Eat. Drink. Empower. Gathers Dream Team

All-female lineup parties for SafePlace

As executive chef at Max's Wine Dive, Erica Beneke is a prime example of the old adage "if you want to get something done, ask a busy woman." Once again this year, she's invited some of her busy friends from the local food and beverage community to participate in a benefit for SafePlace.

A dish from last year's event (photo courtesy of Cultivate PR)

In 2013, Beneke set out to create an event focused on empowering women in all aspects of the hospitality industry through recognition of their skills. What better way to do that than to have the woman stage a benefit for SafePlace, a local nonprofit that provides services to women and families dealing with the issues of domestic violence and sexual abuse?

"There are so many women at the top of their culinary and beverage game here in Austin," said Beneke. "Eat. Drink. Empower. gives us the opportunity to unite and showcase our collaborative talents – and have some fun in the process. What's even more important is doing that in support of SafePlace, an organization that does tremendous work to combat domestic violence and provide resources for victims."

Beneke's first casual party has grown into a dinner with wine, beer, and cocktail pairings presented by an all-girl lineup of local chefs, bartenders, brewery owners, and wine representatives. The party will be held in Max's Underground event space and will feature a lively cocktail hour followed by a multi-course feast and a silent auction. Here's the talented lineup from A to Z:

Kenzie Allen, executive chef Searsucker
Emily Blackman, bartender Weather Up
Amy Cartwright, co-owner/president Independence Brewing
Iliana de la Vega, executive chef/co-owner El Naranjo
Jodi Elliott, owner/pastry chef Bribery Bakery
Allison Henschel, pastry chef VOX Table
Kristine Kittrell, executive chef Mulberry and Weather Up
Hannah Love, chef/owner Toaster
Beth Matthews, territory manager Mundo Vino
Quynh Rathkamp, co-owner/cicerone Save the World Brewing Company
Chanel Richbourg, Austin area manager On Premise Wine
Carly Rossmeissl, pastry chef Juliet
Erica Waksmunski, pastry director Parkside Projects, owner Red Star Southern
Abby Yates, executive chef Fork & Taco
Angela Zamora, bartender Stay Gold
Alana Zanello, bar manager Jacoby's

Tickets are $195 for one, $350 a pair, or $1,800 for a table of 10 guests, including tax and gratuity. A portion of the proceeds will benefit SafePlace. Buy tickets at Max's or online.

Eat. Drink. Empower.
Saturday, Aug. 22, 6-11pm
Max's Wine Dive
207 San Jacinto, 512/904-0111

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Eat.Drink.Empower, Erica Beneke, Max's Wine Dive, Safe Place, Kenzie Allen, Emily Blackman, Amy Cartwright, Iliana de la Vega, Jodi Elliott, Kristine Kittrell, Hannah Love, Beth Matthews, Carly Rossmeissel, Erica Waksmunski, Abby Yates, Angela Zamora

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