Bad Bitches dinner series starts Sunday

Chef Michelle Weaver fixing salad at Charleston Grill on Friday November 9, 2012. (Wade Spees/postandcourier.com)

What do you call a woman who’s tough, talented and incapable of being scared off her path to success? According to a few dozen Charlestonians who fit the description, that’s a bad bitch.

“We knew using the word bitch could offend certain people, but we took that chance,” says Sarah Adams, co-founder of Bad Bitches, a new group dedicated to supporting and promoting female members of the Southeast’s food-and-beverage scene. “We thought embracing the word could start a conversation, and most importantly, draw attention to women in the hospitality industry. I love it when people say I’m a bad bitch.”

The Bad Bitches’ first program is a monthly dinner series showcasing the parallel progressions of food and feminism since the 1950s. Each entry in the five-part series will showcase a particular decade: The Apr. 26 event at Butcher & Bee is devoted to the 1950s.

“Women are definitely empowered by the food they make,” Adams says of the story which will unfold over meals at McCrady’s and Candlefish, among other venues. The narrative sketched out by the featured dishes will be supplemented by costumes; music; period-appropriate drinks and an emcee, contributing facts and a fictionalized backstory to contextualize the supper.

“We want to be educational,” Adams says.

According to Adams, formerly of FIG, the 1950s menu she’s devising along with Charleston Grill’s Michelle Weaver; Emily Hansford of Miller Union in Atlanta; co-founder Kelly Kleisner of The Indigo Road Restaurant Group; Lindsey Raines of O-Ku; Butcher & Bee’s current chef Chelsey Conrad and former pastry chef Emily Cookson includes Caesar salad, deviled eggs and aspic.

“Michelle Weaver is doing a short rib stroganoff,” she says. “People are trying to do their interpretation of what happened during the time.”

Tickets to the BYOB dinner, sold through eventbrite.com, are priced at $65. All proceeds benefit the Bad Bitches scholarship fund for women in the local hospitality industry.

“The only reason for any hesitancy on the name was how recipients might feel about being awarded money from a group named Bad Bitches,” co-founder Randi Weinstein says. “All at the (organizational) meeting decided it would fly because this is the F&B industry. We can’t sugar coat it.”

Future Bad Bitches dinners will be held on May 17, June 15th, July 11th and Aug. 16th. To learn more, visit the group’s Facebook page.