Cooking & Conversation Serves Food for Thought

On Wednesday, November 17, guests gathered in South Orange for the inaugural Cooking & Conversation, a culinary experience and fundraiser for the Partnership. The hybrid event was held at the Loft at SOPAC for vaccinated guests and was broadcast live online for virtual attendees.

Joseph V. Schwab, MD, Chair of the Board of Trustees, welcomed the guests during his opening remarks. Cooking & Conversation is the first indoor social event hosted by the Partnership since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mariekarl Vilceus-Talty, the Partnership’s President and CEO, welcomed Michellene Davis, Esq, President and CEO of National Medical Fellowships, to the stage. Their robust discussion ranged from food and family to health disparities and the impact of the pandemic on Black women in the workforce. Michellene shared her views on leadership and equity as the audience listened intently and rose to their feet for a standing ovation at the end of the program.

Chef Jason Burns from In Thyme Catered Events shared the stage with Mariekarl and Michellene, demonstrating fall recipes for holiday entertaining. The audience raved about these delicious dishes, including a butternut squash soup and a fall apple and pomegranate cobbler.

Cooking & Conversation raised over $37,000 for the Partnership.  “It was wonderful to gather in this intimate setting and meet with our supporters and new friends. Food is the great connector. This format allowed us to have a meaningful conversation and a lot of fun,” stated Mariekarl Vilceus-Talty. “We look forward to making Cooking & Conversation an annual tradition.”

Cooking & Conversation was made possible by the generosity of our sponsors. We would like to thank Valley Bank, Apex Advertising, Alliance Community Health, St. Joseph’s Health, Vivian Holzer & Mitchell Ignatoff, Wendy Warren, MD and Lazlo Fuzesi, Withum, Bridge Art Gallery, NJM, Joseph V. Schwab, MD, Splendor Design Group, Public Strategies Impact, T-Mobile, and our Patron sponsors for their dedication to improving the health of women, children, and families.

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