Women in the local culinary industry are having a moment, and Jolene Mannina wants to turn that into a movement with Picnic in the Alley, a female-curated food event taking place at Fergusons on Sunday. “I work with so many amazing women within the community, and so I really just felt like it was a good time to bring it all together,” says Mannina, a pioneer in the local food scene who founded Back of House Brawl and SecretBurger.com. “We’ve got over 60 women contributing to the event.”
Picnic in the Alley is 100 percent organized and staffed by women—from the chefs and mixologists to the graphic designers and PR team—though of course, the event welcomes all to enjoy the bounty of such talents. Unlike other large-scale food events in town, which usually involve a dine-around concept, attendees are given a picnic basket they can fill with treats from various chefs. They can then hang out on the grassy lawn at Fergusons and mingle with friends. A sampling of the menu includes lobster corn dogs, vegan scallion pancakes, lamb Spiedini and Peking duck macaroons.
Enthusiasm is so high among the participants that Mannina is hoping to give the event, which benefits Dress for Success Southern Nevada, a larger purpose, one that fosters and supports female talent in the industry. “Doing this and kind of shedding light on it, we realized that there aren’t a lot of programs like this in place for women. I believe that there will be a push after this to keep the momentum going.”
PICNIC IN THE ALLEY October 6, 7-10 p.m., $125, Fergusons, 1028 Fremont St., picnicinthealley.com.