A group enjoy a Tepuy Collective pop-up dinner.

Adriana Urbina's Worldwide Women Empowerment Tour

The Venezuelan chef is using her platform to help other women in the restaurant industry succeed.

A Tepuy Collective Pop-Up Dinner

The image of a woman preparing a meal in the home kitchen is a cliché, often a sexist one. Today, our society has come a long way in transforming that image. I founded Tepuy Collective to bring together women who share a passion for creativity and all things food at carefully curated pop-up dinners and events around the world to create more work opportunities and provide a platform to expose this work.

Many other amazing organizations, like the James Beard Foundation, Les Dames d’Escoffier and Pineapple Collaborative, are challenging systems by creating supportive networks of women who are combining their love of making delicious food with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Offering mentorships and apprenticeships, as well as having women and women of color in leadership positions, are all critical strategies for establishing equal opportunities within the workplace and policies that provide more work-life balance. It’s key that more and more organizations start joining forces to make this movement even more powerful and impactful.

Adriana (right) with chefs at The Hidden Kitchen in Mexico City.
Adriana (right) with chefs at The Hidden Kitchen in Mexico City

As a young immigrant chef, I think it is my responsibility to use my platform for something bigger than myself, to unify and bring people together through food to talk about important topics, to help each other grow as humans and chefs, and most importantly, to create a place in the food industry where people feel supported and encouraged to find their own voices. By having these supportive communities in the culinary world, women can feel empowered to reach their goals, grow their networks and see the world full of endless possibilities.

One of the key initiatives of Tepuy Collective is to bring not only women in food together but female professionals in all kinds of business who can help women in the culinary field achieve their entrepreneurial goals. Good food is important, but it's about so much more than food bringing women together — it's pursuits of artistry, crafts and career growth.

Adriana (right) and Sonia Alvarez at Echo in Paris
Adriana (right) and Sonia Alvarez at Echo in Paris

In September and October, I traveled to 10 cities to join forces with like-minded women in the industry. I collaborated with chefs, winemakers, artists and creatives to lift each other up, push our creativity to the highest level and share our combined talents with diners.

In Paris, I met Sonia Alvarez, a chef from New York who saw my tour and asked her boss, David Lebovitz, for me to come in. I cooked with her at Echo Paris for two dinner services with a collaborative menu. We shared our experiences as women in the industry and related to each other on so many levels. Now, she has recommended me to a restaurant in Korea and I have recommended her to a restaurant in Mexico.

Today, women chefs coming out of culinary school have more opportunities than ever, and the way to keep moving forward is to keep connecting — with all genders — and supporting each other. Promoting collaboration over competition is the future of food.

Start your future in food at the Institute of Culinary Education.

Add new comment