Photo: Catharine Abegg
This weekend reading list is a giant serving of inspiration thanks to the amazing talents of women in food everywhere. From 1930’s France to Kabul, Afghanistan – let’s travel the globe for a female perspective.
+ A story worth toasting: Oakland’s next craft spirit business owner is an East Oakland native and an African American female.
Jessica Moncada is no stranger to breaking barriers: She was one of the first female bartenders to be hired at the Uptown Oakland bar Flora, and over the years she’s gotten her fair share of funny looks when telling strangers that she works in the craft spirits industry — because she doesn’t have “the mustache, or the height, or the look.”
+ Here’s a name you should know but probably don’t: Eugénie Brazier. She was a trailblazing French chef who held six simultaneous Michelin Stars – a 65-year record that was only bested in 1998 by Alain Ducasse. Brazier was also likely the first chef to receive the first triple star Michelin ranking but history seems to have completely written her out of the masculine culinary narrative.
+ In Kabul, Afghanistan, this women-owned food establishment is offering other women the safe space from leering men they won’t find in other restaurants of the region…
But what makes Bost even more unique than its clientele is the fact that it employs women who live in Kabul’s women’s shelters. The restaurant was originally a project of the Afghan Women Skills Development Center, or AWSDC. The organization, where Kohzad worked as a project manager, provides training and education to women and maintains a number of shelters in the country for victims of gender-based violence.
+ We’re a bit smitten with Pichaya “Pam” Utharntharm who is the best kind of culinary badass. She’s cooking Michelin-worthy meals in her own home kitchen, and even at the rate of $70 to $285 per person, these meals are constantly sold-out with an ever growing waitlist.
+ Ryan Ross, private chef and the founder of Supper Core, a roving dinner club that pops up in unlikely places. She grew up in rural Virginia, lived in New York City, and now calls the Pacific Northwest her home. In 2015, she won the Food Network reality show, Chopped, beating out three male chefs to take home the $10,000 prize.
+ Barbara Fisher is the owner, butcher, and artisan sausage maker of Barb’s Butchery in Beacon, NY…but she used to be a vegetarian. Upon moving to the Hudson Valley, she noticed there were no independent shops providing local meats and Barb’s Butchery was born. The shop doles out innumerable cuts of meat, daily lunch offerings, and even specialty dog foods. In addition to making sausages, Barb is a mother and an avid athlete!
+ Monica Lo is true Jackette of all trades — a chef, photographer, food stylist, activist, and cannabis advocate. Her latest project is Sous Weed, which showcases “cannabis as an ingredient as opposed to merely a psychoactive additive.” According to Monica, “Cannabis is a versatile, nutrient-dense vegetable and we aim to treat it as a culinary challenge like any other.” Monica is also a contributor to Menu Stories, a podcast and multimedia collection of stories about restaurants and the people behind them.