We are thrilled to welcome six new Dames into the Class of 2020! Despite the pandemic, we were not about to let these all-star women miss their moment to join the most dynamic and fulfilling organization of women! Get to know them below, and then join us on Monday, Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom when we’ll introduce them and raise a glass to growing our chapter.
Christine Cikowski is chef and co-owner of Honey Butter Fried Chicken. A graduate of Kendall College culinary school, Christine and business partner Josh Kulp launched Sunday Dinner Club in 2005, at the height of the “underground dining” trend. It was a happy accident at one SDC dinner when fried chicken and honey butter collided in the kitchen and the phenomenon of Honey Butter Chicken was hatched. Christine and Josh have been pioneers in how they operate their business, paying employees a living wage, paid parental leave and health insurance.
Molly Currey is the CMO of What If Syndicate, a growing restaurant group headquartered in Chicago that includes Maple & Ash and etta, and soon, Monarch, Kessaku and Celestina. I run the marketing team that spans all our restaurants. Until recently, I was always on the agency side serving hospitality and restaurant clients. From launching the Elysian Hotel to breaking ground for Nobu, I’ve worked with some amazingly creative people in the service industry. Beyond my day job with the What If Syndicate restaurant group, I own a pop-up/private restaurant space called Saint Emeric in our restored church home. In my spare time, when I’m not chasing down my two teenagers, I enjoy hunting for weird antiques to fill our home. My husband, Jim and I also love taking motorcycle road trips and visiting whatever Atlas Obscura experience/location we can find!
Kristine Holtz is a foodservice professional with more than 25 years of experience. As a former Senior Vice President leading the Menu Inspirations Division at HJ Heinz, CEO of Market Day, and now the CEO of the Cornerstone Foodservice Group (Spring USA, LloydPans, Astra Manufacturing), Kristine has helped develop leading products and solutions across many areas of foodservice. Today, Kristine works alongside and advises leading brands on their foodservice operations and shares industry insights to help organizations create guest-centered and profitable dining experiences.
Lindsay Navama is a cookbook author (“Hungry for Harbor Country”) and creator of Third Coast Kitchen.com, a culinary and lifestyle website. While she juggles her 11-month-old, Stella, Lindsay is also returning to freelance food writing. She started her first business venture, Cookies Couture in Los Angeles, while waitressing to make ends meet. She is also an experienced recipe developer, private chef, and food TV host.
Tigist Reda is chef and owner of Demera Ethiopian Restaurant in Uptown. Tigist was born and raised in Ethiopia and has lived in Chicago for 20+ years. She learned the secrets of traditional Ethiopian cuisine from the elder women in her family. Tigist has a passion for entertaining and sharing her culture with guests, and she opened Demera in 2007.Tigist loves nothing more than introducing people to Ethiopiant fare, which is focused on communal, family meals eaten with hands among family and friends. Demera has been recognized with consistently excellent reviews in Chicago media since it opened.
Jennifer Wagoner is Sommelier and Beverage Director for Sepia and Proxi restaurants. Jenni crafts the wine lists both restaurants (leading to recognition for Sepia as one of “America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants” by Wine Enthusiast magazine). Jenni is a huge supporter of women winmekaers and women-owned wineries, featuring many on the wine lists at both restaurants. Jenni has 17 years in hospitality and restaurants, starting her career in Manhatten, then Miami and finally returning to her Midwestern roots in 2017. She is routinely called on by wine consortiums from around the globe to serve as ambassador and educator, including the Consorzio of Prosecco Superiore DOCG and