Celebrating Chicago’s Women in Hospitality
March 8th is International Women’s Day. And to celebrate, we’re recognizing a few of Chicago’s most talented female foodies. For the perfect night out, grab a cocktail, dinner, or dessert—all three to make things even better—from any one of these masterminds below.
Sarah Syman @ The Dandy Crown
As a product of the Chicago Public School system, lifetime Blue Line rider, and die hard Cubs fan, Sarah Syman is a proud born-and-raised Chicagoan. She started working in restaurants at 17 as a hostess in the West Loop and has worked in the restaurant industry ever since.
After working in art gallery management for three years post-college, Sarah made the shift to working full time in restaurants. This is when she got the opportunity to learn bartending at the Drawing Room. After The Drawing Room closed, Sarah spent time at several other craft cocktail bars working under some of Chicago’s most notable bartenders before joining the opening team at The Dandy Crown as Bar Manager. Sarah’s goal at The Dandy Crown is to create and foster a sense of community among patrons by serving great cocktails without pretension.
Sarah’s favorite Cocktail Recipe
Keeper of Secrets
1oz Sacred Bond American Brandy
1oz Brugal Añejo
0.5oz Ramazotti Amaro
0.25oz Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
0.25oz Crème de Cassis
Stir on ice, serve in a coupe without ice. Garnish with a Lemon Peel.
Amy & Clodagh Lawless @ The Dearborn
Centrally located in the Chicago Loop, The Dearborn is owned by sisters Amy and Clodagh Lawless. In 1997, Amy, Clodagh, and the rest of the Lawless family moved to the U.S. from Galway, Ireland where they owned and operated several renowned bars, restaurants, and hotels.
In Chicago, they first acquired a restaurant in Wrigleyville, renovated the establishment and opened The Irish Oak in 1998. The family would later open several other successful restaurants across Chicago, including The Gage and Acanto. The Dearborn is the sisters’ first joint venture.
The menu at the Dearborn is inspired by traditional American tavern-style dishes and showcases the chef’s passion for seasonal ingredients, farmers markets, and contemporary culinary techniques. It includes Midwestern items, as well as dishes with a more global influence. That means you’ll always find a chef-inspired burger and fried chicken on the menu in addition to creative pasta and seafood fare.
The Dearborn’s International Women’s Day Menu
On March 8th, Clodagh and Amy are offering a special menu to celebrate. Featuring dishes from Chef Aaron Cuschieri, desserts by Pastry Chef Julianna Westgor, and pairing menu and special cocktail from Beverage Director, Sarah Clark. The special menu is priced at $69.00 per person with the option to add-on a beverage pairing for $31.00. The Dearborn’s regular dinner menu will also be available during this night.
- Smoked Salmon Toast – House smoked Scottish salmon, herb crème fraiche, house made brioche, early spring vegetables, salmon roe
- Pimm’s Love Cocktail – DB Gin, Pimms, Cocchi Americano, Cucumber, Lemon, Soda
- Pan Roasted Skate Wing – White asparagus, braised endive, baby heirloom carrots, pea puree, cauliflower mousse, caper beurre blanc
- Choice of Wine Pairing – Turner Pageot Orange Wine OR Henriot Brut Champagne
- Strawberry Crepe Cake – Strawberry mousse, lemon curd and fresh strawberries layered between house made crepes
- Lemon-Basil Sour – Basil-infused Hangar One vodka, Lemon, Egg White
Stephanie Izard @ Sugargoat
Stephanie Izard, recipient of the James Beard “Best Chef: Great Lakes” award in 2013 and Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef” in 2011, is the Executive Chef and Owner of five Chicago restaurants: Girl & the Goat, Little Goat, Duck Duck Goat, Cabra, and Sugargoat. She also owns Girl & the Goat and Cabra in Los Angeles. Izard also won the coveted title of “Iron Chef” in 2017 and was the 4th winner of Bravo’s Top Chef in 2008.
In 2020 Izard opened Sugargoat, an imaginative sweets shop and bakery, where simple and silly flavors meet and are guaranteed to reconnect you with your inner child. If a cake that tastes like fries dipped in a chocolate shake (aka The Chocolate French Fry Pie) is not your thing, you can always go for a classic—like fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. Or one of the signature cupcakes maybe? Sugargoat has plenty of options for all!