Jasmine’s home life was more stable, she was able to focus on completing and excelling in the WOW program. Proving to be adept and eager, Jasmine emerged as a leader in the kitchen. Completing 11 weeks in the program, Jasmine began a 4-week internship at Café Options. With this additional experience under her belt, she began the job search in the WOW Career Center. Submitting many applications and resumes with no interviews, Jasmine was a bit discouraged. However, her determination kept her going and she soon had multiple interviews, all of which she aced – Jasmine was offered 3 jobs in one day!

In less than a year, Jasmine has moved from a dependent, abusive relationship to an employed, independent woman. She says, “I have grown to be self-sufficient and a positive single mother for my children.” Her children are proud of her and so are we. We know Jasmine will go far – she already has aspirations of owning and operating her own Latin/Caribbean style food truck. We wish Jasmine the best as she undertakes a new career and a new life.

Cooking Class for Kids!

Drop your kids off at Work Options for Women’s Cooking Class for Kids on July 18th, 2012 at Cafe Options.

Led by Jessica Berry, WOW’s Job Placement Coordinator and former sous-chef, this will be an excellent, hands-on class for little ones between 8 and 12 years of age.

As always, this class will emphasis safety and skill building while encouraging healthy eating habits. Each little chef will be introduced to delicious foods, help prepare a nutritious kid friendly meal, and eat their accomplishments! This cooking class will be our most fun yet. We can’t wait to see your child there.

Any and all food allergies can and will be accommodated.

Class will be held at Cafe Options at:

1650 Curtis St
Denver, CO 80202-2046

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (MT)

Click here to purchase tickets.