International Women’s Day is an excellent time to reflect on the progress made across all industries, to celebrate the determination of women who have played and continue to play a key role in the history of their countries and communities, and to demand any changes to be made.
At Eatable Adventures we have been celebrating powerful women in food all month, we have been honoring those women who have left their mark on the food industry with their revolutionary discoveries, wisdom, incomparable entrepreneurial spirit and of course their unconditional love for food.
It was almost impossible to put this list together, as there are thousands of barrier breaking women in food, but here are the 6 that we believe are really generating a more equal future and contributing to the new food revolution.
Let’s start with Mexican born and bred Daniela Soto-Innes, who in 2019 received Vodkas World’s Best Female Chef 2019 award (only the prize for the best cook in the world..), an award that she hopes won’t be necessary in the future as women chefs continue to gain more traction in the industry. Daniela is a partner and chef of the modern Mexican cuisine restaurant Cosme in Manhattan, New York. She began training early on in kitchens of her native Mexico City before making her move to the U.S. Working and living in other countries has allowed her to be influenced by different cooking styles and cultures. Her biggest accomplishment was when back in 2014, Daniela partnered with chef Enrique Olvera to open Cosme in New York. A year after opening her restaurant she became its chef and joint partner and quickly received three New York Times stars, a StarChefs Rising Stars Award and the James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef. Daniela is no stranger to success, and her determination in the industry is something budding chefs across the world can look up to.
Katherine Miller is the executive director and founder of Chef Action Network (CAN). In 2012, Katherine realized that issues relating to the world of sustainable food and nutrition had been put on the backburner, but were still just as important. Thankfully, this topic seemed to be re-gaining traction among chefs. Katherine decided to use her experience as a community consultant to help connect chefs with local politicians and organizations, and that’s when Chef Action Network was born. Together with advocacy group the James Beard Foundation, they organized a series of boot camps for chefs, which included classes to help improve conversation techniques to face the often confusing world of politics.
Jennifer Doudna is a professor of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Berkeley California. Last year Jennifer introduced a new genetic editing tool to the university called CasX, which offers the world of biology a range of new features because it is smaller than other enzymes like Cas9. In just seven years since its discovery by Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, Cas9 “has proven to be a formidable editor of genes, used in humans, plants, animals and bacteria to cut and paste DNA quickly and accurately, transforming biology and opening new ways to treat diseases ”, and thanks to Jennifer, Berkeley has now made one of the most important discoveries in biology. Jennifer is a pioneer of the industry, and is a massive inspiration for all you biologists out there.
Christine Moseley is the founder of Full Harvest, a startup fighting food waste and creating a new market for surplus production. Christine has just been included in the list of the 50 most innovative women in the catering and food industry and along with her team behind Full Harvest has managed to raise awareness about food waste. In 2016 some videos from her team went viral and were featured in large magazines such as National Geographic. This helped put the brands name on the map and she has now made a name for herself as an opinion leader in the sector. She has taken this success and taken advantage of the different resources she now has available to her to educate the market through social media, conferences and events.
I’m pretty sure you have all heard of Buzzfeed; the leading platform in digital media that offers news and entertainment to hundreds of millions of people around the world. But who is behind this global success? Introducing Ashley McCollum, who has positioned Buzzfeed as an internationally recognized brand. This powerful woman in food was able to increase Tasty’s global income X200 over a period of 3 years. In addition, she was key in the launch of BuzzFeed’s Swarm advertising product and up until 2019 was Tasty´s General Manager, overseeing a team of 60 people who were creating entertaining cooking videos across a whopping seven countries. Overall, I think we can all learn something from this ladies incredible success and hard-work.
We saved the best for last! Meet our Managing Partner here at Eatable: Mila Valcárcel. For more than two decades, Mila has been developing her professional career in the field of marketing and communication, providing an innovative approach focused on the consumers brand experience, especially in the point of sale and in the F&B industry. In addition to being co-founder and managing partner here at Eatable Mila also acts as a mentor in various food startups and is someone all the women here look up to as an inspiration of the industry!