At the beginning of 2019, brought together by friendship and a love of food Janie Ash and Mecca Ibrahim co-founded Women in the Food Industry. In the last 30 years, more women have become employed and self-employed in the cooking sector than ever before. But according to the Office of National Statistics, only 15% of chef positions in the UK are held by women.
There’s an idea that men are artists and women are mere producers. And as long as women’s creativity is seen as whimsy, or their management is reframed as nurturing, these conditions won’t change. Women in the food industry need to be seen and heard when they do bust boundaries and demand perfection. There’s a growing movement, many of them women, who seek to create establishments where the hospitality begins with the people who work there, while still cooking creative, challenging food.
Both passionate about the narrative powers of food. Each chef, product, restaurant, or hotel has a story to tell, whether it’s a yarn, ancient myths or family memory.
From conception on 29th January 2019, we created the brand and designed and built the website and launched with six events in London on 2nd March 2019.
Championing and discussing the issues facing women in the food industry, we believe this is just the beginning. With more help and support, who knows how far we can go, what impact we can make and how many working lives we can improve for women right across the sector. None of us is stronger than all of us. Together, anything is possible.
We champion all women in the food industry and our heartfelt desire is to build a nurturing community and encourage women to help women.
We’re passionate about food – and about celebrating the millions of women who work in every part of the industry.
Here are just some of WiFi’s supporters:
Asma Khan – Founder of Darjeeling Express and first UK chef on Netflix’s The Chef’s Table.
Andi Oliver – Cook, Restaurateur and TV Presenter.
Frances Atkins – Michelin starred Chef at Yorke Arms.
Chantelle Nicholson – Chef Patron of Tredwells.
Jane Devonshire – Former MasterChef Winner
Romy Gill MBE – Chef Patron at Romy’s Kitchen.
Claire Clarke MBE – Award winning Patisserie Chef
Thuy Diem Pham – Owner of the award winning Little Viet Kitchen.
Shelina Permalloo – Cook, TV Chef, Author and MasterChef Winner 2012.
Bettina Campolucci – Plant Based Gluten Free Chef.
Jodi Hinds – Award Winning Food Photographer
Anna Hansen – Chef Founder of The Modern Pantry.
Rosalind Rathouse – Founder of Little Portland Street Cookery School.
Victoria Stewart – Evening Standard food columnist.
Suzy Pelta – Baker, Author.
Pervin Todiwala – co-owner Cafe Spice Group of Restaurants
Anjula Devi – Chef and Author.
Sabrina Gidda – Executive Chef at The Allbright Group, GBM 2018, finalist in the Roux Scholarship
Melissa Cole – Award winning Beer Writer.
Julie Prebble – Head of Hoperations at Toast Ale
Helena Nicklin – Award-winning drinks writer & presenter
Joey O’Hare – Chef and writer.
Jess Latchford – Director of Waste Knot
Jade Sarkhel – Award-winning Photographer
Rosana McPhee – Award-winning blogger and stylist
Jeanne Horak – Award-winning blogger and photographer
Carey White – MyLegoMan blogger and photographer
Niamh Shields – Award-winning writer, author and blogger.
Jennifer Earle – Chocolate expert, writer and consultant