Landon Steele is half of one of San Francisco’s most unique pop-up duos, 30 Knot Gourmet. She and her partner Tony Day provide provisions for sailors…in ocean races! When they’re not stocking the kitchens on the high seas, Landon and Tony host French-inspired pop-ups featuring traditional cassoulet (yes, the four day kind) and duck egg brunch.
How did you find your way into the historically male-dominated culinary industry?
I started as a chemical engineer, which is even more male-dominated. Then I became a healthcare entrepreneur. Cooking professionally is a recent passion. I try not to dwell on the ratio of men to women. I just focus on getting the job done and learning more everyday.
What has been a defining moment, either positive or negative, in your career?
Most of them involve having the courage to take that first step into the unknown – applying to engineering school when I wasn’t totally sure what chemical engineering was; living abroad when I didn’t know anyone there; and actually serving my food to a lot of people for the first time. All were difficult decisions, and some were terrifying, but they all wound up being wonderful adventures.
Tell us about the women who serve up culinary inspiration in your life.
Dominique Crenn, Alice Waters, and Julia Child are my idols. They are all pioneers, all pushed boundaries, and all learned to strive beyond their comfort zones and inspire others.
What advice do you have for other women trying to build their culinary careers?
Jump in and enjoy it! Enjoy the adventure of trying things you’ve never done before.