Here are some of the women who inspire me:
Amy Chaplin is the former executive chef of New York’s renowned vegan restaurant Angelica Kitchen, a recipe developer, teacher, and private chef. It was just this year that I discovered her amazing cookbook “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen”, which has now become like a bible to me. Amy focuses on vegan and vegetarian cuisine, with a huge focus on local and organic produce. She encourages people to cook their own meals at home, and to understand the quality and nutrition of the ingredients they use. Amy’s book is a testament to how nourishing and delicious simple, real food can be, and her mentality about food embodies everything I hope to share with my clients in my own business.
Nigella Lawson has been one of my longest-standing culinary role models for the past decade. (Rivaled only by Rachael Ray, who didn’t make it on this list but who was my first guide into the world of cooking!) Nigella, as you probably know, is a world-famous cooking show host and cookbook author. You might wonder why this particular woman, who adores goose fat and heavy cream, might be one of my role models… I’ll tell you. It all started with her book “How to Eat”. This book reads like a novel. In it, Nigella guides the reader through each recipe as if she is having a casual conversation with them. She refers to desserts as “celestial” and instructs one to add a “nut of butter” at the end of cooking a sauce. She speaks of sauces that are “toffee-ish” and vegetables that are “sharp-edged-tasting”. It’s like she creates her own language in her enthusiasm to spin a dramatic tale of food and merriment: I don’t know if anyone has ever loved food as much as Nigella does! This book both transfixes me and makes me laugh out loud at her unconventional phrasing - it is such a delight. My favorite recipe from this book is her clementine cake, in which you boil down whole clementines, peel and all, and then blend them into a rich and decadent cake. I just love it… and her! She reminds me to step back and truly appreciate the colors, textures, and flavors of food, and to be passionate about sharing my gift with the world: food is an expression of love.
Laura Wright is a professionally trained chef who publishes one of the most simultaneously beautiful and intimidating blogs I have ever had the pleasure of reading: The First Mess. Not only is her photography outrageously stunning, but her recipes never fail to challenge me and make me think about food differently. Just when I start to think I’ve got all the cool tricks up my sleeve, she comes up with something like “vegan butternut queso”. (I still haven’t tried this one yet… it’s on my list!) Her deep respect and appreciation for food resonates with me, and her devotion to wholesome, healthy, plant-based foods is a great inspiration for us all.
There are countless others that I could list. Cheers to the female chefs across the world making a difference every day through food!
Who are the women that inspire you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.