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Restaurant Roundup - 16 Women Who Are Redefining Hospitality

A celebration of International Women’s Day with the leading women in hospitality

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March 8th is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In celebration, we’ve rounded up a list of 16 women who inspire us and whose restaurants are #poweredbybento.

Daniela Soto-Innes

ATLA, Cosme | New York City | Chef-Partner

atlanyc.com a woman sitting at a table using a laptop

Daniela Soto-Innes is the Chef-Partner of clouted restaurants Cosme and ATLA in New York City. Alongside Chef Enrique Olvera, Daniela has led both restaurants to critical acclaim. In 2019, Cosme secured the No. 23 spot on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, the highest-ranking among any restaurant’s recognized in the United States. Daniela received the Rising Star Chef award at the 2016 James Beard Awards and was named the World's Best Female Chef at the World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards in 2019. 

Dianna Daoheung

Black Seed Bagels | New York City | Executive Chef & Head Baker

blackseedbagels.com a woman chef standing against a wooden wall

Dianna Daoheung is a first-generation Thai-American who found her love for cooking while helping her mother prepare authentic Thai foods at home. Her entry into the restaurant industry began as a line cook at New York City’s, Mile End. After a stint as a pastry cook at San Francisco’s Boulevard, she returned to NYC to assist Mile End with their bread program. Enamored with the science of bread, she reunited with Noah Bernamoff (Mile End) and Matt Kliegman (The Smile) to help launch the now wildly successful, Black Seed Bagels. Daniela was a finalist for the Outstanding Baker award at the 2018 James Beard Awards and a semi-finalist in 2017.

Missy Robbins

Lilia, Misi | New York City | Head Chef & Owner

lilianewyork.com a woman sitting on a bench in front of a building

Missy Robbins is the award-winning Chef, Owner and Co-Founder of Grovehouse, the hospitality company behind the highly-clouted Brooklyn restaurants, Lilia and Misi. She is recognized for her simple take on italian classical cooking, receiving three stars for both restaurants by Pete Wells of The New York Times. Missy was recognized nationally as the Best Chef: New York City in the 2018 James Beard Awards and was named a finalist for the same award the year prior. She also wrote the highly successful cookbook, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner...Life! Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen and is currently working on a pasta-focused cookbook to be released in 2021.

Karen Klaus, Caitlin Steininger & Kelly Trush

CWC, the Restaurant and Station Family + BBQ, | Cincinnati, OH | Business, Chef, Front of House

cincystation.com a couple of people posing for the camera

CWC is the restaurant realization of Cincinnati-based Cooking with Caitlin brand. It’s a love note to the Wyoming, Ohio community where Karen Klaus (Business), Caitlin Steininger (Chef) and Kelly Trush (Front of House) have rooted their families and grown their business. The trio also opened Station Family + BBQ in Cincinnati, OH, which carries the same energy of a neighborhood block party. Karen, Caitlin and Kelly joined their talents to create a place that functions as a gathering space for the community to enjoy hot food, cold beer and uncommon delights.

Juliet and Justine Masters

The Edge Harlem | Harlem, NY | Chef and Co-Owners

theedgeharlem.com Women standing in front of a building

The Edge Harlem is all about a shared experience – Juliet, a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute has over 15 years’ experience in the culinary arts, while Justine, who comes with a background in real estate, fashion, and music, curates the ambiance and the décor. Since its opening in 2014, it’s become a community hub, as stated by Eater New York. The Edge is a family effort: Juliet and Justine are sisters. Owen, their father, brews traditional Jamaican Sorrel and Ginger Beer, while Susan spends time seeking decorative pieces amongst New York’s antique stores. Together they have merged their British and Jamaican heritage to bring Harlem something characteristically unique.

LeAnn Darland and Tara Hankinson

Talea Beer | New York City | Co-Founders

taleabeer.com two women sitting on a park bench

Avid homebrewers LeAnn and Tara met after leaving their jobs in tech and media to join the beer industry. Working together on a daily basis at beer-ecommerce startup, Hopsy, their passions quickly aligned. They realized a shared vision: to create a beer company that speaks to women. Thus began, Talea Beer. Talea Beer has been covered by Forbes, Grubstreet and The New York Times as the emerging brewery that even beer haters will love.

