Women + Food
Why do women inspire us? Is it because everyone reading this knows a woman they believe is amazing … their mother, grandmother or teacher? Is it because we all know a woman who raised kids, worked and found success in a male-dominated industry? Or could it be that we are inspired by people who do whatever it takes to follow their passion—and when it’s a woman it feels all the more powerful?
I wonder if it’s simply because most of us had a mother who cared for us, and as we became adults we grasped just how much of herself she gave us. My mother is my shining example. She went to work full-time when I went to high school. My mother went to college the same time I did and we graduated the same year! I didn’t realize what a hard job it is to work and raise kids until I did it myself. I couldn’t thank (ahem, apologize to) her because she passed away before I married and had my son. I hope she knows how grateful I am for all that she gave me.
This past year we envisioned a future with a woman as President when Hillary Clinton became the first presidential nominee of a major political party. While she didn’t win the election, she won the popular vote. The majority of voters in the United States voted for a woman in a national election! Ladies, I see a crack in that glass ceiling!
The Houston food scene is filled with inspirational women, and in this issue we bring you some of their stories. Lynette Hawkins, as chef/owner of Giacomo’s, simply does it right: She buys local and seasonal and cooks real food that is delicious. Female brewmasters are foaming up the beer scene, so to speak. Victoria Velarde, founded ANUME and is farming organic food in La Grange to feed the hungry. In the cottage food industry, many women have found a way to their make a living doing what they love.
There are so many women in Houston quietly doing important work that we don’t have enough pages to tell all their stories. I’d like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to four in the media industry: Ann Criswell started it all as the Houston Chronicle's first Food Editor in 1966 and had that job until she reitred in 2000! You can read the Chronicle's Food Editor Greg Morago's interview with Ann here. Teresa Byrne-Dodge is a pioneer as publisher of My Table Magazine for over 23 years. Cleverley Stone, founder of Houston Restaurant Week, has covered Houston food for 20 years via her newsletter, television and radio shows. Alison Cook, a two-time James Beard Award winner, has reviewed restaurants for the Houston Chronicle for 12 years and took being a food critic to a level that continues to inspire. Their work has undoubtedly helped elevate Houston’s national reputation as a food city.
We raise our collective glasses to acknowledge all their work in making Houston a wonderful place to live. We are grateful.
Here’s to some of the women in my life who inspire me: Kathy Clark and Kris Schantz with the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife; Marla Camp, publisher of Edible Austin; and Francine Spiering, Edible Houston’s talented managing editor.
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