Kitchen Magic

Work Options for Women, otherwise known as WOW, deserves the acronym: According to spokeswoman Christian Hawley, the non-profit organization, which gives impoverished women a step up the societal ladder by providing job and life-skills training, places 100 percent of its clients in the restaurant workplace at the end of a sixteen-week program, and 86 percent of those placed remain on the job after the first year.

“We just opened a restaurant downtown — it’s kind of like the next step for women who really want to pursue this kind of work,” Hawley says. “There, they’re able to learn and be mentored in a positive but real-life situation. And the chefs there are a thousand times more patient than me. They really show a commitment toward these women.” That endeavor, Cafe Options, a new breakfast-and-lunch spot located downtown in the U.S. Bank Tower, is just one of the programs that will benefit from tonight’s Women Cook! Dining for a Difference. The walk-around foodie fundraiser will feature small plates from eleven local female chefs and bakers, beginning at 6 p.m. at Congregation Emanuel, 51 Grape Street.

Hawley calls it the biggest WOW fundraiser of the year, so dig in! For tickets, $95, call 720-944-1917 or visit
Mon., May 4, 6-8:30 p.m., 2009

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd