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Support Women Restaurateurs, Love & Salt at RE:Her Festival

Jan 21, 2021 09:06AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Want to enjoy a delicious meal, take a virtual cooking class, and support women-owned restaurants like Manhattan Beach's Love & Salt? You'll have your chance during the RE:Her Festival, which runs from now through January 30.

RE:Her (Regarding Her Food) is a charitable organization for women-owned restaurants in Los Angeles, created in response to COVID-19's outsized negative effect on both restaurants and women in the workforce. The group's debut effort, the RE:Her Festival, will feature ten days of unique collaborations, thematic menus, and one-on-one conversations between female industry leaders.

Sylvie Gabriele, owner of Love & Salt, is one of the founding members of the organization, whose leaders also include well-known L.A. restaurant owners Lien Ta (All Day Baby), Sandra Cordero (Gasolina Cafe), Bricia Lopez (Guelaguetza), Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill, Socalo), Kimberly Prince (Hotville Chicken), Dina Samson (Rossoblu, Superfine Pizza), Heather Sperling (Botanica), and Brittney Valles (GuerrillaTacos).

Love & Salt will celebrate the RE:Her Festival with a special "boozy brunch" on January 24, as well as a series of virtual classes and conversations. 

"The festival is loaded with amazing collaborations, exciting food opportunities, food conversations, and cooking classes," said Gabriele, who added that she was thrilled to be a part of the group's inaugural event.

Love & Salt's 'Boozy Brunch'

The featured event at Love & Salt for the RE:Her Festival will be a "Boozy Brunch" offered for takeout between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 24.

The menu represents a collaboration by the women of Love & Salt, Hotville Chicken, Rossoblu, porridge + puffs, Gasolina Cafe, Socalo, All Day Baby, Little House Confections, The Gourmandise School, AMASS Gin, Yola Mezcal and Cafecita Coffee. Featured items include fried chicken, Galician empanadas, prime beef burgers, porridge with short rib beef ragu, and assorted pastries and drinks.

  • A virtual conversation with AMASS Co-Founder and Master Distiller Morgan McLachlan about creating "clean" cocktails (January 22, 5:30 p.m.);
  • A virtual class on how to make cacio e pepe with Semolina Artisanal Pasta, Love and Salt, and Hotville Chicken (January 25, 5:30 p.m.);
  • A conversation on "The Next Generation and Rewriting our Family Legacy" with female restaurateurs who are now running their family restaurants (January 28, 5:00 p.m.);
  • A virtual class on how to make a scone with Pastry Chef Clemence Gossett, co-owner of The Gourmandise School, and Chef Tracey Harada of Love & Salt (January 30, 12:45 p.m.).

Other featured local restaurants include Barsha, which has a wine and spirits store in Manhattan Beach and a restaurant in Hermosa Beach. At the Hermosa Beach restaurant, Chef Lenora Marouani will feature a meal inspired by her African-American and Samoan background, including Shrimp ‘n Grits with Fried Okra, Pani Popo (Samoan Coconut Rolls) and a Tunisian Salad. The meal will be available from January 21 through 29 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Brunch Event Coincides with Reopening

The launch of the festival marks another significant milestone for Love & Salt: It will be the restaurant's first week of being open since before Christmas. (Gabriele made the decision to close the restaurant right before Christmas Eve.)

Of course closing down meant that the restaurant would mean a total loss of business, but Gabriele said that the safety of her staff and customers was her priority.

"It was weighing on me that there was no way for me to control who was gathering, and with cases spiking, I didn't want there to be cases at the restaurant after the holidays," said Gabriele. "I was feeling really protective of my staff, the community, and my family. I thought that the best thing for us to do would be to close for a couple of weeks."

Gabriele added that as the restaurant is poised to reopen, all staff members have been tested twice, and the emphasis continues to be on safety. "I always put my team front and center - we are all putting ourselves on the line," she said. 

RE:Her Founded To Help Women-Owned Restaurants

The RE:Her organization was formed in response to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on communities and small businesses, especially independent restaurants. The group aims to eventually provide grants, mentorship, and resources to female  restaurant owners throughout Los Angeles and beyond.

“We created RE:Her to not only drive business for participating restaurants during a historically slow period, but also to funnel cash, via a grant program, directly to women operators across town who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat," said Lien Ta of All Day Baby, RE:Her’s committee lead, said in a statement.

With OpenTable signing on as a sponsor, RE:Her’s grant program aims to distribute grants to women-owned restaurants in Los Angeles County impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants can be used for past-due rent or bills owed to vendors, winterizing the outdoor patio, payroll costs, or any of the myriad costs currently required to operate a restaurant.

With a fundraising goal of $500,000, RE:Her continues to actively seek sponsorships and donations.

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