Over the past five years, Cherry Bombe has celebrated women in the culinary world, sharing their stories and building a community of people making the world a better place through food. This year, they introduced The Cherry Bombe 100, a list of the 100 women who inspire the food world through their creativity, energy, humanity and hard work. From chefs and restaurant owners to food activists, writers, entrepreneurs and more, these women are influential to both the culinary industry and the ICC Community!
We’re proud to recognize ICC Food Business Fundamentals instructor, Liz Alpern, and nine ICC alumni who made it on The Cherry Bombe 100 list for their incredible work and accomplishments as innovators and thought leaders in the culinary industry. Check out these 10 amazing women below, and see the full Cherry Bombe 100 list here.
Food Business Fundamentals
To have chutzpah is to be audacious—and culinary consultant and teacher Liz Alpern is nothing if not audacious. She co-founded The Gefilteria as a way to rethink gefilte fish, a traditional food that few chefs were clamoring to reclaim, and has since grown the company from a single product to one with workshops, pop-up dinners, and a cookbook: The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Food. Liz, however, is as much new school as she is old school. She’s also co-founder of Queer Soup Night, a roving fundraising party that celebrates a previously overlooked category of chefs and food enthusiasts.
Sous Vide Intensive ’12
Since making Raleigh, North Carolina, her home, Ashley Christensen has sought to foster community through food, philanthropy and the stimulation of the city’s downtown neighborhood. After working in some of the Triangle’s top kitchens, Ashley opened Poole’s Diner in 2007, one of downtown Raleigh’s first restaurants. In 2011, she opened three new ventures—Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s, and Fox Liquor Bar. In the spring of 2015, her restaurant group introduced Death & Taxes, a restaurant celebrating wood-fire cooking with Southern ingredients, and Bridge Club, a private events loft and cooking classroom. Ashley is an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and founded the biannual event Stir the Pot, in which she hosts visiting chefs in Raleigh to raise funds for the SFA’s documentary initiatives.
Professional Pastry Arts ’08
Angela Garbacz is the owner of Goldenrod Pastries, a boutique pastry shop in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 2008, she moved to New York City to attend the French Culinary Institute (now International Culinary Center), where she earned a degree in Classic French Pastry Arts. During her time there, she worked with top toques in the industry, including Dave Arnold, Jean Georges Vongerichten, Nils Nóren, and Harold McGee. Years later, after learning she had an intolerance to dairy, she decided to chronicle her baking journey, and started the Goldenrod Pastries blog. It was there she reimagined baking for a variety of restricted and alternative diets (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan). Her recipes, photos and anecdotes quickly gained a large and dedicated following. For a year, Angela was fulfilling catering orders out of her home kitchen while also working in international marketing. Realizing it was time to pursue pastry full-time, she quit her job in 2015 and opened the doors to Goldenrod Pastries where her all-American desserts and pastries feature unique flavor combinations and a strikingly vivid color palette.
Food Business Fundamentals ’18
Lani Halliday is the creative baker behind Brooklyn’s Brutus Bakeshop. She has made a name for herself with her delicious, colorful, gluten-free creations–including her fabulous snake cakes. She has contributed her time and talent to organizations such as Queer Soup Night, the roving fundraising event. She is currently at work on a new concept, Dominga Brooklyn, set to debut next year, and she is currently helping the small businesses impacted by the closing of the Pilotworks incubator program find new workspace and resources.
Professional Culinary Arts ’11
Think all steakhouses are ultra-masculine affairs? Not according to Chef Angie Mar. The Seattle native has run the kitchen at The Beatrice Inn since 2013, then fully reinvented the hallowed spot as owner and executive chef in 2016. The historic, subterranean West Village restaurant, best known in the early aughts as the paparazzi-swarmed after-hours boite of choice for the Olsens, Lindsay Lohan, and Chloe Sevigny, has become an impressive shrine to meat matters, where Angie showcases whole animal butchery, live fire cooking, and dry aging prowess. Before The Beatrice Inn, Angie cooked at multiple NYC carnivore’s havens, like Marlow & Sons, Diner, and Reynard, plus The Spotted Pig. Angie proves superb steak certainly isn’t—and shouldn’t be—a bro-y boys’ club.
Professional Culinary Arts ’08
Camilla Marcus has one of the most modern minds in the restaurant world today. She helped bring to life some of New York’s most beloved neighborhood restaurants, including dell’anima, Riverpark, and the reopened Union Square Café, but it’s with the launch of west-bourne that her passions fully come together. An accidentally vegetarian and decidedly wholesome concept, west-bourne brings people together to eat well and do good, which means a business model that incorporates youth job training, an emphasis on organic and local produce, and a zero-waste approach to benefit the planet and its people. Camilla is also co-founder of TechTable, a hospitality technology thought leadership platform, and a partner in Pound for Pound Consulting, a boutique strategic and creative agency for hospitality-related initiatives.
The Craft of Food Writing ’04
Klancy Miller is the author of Cooking Solo: The Fun of Cooking For Yourself. She is a writer and pastry chef and earned her diplôme de pâtisserie from Le Cordon Bleu Paris, and apprenticed at the Michelin-starred restaurant Taillevent. She has appeared in The New York Times Food section and on Food Network’s Recipe for Success and Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets. She has contributed to Cherry Bombe, Bon Appétit, Food 52 and The Washington Post. Klancy is a co-founder of the cookbook club at The Wing and an advisory board member for Equity at The Table (EATT).
Professional Culinary Arts ’11
Grace Ramirez is the tenacious chef, author, and TV personality born in Venezuela and raised in Miami. Her gorgeous cookbook, La Latina: A Cook’s Journey Through Latin America, is a celebration of and love letter to her culture. When her proposal for a book about Latin food was rejected, Grace worked around the system and found a way to get La Latina published. She also hustled to get her TV career off the ground and today hosts Destino Con Sabor on the Food Network. Grace actively supports numerous relief efforts throughout the world for Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, working with World Central Kitchen, El Plato Caliente, Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, and many others. Her drive, passion and humanitarian efforts were recognized with a Distinguished Latina Star award from the Puerto Rican Bar Association.
Art of International Bread Baking ’11
Avery Ruzicka believes in milling your own flour, a long fermentation process, and the power of freshly baked bread. She is the baker and co-owner of Manresa Bread, the spinoff of the popular Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos, California. She started working at the restaurant as a runner, but longed to be in the kitchen. Once there, she felt a restaurant of Manresa’s caliber should be making its own bread, and was given the go-ahead to start baking. Today, there are two Manresa Bread brick-and-mortar locations and stands at the Palo Alto and Campbell farmers’ markets. Avery fans will be thrilled to know an all-day bakery and cafe will open soon in Campbell, giving them another way to get the Manresa Bread delights, which include the signature Levain, hand-rolled Croissants, Whole Grain Salted Caramel Sourdough Donuts, Triple Chocolate Orange Panettone, Chocolate Babka, and more.
Professional Pastry Arts ’04
Superstar pastry chef and Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi single-handedly changed the way we look at dessert. She brought modernity and creativity to the category with her unique baked goods, including Compost Cookies and Crack Pie. She elevated soft serve from simple summer treat to something chef-worthy. And we have her to thank for the naked cake trend: she wanted to leave the outside of cakes unfrosted so we could see what was inside. Her third book, All About Cake, is out this month, and she was the subject of a recent Chef’s Table documentary so sincere it moved many of her fans to tears.