Restaurateur Carole Peck, "the Alice Waters of the East Coast," to deliver the Dolan School of Business Women and Entrepreneurship Lecture March 27


Carole Peck, the chef and owner of the popular Good News Café in Woodbury, Conn., will deliver Fairfield University's second annual Women and Entrepreneurship Lecture on Tuesday, March 27.

The New York Times called Peck "the Alice Waters of the East Coast." The 2007 Zagat's Guide named Good News Café one of the state's top restaurants, and Connecticut Magazine's 2007 Reader's Choice Poll named it Best American Restaurant Statewide. Jane and Michael Stern of Gourmet Magazine said the restaurant is "the happiest place in New England." Peck has received positive reviews for her self-described American fusion cuisine that emphasizes locally grown organic food.

Peck's talk is entitled, "Women and Entrepreneurship: A Lecture by Carole Peck - Chef, Restaurateur, and Author." The lecture is sponsored by the Charles F. Dolan School of Business and is part of the University's Women's History Month celebration. It will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the Dolan School dining room. Admission is complimentary.

Sharlene McEvoy, Ph. D., professor of management, and Catherine C. Giapponi, Sc. D., assistant professor of management, founded this lecture series last year.

Dr. Giapponi said the lecture is an opportunity to inspire people. "There are an increasing number of women who are opting out of 'Corporate America' to start their own businesses, both large and small. We felt that bringing such women to campus to speak about their experiences would benefit both the female and male students at Fairfield University, particularly those who hope to start their own businesses some day."

The professors asked Peck to touch upon a few topics in her talk, including the gender barriers she has encountered as a female chef, issues related to starting up a business, and the positioning of her business relative to competitors. Peck will also offer her insights into her own success in an industry where there is a very high failure rate and share how she gives back to the community.

Dr. Giapponi said Peck has long been civic-minded, hosting the annual Community Spirit Ball for local charities, and participating in raising funds for Share Our Strength, Working Land Alliance and Eve's Fun. "Carole's approach to business is dynamic and our sense is that her work is her passion. Another important reason for selecting Carole is that she gives back to the community in a variety of ways, something that is an important part of our Jesuit tradition."

Peck worked in a corporate environment as a chef and executive chef at many restaurants and resorts all over the country, but then chose to venture out on her own to open her own restaurant. Peck was recognized as Food Arts magazine's top young chef in 1992 and 1994. Her approach to business is highly innovative and extends far beyond restaurant ownership. She teaches cooking classes, hosts culinary tours of France, and is working on a cookbook. She is also a supporter of area artists. She exhibits artwork, sculpture and paintings at the Good News Café. She has frequently appeared on local and national television programs, including "The Today Show." She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 17, 2007

Vol. 39, No. 178