OpenTable had the privilege of being a sponsor of the 2016 Cherry Bombe Jubilee held yesterday at Manhattan’s Highline Hotel. Culinary legends, journalists, small business owners, and more gathered to listen, learn, and get inspired by the past and excited for the future of women in food. Here are 10 takeaways, ICYMI.
Make soup. The Hemsley sisters of UK catering company Hemsley + Hemsley are huge soup and bone broth advocates. “This should be the first things kids learn to make.”
“Get a job in a kitchen; it makes you a better boss.” Amanda Hess had the privilege of working in a completely civilized kitchen under Jodi Adams, but subsequent gigs weren’t quite as heavenly, and she was inspired to lead based on lessons learned at the former.
Looking for the next big thing in food (or any industry)? Look for white space. Find out what’s missing and fill the void.
Don’t get too judge-y about non-organic labels. A lot of farmers aren’t growing certified organic because they simply cannot afford to lose an entire crop to disease or pests. Their profit margins are already perilously thin; according to the USDA, most farmers make less than $80,000. That’s not much money for folks who need to be a chemist, a scientist, and a mechanic in order to manage their farms.
Mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, is prevalent in the culinary industry. This is due, in large part, to the overwhelming demands of the job. Only 3.5% of respondents to a survey on ChefswithIssues.com indicated that their mental health issues are NOT tied to the profession. If you’re suffering, you can visit the site (founded by foodista Kat Kinsman) for support and resources.
A restaurant owner will always hire a woman as a chef – if she’s the owner. Back in the day (the day being 1982), female chefs were a rarity – and even more so if they weren’t chef-owners of their own restaurants. The critic Mimi Sheraton counted just one who was a hired gun at the time. Things have shifted, but there’s still quite a way to go.
Don’t assume the chef is a man — or a woman is his assistant. Whether you’re at a book signing, taking a kitchen tour, or dropping off beer for the line cooks, if you don’t know who the chef is, ask — and please don’t assume it’s a man.
There aren’t a lot of vegan chefs out there. Chloe Coscarelli of New York’s newish veggie dining destination By Chloe had to train most of her new hires in plant-forward cooking (and some didn’t even fully grasp what being a vegan is at first).
The next beverage to go deep on is tea. According to Mission Chinese executive chef Angela Dimayuga, “People are going to get very excited about tea.” She recommends diving into Fukuoka teas.
Don’t write your social media messages while you’re in a moving vehicle. Domestic doyenne Martha Stewart admits, “Most misspellings occur in the car,” not after too many glasses of white Burgundy. Stewart may be an over-sharer (revealing to the Cherry Bombe attendees that she’d once had a ménage a trois with Peter Dinklage and Serena Williams), but she is not an over-indulger.
Photos courtesy of @CherryBombeMag.