Author: Cleo Tarca

#GirlsWithKnives Spotlight: Tart Talent Monica Feybesse

Born in San Francisco, Monica Feybesse has cooked at Michelin-starred restaurants in the Bay Area (Madera, Masa, Ninebark), New York (Atera), Copenhagen (Geranium), and Paris (Ledoyen). Last year, she took a turn to the sweet side with Tarts de Feybesse, her pastry business that went viral on Instagram. Monique channels her culinary creativity into artisan tarts that highlight local products. See what she’s up to @moniquefeybesse. 

#GirlsWithKnives Spotlight: Supper Club Founder Megan McCollam

Polly’s Paladar is a private supper club in Nevada City. It’s also the brain (and love) child of Megan McCollam, who started the organization in 2011. Polly’s collaborates with different farms, chefs, and artists, featuring a new theme each month. So where does the name came from? “Paladar” is Spanish for “palate” or “roof of the mouth,” used in Cuba to refer to family-run restaurants. “Polly” is Megan’s real-life grandmother.

#GirlsWithKnives Spotlight: Lauren Barnard, Founder and CEO of Wine + Moxxi

Lauren Barnard didn’t start out in the dining or drinking world. She began her career in Africa, working on projects to empower girls and women in developing countries. Her company Wine + Moxxi provides biodynamic and sustainable wines and consistently aligns itself with initiatives supporting women. So it’s only fitting that Lauren be featured this month as Feastly celebrates the amazing ladies spearheading movements near and far, big and small.

#GirlsWithKnives Spotlight: Chef + Farm Owner Erin Cochran

Chef Erin Cochran began her culinary career in Manhattan, working with chef Tom Colicchio (Gramercy Tavern) before moving to San Francisco and cooking at Foreign Cinema. She then became a private chef for Couch Surfing, which led her to international stints in both Istanbul and Italy. When Erin returned to the Bay Area, she joined the kitchens at The Heirloom Cafe, where she was sous chef, and at Octavia. Now, Erin is venturing out on her own, combining twenty years of culinary experience and a love of organic agriculture. Farmhand will be a small, family-style establishment with an attached, fully-functioning farm. With Feastly, diners get a sneak-peak into the dishes and concept for this new restaurant!

#GirlsWithKnives Spotlight: Chef, Blogger, + Scientist Vijitha Shyam

Vijitha Shyam might just be superhuman. She’s a molecular biologist, wife, and mom, but she is also a passionate home chef and food blogger. Her blog, Spices and Aroma, celebrates South Indian cuisine and her beloved grandmother, an accomplished home cook in her own right. From an elaborate chai tea service to a vegan Thanksgiving feast, Vijitha’s pop-ups are a diverse, tasty, and educational look at a commonly misunderstand or oversimplified cuisine.

#GirlsWithKnives Spotlight: Persian Chef + Tech Whiz Seti Shay

Growing up in Iran, Setarah “Seti” Shay’s passion for food stems from her mother and grandmothers. Her culinary style is influenced by her Persian roots, European travels, and her time living in San Francisco. In addition to hosting meals, Seti has also worked in the Bay Area start-up tech scene, working on gadgets like augmented reality glasses. She also has worked in advertising while living in the “global melting pot” of Dubai.

#GirlsWithKnives Spotlight: Malaysian Chef + Instagram Pro Tracy Goh

Born and raised in Kuala Lampur, Tracy really began cooking while living in Australia as an exchange student. After moving to San Francisco, Tracy recreated and perfected the Malaysian food she missed from home, and she documented her culinary exploits on her Instagram feed. Curious diners who found her on social media were the impetus for hosting her first dinners, and the rest is history!

#GirlsWithKnives Spotlight: Pastaia Elizabeth McCoy

Elizabeth has built her pasta career on sweat and hard work, honing her talents and always finding new inspiration. From learning as a prep cook to designing pasta programs at LA restaurants like Otium, All’Acqua, Barbrix, Miro, and Faith and Flower, Elizabeth is a force to be reckoned with. In addition to her restaurant career, she’s now the executive chef of A Mano, Amano, her own Feastly pop-up series. At her monthly dinners, she dishes out expertly crafted pasta courses with thoughtful drink pairings.