The Women in Food Issue

By Lauren Titus / Photography By Sarah Annay | Last Updated December 06, 2017
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Shelby Stec of Dog Day Gardens in St. Augustine.

"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."

Julia Child

One of the more creative parts of my job is to determine the theme we will discuss in each issue and then decide which corresponding stories showcase examples of that theme at work in our local food community. In this issue we focused on Women and Food, a brief glimpse into some of the strong female role-models in our region who are growing, cooking and building businesses around the things we put on our plates.

I must admit, I had mixed feeling about designating this theme, which coincides with National Women’s History Month. I am all for celebrating the role women play in creating a resilient food system throughout Northeast Florida. But – aren’t we at a point where we can get beyond labelling and just identify talented chefs, artisans, bartenders, entrepreneurs, without stating whether a male or female?

Well, yes and no. While women are indeed in the kitchen and running food businesses, the media doesn’t cover their presence nearly as much as their male counterparts. In November 2013, Time Magazine’s “Gods of Food” honored 13 men and no women, inciting outrage in the culinary world. When Food & Wine dedicated the January 2015 issue to “women who rule the food world,” that itself was noteworthy. When we think of the word “farmer,” most people still picture a man.

To help change the perception of what’s happening in our food system, this issue recognizes a few of the women in our region who are working to make a difference in the way we think about food. Moving up the culinary ladder is tough for anyone, so we give a tip of the toque to some of the women chefs running area kitchens. We explore the perseverance required of female farmers as a new (or maybe just newly recognized) face of agriculture. We learn how one mom is helping to show elementary students that eating real food is tasty and fun. And finally, we showcase some of the realities of starting your own food business. (Before you do, we encourage you to read about the experiences of several local food-trepreneurs.)

This issue only touches on a handful of women whose efforts are helping shape a sustainable food community on Florida’s First Coast and this is by no means a comprehensive listing. Check our website for others and email us to tell us about the Northeast Florida women you know in food. We would love to give them all credit for their hard work. Bon appétit.
 

Lauren Titus, Editor 

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STORIES & RECIPES FROM THE WOMEN IN FOOD ISSUE

The Basil Sisters

Tracy Westbrook founder of atlantic beach urban farm and a basil sister in jacksonville florida
The Basil Sisters are four friends who feed their communities across the nation through the development of vertical urban farms.

Women at the Helm of Professional Kitchens

Angie Ziebarth of Balefire Brasserie in St. Augustine
According to a survey from 2014, almost 70% of American women are in the kitchen at home. No surprise there, but does this translate into the world of professional kitchens? Sort of. Female chefs are...

What's in Season

Beets with greens on gray background
Here's a list of local food you'll find in season throughout the year in Northeast Florida.

Herb Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables

Roasted chicken with root vegetables
Looking for ways to cook together as a family? This classic comfort food makes great use of seasonal produce and will become a mealtime staple. Added bonus – any leftover meat can be used in tacos...

Quinoa Tabouli

Quinoa Taboouli
This will become a go-to side dish in your house. It’s full of protein, nutrients and flavor - plus it keeps well in the refrigerator.

Cooking with Art and Soul

Kathy Collins at NOLA MOCA
Among the many traits required to run a professional kitchen—stamina, ability to organize, leadership—creativity may not be at the top of the list. However, as more dining establishments adapt...

Ladies of the Land

The emerging faces of agriculture are determined to keep local farming a viable way of life.

Baby Food from Scratch

Mariah Salvat making baby food
Preparing homemade baby food is a great way to give your little one a taste of fresh, local food.

Florida's Finest Baby Food Medley

Baby food homemade
Use this as a starting point for creating homemade baby food. This recipe is intended for babies 7 months or older, those who are ready for food combinations.

A Spirit of Adventure

Qres Ephraim at Moxies Kitchen and Cocktails
Qres Ephraim finds a new career as a bartender, and a new appreciation for the hard-working hospitality industry.

The Bessie Coleman

This drink commemorates a true adventurer, Bessie Coleman. In June 1921, Coleman became the first woman of African-American and Native-American descent to earn an aviation pilot's license, and the...

Rosemary Zucchini Supper Bread

Rosemary Zucchini Supper Bread
Slice and toast leftover bread for an easy snack or as a side dish at breakfast.

Carrot Cake Soufflé

Carrot Cake Souffle
This delicious dessert shows you how easy making a soufflé really is—we promise. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with a scoop of ice cream such as vanilla bean or salted caramel.

Farewell to Food Guilt

Choosing food can be a difficult decision
With so much conflicting information about good and bad food, it's time to let go of the guilt and eat for sustenance.

Experimenting with Food

Make a game out of trying new foods with your kids. You will be surprised who ends up the winner!

Generations of Food

Charlotte Tzabari stands near olive bins at their commercial kitchen
Long before Olive My Pickle began making pickles for a living, fermenting foods was part of her husband’s history. Now, it's become part of hers too.

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