We may have missed our first opportunity to put a woman in the White House, but there is no lack of inspiring women breaking stereotypes and kicking a** in the kitchen. These women have overcome underestimations and should motivate anyone doubting their potential to follow their dreams. Below are just five of the many powerful women who command the Philly restaurant scene.

Erin O’Shea

Photo courtesy of Michael Spain-Smith

Percy Street Barbecue: Head Chef and Co-owner

Erin O’Shea first entered the Philly food scene when she worked alongside Michael Solomon at Marigold Kitchen (then a Southern-style restaurant). The two of them, along with Steven Cook, opened Percy Street BBQ. She breaks the Pitt-master stereotype by lacking the Texan “smoker lineage” and being the country’s only female barbecue Pitt-master.

Commenting on her role as a woman in the kitchen in an interview with Rad Girls, O’Shea said, “I didn't own a chef knife, I didn't have chef pants, I didn't have chef shoes, I went in with jeans and sneakers and started peeling onions… I wasn't going to be the weak girl, because I was already the girl that knew nothing.

This girl who could only peel onions is now praised by Bon Appétit and the works.

Gordana Kostovski

Volvér: Sommelier and General Manager

Kostovski’s father revived their Macedonian heritage by making home-made wine with grapes from their backyard. After finishing pre-med at UPenn, Kostovski thought she would “get to know herself a bit better.” And where she found herself was the restaurant world.

Inspired by her background, she pursued certification by the Court of Master Sommeliers and has earned two of Wine Spectator’s Prestigious Awards of Excellence. Despite all of these accomplishments, building the cellar at Volvér from scratch is one of her proudest achievements.

Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran

coffee, beer
Photo courtesy of barbuzzo.com

We Love 13th Street: Owners and Chef

Ten years ago, in the center of Gayborhood, stood the unmarked, unnoticed 13th street. Turney and Safran not only left a mark, but reoriented the Philly foodie map. They began with the quirky kitchenware store Open House and have now sprouted into a food empire, all located within the confines of a block.

Chef Marcie dominates the kitchens as Safran works on the business end. This power couple’s eight restaurants are only the beginning. Watch out, Stephen Starr.

Moon Krapugthong

cake, coffee, tea
Photo courtesy of Michael Klein

Chabaa Thai Bistro and Yanako: Head Chef and Owner

Growing up in Bangkok, Moon Krapugthong always went to the morning market with her father to get fresh and unconventional ingredients. After dabbling in photography at RIT, she crept back to her cooking roots.

In 2005, She opened Chabaa Thai Bistro, which won Philadelphia Magazine's Best of Philly in 2007 and Zagat’s Best Thai in Philadelphia in 2009. In April 2011, She was inducted into Les Dames d’Escoffier International, an all-female culinary organization of powerful, professional women dedicated to education and philanthropy within food and hospitality professions. Mark your calendars for the re-opening of Chabaa Thai on May 12th.

Amanda Shulman

Vetri: Line Chef

After graduating two years ago from UPenn, Shulman promptly burst into the food scene, snagging a spot at the top restaurant in Philly: Vetri. Wow. But those of us who have seen her in action, or follow her Instagram @stayhungree, are not surprised.

She was the Editorial Director of the one and only Spoon UPenn chapter, bribing member attendance with amazing baked goods and other carbs at all meetings. Now, at Vetri, she kills it as a line cook in the kitchen and does Vetri Cucina Kids Cooking Class on the side.

These women’s amazing stories show the power of perseverance. Find yourself in the world of wine like Kostovski, reconnect to your roots like Krapugthong, or build an empire like Turney and Safran. Whatever your dream is, trump (pun intended) the stereotypes.