Event Details

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Cornell Networking Brunch – FREE

Be our guest at the Cornell Club of Los Angeles’ next brunch as our expert panel of food and beverage professionals share with us their forecasts for the coming year.

Learn what will be filling your mouth and lighting up your Instagram posts for the next twelve months. Is kale in or out? Will artisanal butcher shops be dominating local restaurants? Are vegetables the new comfort food? Find out the answers to these questions and many more, as well as helpful tips on how to bring the most flavors, fun, and excitement to your own kitchen.

Meet our experts below.


West Hooker-Poletti ’87
Born in Milan, West spent much of his youth in Lombardy’s well-known capital city and later in Bellagio, the idyllic village in northern Italy known as “the pearl of Lake Como.”  West moved to the United States at age 18, intending to establish his career in the hotel industry.  He later enrolled at Cornell University’s renowned School of Hotel Administration, graduating with top honors.

After earning his degree, he became assistant food and beverage director at the Mayfair Regent Hotel in New York. At the time, the hotel housed the world-famous Le Cirque restaurant, and its legendary owner, Sirio Maccioni, imparted many wise business pointers to the young manager.

Upon returning to California, West decided to open his own dining establishment, and in 1991 he launched Locanda del Lago in Santa Monica. “Lago truly started as a window into my past,” he notes. “It focuses on the cuisine I grew up with and the flavors I know best.”

Julie Margolin ’99
Julie is a Food & Beverage professional with experience in Entertainment, Arenas and Hospitality. Prior to joining the Honda Center in Orange County, she served as the Director of Operations for Levy Restaurants at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. There, she was responsible for working with a myriad of owners and design teams while construction of the new arena was completed and through its opening season which began in September of 2012.   

Previously, Julie had spent a number of years with Levy Restaurants at STAPLES Center and Nokia Theater at LA Live in Los Angeles, CA following earlier tenures with Universal Studios in Florida, Hollywood and Japan, as well as, Royal Caribbean International.

Aida Mollenkamp ’02
Aida is a food and travel expert and the founder of Salt & Wind. She studied at the Cornell Hotel School and Le Cordon Bleu Paris before joining CHOW Magazine where she worked as Food Editor.  Aida then moved to television and hosted the Food Network show, Ask Aida, FoodCrafters on the Cooking Channel, In the Pantry on Yahoo!, and the food travel series on TasteMade, Off Menu. Her cookbook, Keys To The Kitchen, is a go-to for aspiring home cooks. She has visited more than 35 countries, 35 states, lived north, south, east, and even across the pond, and is always in search of ways to make life more delicious

Date: Sunday, March 26, 2017

Time: 11 am

Location: Studio City

Parking: On street

Cost: Free – Bring brunch item

RSVP: Reserve your spot at http://www.cornellclubla.com/store.html?event_id=1695.

More info: Contact brunch co-chairs Ilene Friedland at friedlandi@aol.com and Nancy Mills at NLM5@cornell.edu.