Gathering of Women in Culinary

Laura Parker from Taste of Place dishes up a glass of soil from a local farm.

By: Kathy Webster

Chefs play a vital role in our food systems. They are responsible for developing recipes, purchasing ingredients, and preparing meals for millions of people each day in both institutions and restaurants and their influence on popular food trends is considerable. Though women make up more than half of the students in the Culinary Institute of America today, 78.1% of Chefs & head cooks are Male.

That’s what inspired us to hold our first Women in Culinary gathering with the goal of bringing together women in the food preparation profession to make connections, strengthen their voices, and organize action.  We also wanted to introduce them to the relationship between regenerative grazing, healthy soils, and healthy food so the chefs literally got their hands dirty in a soil tasting hosted by Taste of Place and in the field learning about soil structure and soil biology with  Chelsea Carey of Point Blue Conservation Science.

Dr. Carey leads a soil structure and biology demonstration with professional chefs.

The hands of change – feeling the connection between soils and food.

Inspired by what they learned, the Chefs came together around the following priority actions:

  • Look for new ways to build a cultural connection to food in their work and with their peers.
  • Weave the messages of regenerative agriculture into staff trainings, customer interactions, and media communications.
  • Talk about soil as well as food when serving customers or speaking to the public.

We hope we have given root to an alliance of passionate, professional women who will inspire and support each other into the future as they become leaders in the culinary world cutting new regenerative paths in our food system.