Rather than simply celebrating International Women’s Day as a one off next week, the chef behind Stoke Newington’s modern Australian restaurant Wander, Alexis Noble, is set to spend the entire month saluting the women in hospitality who have supported her over the past year.
With lockdown set to continue for most businesses through March, Noble is partnering with chefs and female-led businesses across the UK for events, pop-up meal kits, at home deliveries and wine kits. Among those Noble will be working with are Freddie Janssen of Dalston’s Snackbar, Margaux Aubry of Naughty Piglets, Mandy Yin of Sambal Shiok, and Emma Underwood of Darby’s.
The project, which is driven by Noble’s desire to show that hospitality “is an incredible industry for women to work in”, will be centred around a series of at-home suppers. Available for collection from the Wander x Wine shop, with limited local delivery on Fridays, the series will begin with a menu from former Bao development chef Anaïs Van Manen (March 5, 6), followed by a long weekend featuring Sambal Shiok’s Mandy Yin (11, 12) and Always Add Lemon writer Danielle Alvarez, who also heads up the kitchen in Sydney restaurant Fred’s, on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14.
Finishing up the series will be Roberta Hall of Edinburgh’s Little Chartroom (19, 20), and Maxine Thompson on March 26 and 27. Thomson is the founder of Polka Pants, the popular trousers for women working in restaurants.
Other events on the menu include Noble popping-up at Freddie Janssen’s Snackbar to make lunchtime sandwiches from March 8-12, while on Mother’s Day, Sunday 14, Janssen and Noble will partner for a Australian-themed brunch box. Before that, on March 6, Wander are joining forces with Liverpool wine bar Bitter Social for a one-off delivery, while for the entire of March, a Wander x Elliot’s picnic pack will be available from Samantha Lim’s Borough Market restaurant.
Throughout the month, Wander will also sell wine packs and pairings put together by Emma Underwood of Darby’s, former Silo sommelier Ania Smelskaya and co-author of Which Wine When Claire Strickett. Additionally, wine and cider from female producers are on sale, including from Josephine Perry’s Dormilona and Alicia Basa’s Borachio and English cider producers Polly Hilton of Find and Foster in Devon and Susanna Forbes of Herefordshire’s Little Ponoma Orchard.
Noble said of the project: “I started thinking about this event after becoming increasingly frustrated by the negativity in the media surrounding women in the industry. Although it is an important, nuanced conversation that needs to be had, I worry that the focus on the negatives could prevent young women from wanting to become a chef, sommelier, winemaker [and so on].
“All of the ladies involved share the belief that hospitality is an incredible industry for women to work in, and the majority are founders, owners or leaders. This year, I want to focus on all the female small business owners who have been a constant source of support and inspiration throughout this past year.
“My aim for this month is for it to be a real celebration of women in all facets of the industry – who have worked hard, been super creative and hustled so that their business’ could survive, which will hopefully inspire other women to want to join or continue to have a career in hospitality.”
For more information, visit wanderrestaurant.com