Written by: Sylvanie Tweed
Professional Pastry Arts Student
A loud roar echoed throughout the International Culinary Center’s Amphitheater as women from all walks of the culinary and hospitality industries converged on the evening of March 29th for Food for Thought: A Culinary Conversation among Women. And with that roar, a strong female presence was felt. Food for Thought; a collaboration between ICC and Journee, brought together a diverse panel of women chef’s and industry insiders to discuss relevant issues affecting women in the Food Industry today.
The evening commenced with a vibrant meet-and-greet session complete with delicate hors d’oeuvres and provided an excellent opportunity for students and guests present to network with fellow industry professionals. The amphitheater filled within minutes and the sustained buzz of excitement gently carried the ladies (and three very supportive gentlemen) to their seats as they settled in for what proved to be a heated, intense, and informative panel discussion.
Our moderator, Dana Cowin formerly of Food and Wine, lead the charge as the seven featured women discussed how to help women go further in our industry and have their voices heard and their stories told. The popular topics of financial management, confidence building and dealing with failure and mistakes all got their fair share of input, interspersed with lively banter and a few laughs all around. This segued into a question and answer segment where the heated question came from an ICC chef via the way of maternal leave in the Food Industry and its effect on women. Should women feel forced to choose between having a family and having a career? This was certainly #foodforthought!