It all started when an interviewer asked Sarah, a chef, if she felt guilty eating as part of the job, a too-common question from the media, given the huge success the two were having. So the cohorts of The Bad Bitches—a groundbreaking movement that unites and supports women in the Charleston food and beverage industry through elaborate, joyful dinners and grants—did what they do best: They got their industry peers to strip down for the camera, got their hair and make-up did, drank champagne, and told the truth. About body image. About eating disorders. About how the food and beverage industry saved them. And how damn proud they are to be a part of it. In other words, they didn’t hold back.
These women don’t hold back, period. Not in their events. Not in the over $30,000 they awarded female farmers, chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, and servers through eight themed sold-out dinners last year. And they definitely don’t plan on holding back with Aunt Harriet’s, a shared-dining experience not-yet-seen in Charleston.
“Now we’ll have somewhere we can get weird, and somewhere we can be honest and beautiful,” says Sarah. Aunt Harriet’s will offer a prix fixe menu and intimate tables for eight. Guests’ entire meals are in the hands of the dynamic duo, an adventure-style of eating that people outside F&B don’t usually get to have. Showcasing Sarah’s soulful cooking, Nikki’s signature entertaining, and their softer side, Aunt Harriet’s is a chance to shock more people with what else they can do.
“We’re always going to be two women who throw amazing parties to support other women; that’s who we are,” Nikki says. “Now we want to show the joyous side of the industry. It’s all about it feeling real.”
The Broad City-esque pioneers will upgrade their themed events. They’ll start generating more scholarship funds through their forthcoming women’s fitted, fashion-forward apron design with NYC’s Tilit. Aunt Harriet’s will finally allow them to make some money, and the inevitable brick-and-mortar will come organically. Whatever they do, it'll be fun and true, with zero apologies.
You know how bitches do.
The next Bad Bitches pop-up dinner will take place on Saturday, June 4 at The Southern—a dining experience inspired by the work of the featured artist Kelly Lu.
Words by Jessica Kenny
Photo by Landon Neil Phillips, The Royal Wild