Women, prepare to be inspired. Fully Booked has created a ‘social community for women in food and drinks (and those that support them).’ Founder Sharlee Gibb’s latest endeavor (and largest one yet) brought together an incredible assortment of talented women for a sold-out dinner at Pope Joan. The event celebrated the Women of Oakridge. Star chef Jo Barrett cooked up a multi-course meal of local produce paired with a selection of Oakridge Wines.
The event was packed with women in the food and beverage industry, from farmers to chefs, event planners, butchers, café owners, and foodies. It’s no easy task to prepare a meal for your peers, but Barret rose to the occasion, with assistance from Sammy Butler and Louise Daily.
We started with crisp crudités from the Oakridge garden, spread quandong kernel butter on bread, and scooped up a delicious fava bean dip. We were then treated to braised garden greens ravioli in chicken broth with yesterday’s bread. The menu also included dry aged Warialda old cow – that was actually produced by a local farmer attending the event. A popular pot-roasted cauliflower with cheese & grits accompanied the meat, along with green beans and a root vegetable salad. Finishing the evening was a modern take on rice pudding with Davidson plum, mandarin, and lemon thyme.
However, the true after-dinner treat was hearing Oakridge Wines director Ilana Atlas speak about women in business. As a corporate lawyer that currently sits on the boards of Westfield, ANZ and Coca-Cola Amatil, Atlas is no stranger to smashing glass ceilings. She offered the room a few tips, such as celebrating success, recognising the importance of networks and friends we can rely on, and being prepared. She then summarised that ‘passion and joy is the key.’ She also noted that while a lot has changed, there is still a lot left to do. This year there were only three female chefs on the Australian Hot 50 restaurants list. So Fully Booked’s support for collaboration and mentorship seems all the more relevant. Gibb’s social community is the place to connect with talented, passionate women in the industry.
Jenny S. is an event adventurer. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.