Dallas College News Update


Restaurant Beatrice owner and chef Michelle Carpenter (left) conceived the Women in Restaurants Leadership Program with assistance from co-executive chef Terance Jenkins.

Media Contact: Cherie Yurco; CMYurco@DallasCollege.edu

For immediate release — Oct. 30, 2023

(DALLAS) — Dallas College and award-winning Restaurant Beatrice have partnered to launch the Women in Restaurants Leadership Program (WRLP). The eight-week, tuition-free program, open to anyone wishing to advance in the restaurant industry and supportive of the WRLP mission, will provide seminars, training and stagiaire opportunities to participants.

According to a 2022 study by the National Restaurant Association, women enter the restaurant workforce at a higher rate than men. While 63% of entry-level posts and 69% of mid-level roles are held by women, only 34% of industry executives are women. Women’s labor dominates the industry, yet their influence, voice and perspectives are absent from the highest levels of the culinary and hospitality industries.

Conceived by Restaurant Beatrice owner and chef Michelle Carpenter with assistance from co-executive chef Terance Jenkins, the goal of WRLP is to help retain and advance more women in the industry and to create a more positive restaurant culture. They believe that equality in the industry can only be achieved when everyone takes part in dismantling exclusionary beliefs and normalizing full participation in the workplace.

“Not only is this program impactful for students trying to improve their lives but it can also advance the industry in Dallas by producing better-qualified professionals,“ said Carpenter. “Connecting these students with good mentors and role models will support them as they build their careers. I didn’t have anyone to guide me; no one looked like me. As big as the industry is, I had to navigate my career alone. This program is designed to help students overcome workplace roadblocks and make better decisions.”

“If employers want to make a better industry, this kind of work is necessary,” said Jenkins.

Dallas College Culinary, Pastry and Hospitality Center will host the classes on alternate Mondays, from 5 to 8 p.m. During these classroom sessions, successful industry leaders will help students master leadership skills and strategies to grow their careers as well as learn basics like résumé writing and financial literacy. On nonclassroom weeks, students will attend stages at Restaurant Beatrice and other critically-acclaimed restaurant partners — Duro Hospitality Group, Rye, Zen Sushi, James Beard Foundation finalists Lucia and Roots Southern Table, and others — for shadowing experiences in different areas of restaurant management.

Interested students and community members should attend one of the two free orientation and information sessions to meet the instructors, gain additional details about the program and learn how to apply for the tuition waiver.

Steve DeShazo, senior director in the Office of Workforce Initiatives at Dallas College, explained that the college has a role to play in improving the local restaurant industry by convening programs like WRLP. “The Beatrice team knows firsthand that the independent fine dining restaurant space is probably one of the most challenging segments of the industry,” he said. “This program, developed by the industry, for the industry, helps students make those connections with some of the finest restaurant groups in town, leaving them feeling supported, empowered and confident.”

The eight-week course is set to begin during the Spring 2024 term. Students and community members with questions about the Women in Restaurants Leadership Program should contact DeShazo directly by email at SDeShazo@DallasCollege.edu.

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About Dallas College

Dallas College, formerly the Dallas County Community College District, was founded in 1965 and consists of seven campuses: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland. Dallas College offers online learning and serves more than 125,000 credit and continuing education students annually. Dallas College also offers dual credit for students in partner high schools and early college high schools throughout Dallas County. Students benefit from partnerships with local business leaders, school districts and four-year universities, and Dallas College offers associate degree and career/technical certificate programs in more than 100 areas of study, as well as a bachelor’s degree in education. Based on annual enrollment, it is the largest community college in Texas.

About Restaurant Beatrice

Restaurant Beatrice is women-owned and women-led. A finalist for “Best New Restaurant” in 2023 by the James Beard Foundation and Dallas Eater’s “Restaurant of the Year,” the restaurant is one of a handful of restaurants in the U.S. that will achieve full B-Corp Certification. Led by co-executive chefs Michelle Carpenter and Terance Jenkins, Beatrice celebrates Louisiana-style hospitality and culture. The restaurant sources ingredients from a number of local farmers and ranchers. Nearly every item is scratch made from heirloom recipes. To learn more, visit RestaurantBeatrice.com.