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"Women have long played an important role in food beyond nurturing family and putting dinner on the table by 6 p.m. See Julia Child and Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters, for just two examples. Or better still, look closer to home — to the food scene in Nashville, and the female chefs, proprietors and restaurateurs who have played such a part in building its burgeoning reputation."

The Iron Ceiling

I love my best friend, for creating mass hysteria and cries of outrage in the name of women in the culinary arts and food & beverage industries. I can’t tell you how much I love this guy, and how much he really stands behind all of us crazy girls standing up for our hard work. 

Recently a lot of friends have visited Nashville and bragged about just how special of a place it is. My ‘Gods of Food’ friend, thinks it’s America’s most promising city at the moment. 

It’s no coincidence that there are some female chefs, brewers, farmers and even FOH pro’s stirring up some excitement and making some noise in the Music City.

For a more formal introduction to the ladies of Tennessee, check out the full article by The Nashville Scene

— 3 weeks ago
"Yeah, fine dining. We had Susan Weaver. We had Katie Sparks. We had Pat Williams. Debra Ponzek. Diane Forley. They’re all gone."

Anita Lo speaks to women in fine dining :: Check out the full article by Andrew Friedman

http://toqueland.com/2014/03/20/anita-lo-the-toqueland-interview/#sthash.gcMtvuS9.dpuf

— 3 weeks ago
No One Likes A Laggard

I’m sorry.

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Mount Sanitas Summit - Boulder, CO

Seriously, slacking is not cool when it comes to blog content. In New York, the only mountains to climb are the staircases in and out of subway stations, the hike we make everyday as New Yorkers can be daunting and depressing; unlike the beautiful Mount Sanitas.

The women I admire most are some of the most bad-ass, hardworking folks around. Full time chefs, brewers, green-house operators, pastry masters, savvy sommeliers… Mothers or mothers to be.. conquering the industry one big day at a time.

No longer will I make excuses not to post something here daily. Here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come….image

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— 1 month ago

Beauty & Ambition. Don’t let labels hold you back ladies! 

— 4 months ago

There Are Good Guys & Bad Guys - But This Guy, Is The Best 

Raising spirits when times are hard 

Man Eater is intended to be a comical column that recounts the troubles and trauma that one experiences when they date within the industry.

But, I also note at the end of the column description that I might have to sneak in a post or two about a man who is an extremely talented Chef, who also happens to be level headed, kind and loving. 

For all who aren’t aware Diego Moya has recently suffered rather serious injuries due to a terrible and troublesome attack in Philadelphia’s Olde City. So rather than talk about the mild trauma’s that some have experienced when dating in industry - I want to try and raise awareness about this awful traumatic experience Diego had and has to still endure. No one should have to suffer in such a way, for no apparent reason. In an effort to raise his spirits I want to try to highlight the amazing culinary achievements he has made in 2013; as we look forward to a better and brighter 2014. These are just a few shots of his amazing food and spirit. 

Most of these photos are from his amazing Supper Club; Cure.  Which will return in January of 2014. Stay tuned for updates and dates! The theme behind the supper club is of course, cured ingredients that Diego carefully picks and stores in his home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. But also to marry a unique beverage pairing alongside the meal, lead by Miguel DeLeon. The two create an experience un-like any other supper club. It’s focus is of course food but also fun. If you’ve had the pleasure of attending one of these special meals you’ve probably left feeling, happier, fatter and smarter. 

You never know what will happen when you attend a Cure Supper Club; once Chef Moya created a menu based on Funk; after the meal a funk band showed up and played straight through the night. 

Some of the other shots included here are when he was able to cook out of the Boqueria in Barcelona Spain. Beautiful mackerel, berberechos and razor clams. 

Born in Chile and raised on Long Island, Diego is a native New Yorker. He first became intimate with kitchens working as a prep cook in his parents Pizzeria and othermom and pop restaurants.  After a brief stint in the technology field Diego followed his true passion for fine dining and began staging in New York kitchens. His most recent gigs include Casa Mono, Kin Shop, Dovetail and L’Arpege in Paris. In his free time he grows obscure herbs, pickles like a grandma, drinks beer and gets feverish about the New York Knicks.

— 4 months ago

Turning 21 With Judy Rodgers 

When one thinks of how they might spend their 21st birthday, most times it is envisioned as a night filled with binge-drinking, bar hoping and if your a young lady; boys. For me, on my 21st birthday, I only wanted one thing; roast chicken. 

I didn’t want just an ordinary meal, or any plain chicken dish - I was in seek of the best for my big day. I wasn’t fully versed in the food and beverage industry and I wasn’t exactly into eating everything, so I needed a place that wasn’t too adventurous but interesting.

I decided that no restaurant in New York would do, and that a trip to San Francisco was the only way that my 21st birthday wish could be fulfilled. Flights booked and only one reservation made; Zuni Cafe. 

I didn’t know much about the restaurant other than it was run by a female chef, Judy Rodgers, and that she cooked a mean chicken. Salt rubbed and served along side a tangy bread baked with nuts and sweet raisins, it was a bird unlike any my mother ever cooked at home or really that I’d ever had before. 

The experience at Zuni for me was peaceful and grounding, exactly what I had hoped for as I stepped into womanhood. I skimmed through the wine list like an old pro (even though I barely knew old world from new at that point), nonetheless bashfully handed over my ID after ordering a local white. I don’t remember much of the meal, other than feeling more mature than ever before; tucked in the back of Zuni Cafe, cozied up with a chicken dish fit for a queen. I was beginning to realize what good food should taste like, and for that I have Judy Rodgers to thank. 

When I learned of her passing, my heart sank. I knew I’d have to write about her, but what to say I wasn’t sure. I never met the chef and I don’t have her book, what would I say about a woman who’s food I’ve only ate once? 

After sleeping on that thought, I’ve come up with only this. One simple meal can change a persons perspective on life and the way they eat. After my meal at Zuni Cafe, I started to look at simple food and ingredients much differently, asking how it was seasoned, inquiring about how dishes were cooked.

After researching Rodgers’ past, I can confidently say I am truly inspired by her many humble philosophies that she embraced in not only cooking and but in her everyday life. Solid and stable, not showy. Tasty not tampered with. Classics versus the latest invention. Simple and elegant. 

Looking back, all life lessons that any twenty-one year old might over look with an eye-roll and a lip-smack. But for me, it was a blessing in disguise. 

Judy Rodgers died at 57 after a long-term battle with cancer. She will be remembered as a devoted chef. She received accolades from the James Beard Foundation as Outstanding Chef in 2004 and Best Restaurant in America in 2003. Her book “Zuni Cafe Cookbook” also won Cookbook of the Year in 2003. 

— 4 months ago
Alexandra Forbes Spotlights São Paulo Chef Helena Rizzo →

"The whole feminist talk is tiring.

I never positioned myself as a girl,

I just tackle my job as

any other cook would.”

Alexandra Forbes is a Brazilian food and travel writer that splits her time between São Paulo and Montréal. Food and drink editor at GQ Brazil magazine and columnist at Folha de São Paulo, she regularly contributes to Brazilian magazines such as Vogue, Casa Vogue, Prazeres da Mesa and Wish Report.

— 4 months ago
#femalechef  #saopaulo  #chefslife  #thebest