Last year, Felicia Willett of Felicia Suzanne's and Kat Gordon of Muddy's Bake Shop teamed up to create Female Warriors: Armed & Delicious, a food and cocktail fund-raiser for the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis. The event returns Tuesday, November 29th, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at Felicia Suzanne's.
Willett says that she would often bump into Gordon at food-centric events, fund-raisers and the like. They would joke about how they were the two token females, the ones charged to bring the dessert. "It's a boys' club," Willett says.
Willett and Gordon spent about a year getting Female Warriors off the ground. First they got a logo, which features the women superhero-like in capes and Gordon holding a rolling pin and Willett a whisk. Then, they sent out an email to everyone they could think of, with the instructions to "please share and reply all." The database they built was not just chefs, Willett says, but farmers and writers — any woman actively engaged in the food scene.
The event was held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, or "Giving Tuesday," and drew about 100, with 20 women working the event.
About the same number have signed on for this year's event, and that email database now reads like a who's-who of Memphis eats — Aryen Moore-Alston (Sweet Potato Baby), Jill Forrester (Whitton Farms), Jennifer Chandler (Cheffie's, cookbook author), Deni Reilly (Majestic Grille), Brandi Marter (Bedrock Eats & Sweets), Pam Denney (Memphis magazine), and on and on.
There will be 10 or so stations at the party, with fare ranging from vegetarian sushi to short rib grilled cheese. B.J. Tamayo of Alcenia's is providing cobbler.
The women have been having once-a-month meetings, which Willett says have turned into roundtables. "We're trying to inspire and mentor," Willett says. "Over the last year, we've gotten to know each other on another level, one on one."