Jen Pelka

The Riddler, Une Femme Wines | San Francisco & New York City | Co-Founder

theriddlerbar.com A woman smiling for the camera

Jen Pelka is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Riddler, the popular all-women funded champagne bar with locations in San Francisco and New York City. Jen’s career in restaurants began at Chef Daniel Boulud’s iconic New York Restaurant DANIEL, where she served for 5 years across a broad range of roles - kitchen stagier, Boulud’s Research Assistant, and eventually as the US Competition Director for the Bocuse d’Or under Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller. Jen has been named Forbes “30 Under 30” for Food & Wine, Details “Digital Maverick”, and a Cherry Bombe “It Girl.” Alongside her brother Zach, the pair recently launched Une Femme Wines, a champagne label that celebrates women in the wine industry.

Dominique Crenn

Atelier Crenn, Bar Crenn, Petit Crenn, Boutique Crenn | San Francisco | Chef-Proprietor

ateliercrenn.com a woman leaning against a wall.

Dominique Crenn is the Chef-Proprietor of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, listed as one of the 50 Best Restaurants in the world. Dominique was featured on the second season of the popular Netflix series "Chef's Table," and is regarded as one of the best chefs in the United States. She was awarded the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: West in 2018 and is the first woman in the United States to receive three Michelin stars for Atelier Crenn. Dominique opened Bar Crenn in 2018, an antique French wine bar experience adjacent to Atelier Crenn. Bar Crenn was named in Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America in 2018 and won its first Michelin star the very same year. Dominique is also the chef-proprietor at Petit Crenn and the soon-to-open Boutique Crenn (you can visit their pastry Cubert downtown while waiting for opening day!).

Gina Marinelli

La Strega | Las Vegas | Chef & Owner

lastregalv.com a person posing for the camera with an octopus in hand.

Chef Gina Marinelli is the Executive Chef Partner at La Strega in Las Vegas. The trattoria and locals’ hotspot features farm-to-table and coastal Italian cuisine in the heart of the renowned Summerlin community. Upon graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando in 2006, Chef Gina moved to Las Vegas where she worked alongside iconic chefs including Michael Mina at Nobhill Tavern, Sven Mede at American Fish at Aria, Shawn McClain at Sage at Aria and James Beard award-winning chef Scott Conant at D.O.C.G Enoteca at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. After traveling extensively throughout Italy she opened La Strega in early 2019.

Anita Jaisinghani

Pondicheri | Houston, TX | Chef & Co-Owner

pondicheri.com a woman standing at a table

The Chef & Co-Owner of Pondicheri was born and raised in India and is of Sindhi descent. She turned her love of food into a career through an out-of-home catering business while also selling chutneys through Whole Foods. Her first restaurant job was at the famous Café Annie, where she worked in the pastry department for two years. Following her time at Café Annie, Anita opened Indika in 2001, serving deeply personal dishes that illustrated her desire to portray Indian food in a new light. Pondicheri followed in 2011, expanding to New York City in the summer of 2016. With all of her kaleidoscopic menus, Anita combines the complexities of Indian cuisine with leanings toward Ayurvedic practices.

Ann Kim

Young Joni, Hello Pizza, Pizzeria Lola | Minneapolis, MN | Chef & Owner

youngjoni.com a woman holding a teddy bear on a rock wall

Ann Kim is the Chef and Owner of Pizzeria Lola, Hello Pizza, and Young Joni. In 2010 she opened her first restaurant, Pizzeria Lola, a Minneapolis staple that has been lauded both locally and nationally. Her second restaurant, Hello Pizza, is an East Coast-inspired slice shop that frequently tops ‘Best Of’ lists. Young Joni opened in 2016 and serves an eclectic genre-bending menu featuring her signature pizzas and other wood-fired dishes. It is the recipient of several awards including Minneapolis Star Tribune's Restaurant of the Year and GQ's Best New Restaurants in America. In 2019, Ann became the first woman and first person of color from Minneapolis to receive the James Beard Award for “Best Chef Midwest." Her highly-anticipated fourth restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, also located in Minneapolis, is slated to open in 2020.

Emma Taylor

Milk Sugar Love | Jersey City, NJ | Chef & Owner

milksugarlove.com a woman standing with an ice cream cone.

Emma Taylor is the Chef and Owner of Milk Sugar Love Organic Ice Cream—a small-batch ice cream shop with a commitment to sustainability, local sourcing and handcrafting. She began her career as an Art Director but decided to pursue a full-time career as a chef in 2009. While working in the pastry kitchen at Gramercy Tavern, Emma decided to open her own business, a modern version of the ice cream shops of her childhood on the Jersey Shore. She founded Milk Sugar Love in 2013 in downtown Jersey City, opening the storefront in 2014 and launching the Milk Sugar Love ice cream truck in 2016.

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