Krysten Wasik found her passion for food while recovering from an eating disorder as a teen. Although she’s worked in non-culinary jobs, she’s always made her way back to the kitchen. After having her son, she founded MomNoms, an educational catering company. Currently, Krysten works for Google Food.
Jöne Pan has a computer science degree and an MBA, but food has always been her passion. After leaving the corporate world behind, she cooked under various Michelin-starred chefs in the Bay Area and France, including Christopher Kostow, Hélène Darroze, Mauro Colagreco, Jean-François Piège, and David Kinch. After experiencing some chronic health problems and leaving the restaurant kitchen, Jöne learned she was intolerant to gluten, eggs, and dairy. She adopted an anti-Candide and Paleo lifestyle, which eliminated her health issues. Jönes Gelato is a dessert she herself can eat — it’s Paleo, gluten-free, egg-free, and sugar-free — but it’s also delicious!
Michelle Pusateri is the founder and creative head of Nana Joe’s Granola. A former pastry chef, Michele has cooked at notable San Francisco establishments like the Fairmont Hotel and Nopa. She first started making granola to keep her energy up during long surf sessions, and now Nana Joe’s appears in restaurants, stores, and at farmer’s markets. All of the products are gluten-free and vegan with no traditional sugars — maple syrup is the sweetener of choice. There are also grain-free options, bars, and a new Chef’s Blend Series.
A native of Lima, Chef Antoanet “Toni” Aburto veganizes the cuisine of her home with her Chica Vegan pop-ups. She moved to the United States when she was 19 and has been working in the hospitality industry in various forms ever since! When she isn’t cooking, Toni donates her time to causes near to her heart, like animal rights, homelessness, mental health, women of color.
For two plus decades, Dana Klitzberg has been living and breathing Italian cuisine. Fun fact: she is the first (and maybe the only) American to serve as Executive Chef of a restaurant in Italy…and she did it twice! While cooking in restaurants, Dana launched international catering company blu aubergine and wrote for various publications like Time Out and Fodor‘s guides. She still writes, caters, teaches culinary classes, and leads food tours.
Chef Mystical hails from England but was raised in the Bay Area. Her culinary journey began in London and she strives to debunk the misconceptions that British food is bland and boring: “It’s full of powerful flavor, beautiful meat, and outstanding produce.” When she’s not hosting pop-ups, she’s feeding her kids elaborate meals, developing new recipes, and thinking about different ways to bring people together.
Nina Curtis is a vegan and raw chef with over two decades of culinary experience. Her cooking has taking her all over the world, from New York City to Senegal to Malibu. Nina’s culinary style includes a variety of global flavors, like Mediterranean, African, Thai, and Mexican. This April, she’ll become the president of the Women Chef and Restaurateurs (WCR), an organization dedicated to networking, empowerment, and career development for women in food.
Samantha Tan is an actress by day and a home chef-entrepreneur by night! She was born and raised in Malaysia, a gastronomical heaven. After leaving Kuala Lumpur as a teenager, Sam’s homesickness for Malaysian street food was her motivation to get in the kitchen. She’s since lived and cooked all over the globe, from London to Manhattan. Now, she’s serving up authentic Malaysian eats to LA diners with Sam Tan’s Kitchen.
Los Angeles-based Denise has worked as a private chef for celebrities, managed all-vegan restaurant kitchens, and even owned a small-batch vegan baking company. She’s also well versed in the occult sciences and Mexican folk medicine. Her oft sold-out Alchemy Organica pop-ups celebrate Mexico’s rich gastronomic heritage with dishes like pozole, huaraches, and flan — all plant-based, of course.
National Women’s History Month is in full swing, so we’re celebrating with an all-female themed reading list. From combating sexism in the restaurant industry to California’s premier sea urchin diver, this girl-power selection is full of feel-good’s and hell yeah’s.