The food industry has long been a man’s world. I mean c’mon, how many episodes of Chopped have you seen where every contestant is male? That’s right, too many. This blatant inequality makes it oh so important to show our support to the fab females who are makin’ it big despite the odds.
Get ready to discover your new role models because these women are the bomb.
Ina Garten – Food Network Star
Do I even have to explain why my girl, the Barefoot Contessa, is at the top of this list? This kickass lady went from working in the White House on nuclear energy policy (damn girl), during which time she earned her MBA, to pursuing her dream of owning a specialty food store in the Hamptons.
Indra Nooyi – CEO, PepsiCo Inc.
Nooyi is CEO of one of the largest food companies in the world and she’s been absolutely crushing her goal of creating nutritional Pepsi options. More and more of the company’s revenue is coming from their “better for you” products. Kudos to you, Ms. Nooyi, continue to dominate out there.
Dana Cowin – Editor-in-Chief, Food & Wine
Because she has been Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine for 21 years, Dana Cowin is seen as a top authority on food. Um, hello, living the dream much?
When describing what she would want her last meal on earth to be she says, “I can have wine right?” in a slightly panicked voice, and just like that, you’ll want to be her best friend.
Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu – Founders, Cherry Bombe
Cherry Bombe is too cool to leave out of this list — it’s a biannual magazine that celebrates the two most important things in the world: women and food.
Each year, Cherry Bombe has a Jubilee that features talks by many of the most important women in food. Keep up the good work, Cherry Bombe (and if you have any extra tickets to next year’s Jubilee, feel free to toss them my way).
Elena Arzak – Head Chef, Arzak
The Spanish restaurant Arzak, jointly run by Elena Arzak and her father, Juan Mari, is the highest ranking restaurant in the world run by a woman. Unfortunately, Arzak does not represent the norm because according to a study done by Bloomberg, only 6% of head chefs worldwide are women.
So if you’re ever in San Sebastian, Spain and feel like spending big bucks, head over to Arzak and support one of the most successful female chefs in the world.
Samantha Lee – Food Artist
Samantha Lee has built a huge Instagram following of over 700,000 people because of her innovative food art. She takes “playing with your food” to another level by stylizing food into actual art. Check out her Instagram to see all her creations.
Debra Eschmeyer – Co-Founder, FoodCorps
Debra Eschmeyer co-founded FoodCorps, an American nonprofit with the goals of teaching children to eat healthier and putting healthier foods in schools. She is also the Executive Director of Let’s Move! (Michelle Obama’s health initiative) and Senior Policy Adviser for Nutrition Policy.
Talk about killing the game — she made it all the way to the White House. This just proves how powerful food is.
Jen Johnson and Serafina Palandech – Hip Chick Farms
Frozen dinners are a staple in any college kid’s freezer, but unfortunately, they aren’t always made with the best ingredients. Hip Chick Farms is looking to change that with their sustainably sourced recipes using ethically raised chickeny.
Keep an eye out for Hip Chick Farms products in the grocery store as the company is expecting huge growth in 2015. If Hip Chick Farms hasn’t made its way to your area, learn more about how to eat healthy frozen dinners here.
These women are just a fraction of the women who are killing it in the food industry. So next time you hear about a high achieving woman in food, take a minute to appreciate all the obstacles she overcame to become successful.