Chef-Owner John Doherty was the Executive Chef of New York’s Waldorf=Astoria where he oversaw all events for countless business moguls and world leaders for well over 20 years. During that time, the wonderful Lida Ward was Director of Sales where they worked together to create memorable guest experiences.
After leaving to start her family, she is back working with John as a member of the BLACKBARN family managing intimate events for our valued guests. Below you’ll learn more about where her special attention to detail comes from when helping guests plan their event.
“We are so lucky to have Lida on the BLACKBARN team, she is an industry icon, a superstar in her own right, and a wonderful human being. No one is as responsive and efficient in helping our guests work through the details of their celebration.”
— Owner and Chef John Doherty
“My favorite BLACKBARN dish is the Mushroom Toast. Before I worked for BLACKBARN I celebrated my 40th birthday at the restaurant just after it had opened. The dinner was SO delicious and memorable, and the next morning I woke up still thinking about the Mushroom Toast. Now that’s the sign of a great dish!”
6 fun facts about Lida Ward:
1. My grandparents – Lee & Joe Pierce – owned a restaurant called Pierce’s 1894 in Upstate New York that had been in the family since my grandfather’s grandfather won the property in a lottery. They were a dynamic duo who met at Cornell and loved hospitality and the restaurant they worked so hard to build together. They’d be so happy to know that now, I too, am working in the business. My grandmother – who we call Hotsie – would also be pleased to know she passed on her love of pearls and classic style as well!
2. I worked in sales for the hotel industry and met John Doherty during my years at the Waldorf=Astoria. It was an incredible experience that taught me so much, and the friends and connections I made at the Waldorf still run deep and mean the world to me. I took an 11-year break (oh my!) to have three children and was so excited to return to work at Black Barn in March of 2016. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this incredible team. I’m a person who loves working and having a job to do, and it feels so good to be back at it!
3. My husband, Tim, and I met 21 years ago on the subway in New York – the 6 line – and the rest is history! We’ve been married since 2002 and have gone from Manhattan to Westchester to Connecticut where we’ve lived since 2007. We have three daughters – Charlotte (13), Caroline (10), and Margaret (6). Being their parents is the greatest gift we’ve been given, and we make a great team. We’re both on the same page when it comes to our kids and how we want them to be raised. So far, I’m exceptionally proud of the job we’re doing (which isn’t always easy!) and the kind of people they are turning out to be.
4. My name, Lida, is pronounced LIE-DA, yet I seem to be called everything but – Linda, Lila, Leeda, you name it. I’m the third Lida in my family and used to hate having a name that was constantly mispronounced, but now I love the history in it and the fact that it is unique. Over the years I’ve also learned to respond to just about anything!
5. 2 years ago we made the best purchase ever…our dog Lulu. She is a Tibetan Terrier and my family has declared that she is my favorite of the girls. This isn’t true of course, but I can’t imagine life without my most trusted friend…every morning with her is like Christmas!
6. One of the things I enjoy most is cooking in my own kitchen, and I love any excuse to pull out my china and polish my silver! One of the ways I express my love and appreciation for others is through cooking, and I believe that food is a great conduit for connecting us with others. It’s what I love about Black Barn – the food is meant to be experienced, shared and enjoyed together. For me, it is a place where my love for people and food can come together…now that makes me happy!
Now that you know what makes her so special, let Lida and the team help you create your perfect event. At BLACKBARN, we believe that comfort is the new luxury. With eight event spaces accommodating from 12 – 300 guests, across 2 locations and off-premise catering, let the BLACKBARN Events Team assist in planning an extraordinary dining experience for you and your guests.