Girls’ Day Out: A trip to the Culinary Institute of Virginia

by | Aug 14, 2016 | Other News

The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Young Adult Division’s women’s programming held a successful kickoff event on Sunday, July 17 at the Culinary institute of Virginia. Trading the muggy humidity outdoors for the heat in the kitchen, 18 YAD women embarked on a culinary journey with Chefs Mary Cook and Kelly DeMarchena of the Culinary institute.

Upon arrival, participants were greeted with a mimosa and a recipe booklet filled with the Mediterranean fare they would prepare. After mingling, the women broke off into four groups and headed into the main kitchen where their keepsake aprons and towels awaited them at their stations.

Each group prepped, cooked and plated menu items for a family-style dinner after the cooking class. Whether the “job” was to chop, sauté, or roast— every participant became a professional chef for the day learning new techniques and recipes. DeMarchena demonstrated how to make fresh mozzarella, while Cook gave a detailed lesson on how to roll out fresh pasta and form potato gnocchi.

The entire afternoon wasn’t all business though, Monique Shelly Werby says that while “learning some new tricks and tips in the kitchen was helpful, the best part was the laughter and camaraderie shared among the women i was lucky enough to spend the day with.” After the cooking class, YAD ladies shed their aprons and enjoyed the fruits of their labor with a dinner paired with wine and good conversation.

The afternoon was a resounding success and revitalized YAD women’s programming. Shikma Rubin notes that she “loved learning recipes like the Vegetable Moussaka and getting to know some of the other ladies.”

The next event will be held Thursday, Sept. 1 and will be the first of its kind; ladies’ Night in is the new laid back sister of Girls’ Night Out programming and will be hosted in a YADian home. This event will be Cocktails & Competition— women will bring a favorite game and YAD will mix favorite cocktails. For more information, contact Jasmine Amitay, UJFT development outreach and event coordinator, at

Callah Terkeltaub