All posts tagged: Food & Health

Women Who Inspire: Pati Jinich

(Photo Credit: Facebook) NAME: Pati Jinich AGE: 41 OCCUPATION: Chef, Author and TV Host of Pati’s Mexican Table on PBS WHO SHE IS: You don’t expect a celebrity chef to invite you to her home and serve you “piggy cookies.” (She did. For me!) You don’t expect a celebrity chef to have a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown (she does). In fact, just eight years ago, Pati left her full-time job as a political analyst to pursue her love of Mexican food and the culture of her home country. On her hit show, Pati’s Mexican Table on PBS, you’ll often get a mini-history lesson on a region of Mexico, or the geneses of certain ingredients. She recently wrote an article for The Washington Post about the origins of Tex-Mex food, to which my tejana friend from Texas proclaimed should be taught in every school in America. Pati’s cookbook of the same name just rose to #1 on Amazon for Mexican cookbooks. (Take that, Rick Bayless!) WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: Pati is one of those WYSIWYG women: What you see …

Women Who Inspire: Alex Raij

(Photo Credit: George Billard) NAME: Alex Raij AGE: 45 OCCUPATION: Chef and owner, Txikito, El Quinto Pino and La Vara WHO SHE IS: As one of few chefs serving innovative-yet-homey Spanish fare in New York, and garnering much praise for it from restaurant critics and customers alike, you’d think Alex Raij would be a more well-known figure, especially in New York City. But unlike many flashier, and often less accomplished, chefs, whose faces get plastered all over the press, Raij has quietly built a mini empire serving a diverse assortment of Spanish cuisine at the restaurants she owns with her husband (and co-chef) Eder Montero including the Basque-themed Txikito and El Quinto Pino, which serves tapas, are both in Chelsea; La Vara, serving Spanish food with Jewish influences, is in Brooklyn. Raij also added “working mom” to her list of more-recent accomplishments: She and Montero have two children under the age of five. WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: As a serious home cook and sometimes-food-media professional, Raij serves exactly the kind of restaurant fare that delights me: warm and personal, …

Women Who Inspire: Joyce Pinson

(Photo Credit: Charlie Pinson) NAME: Joyce Pinson AGE: 53 OCCUPATION: Master gardener, food blogger at Friends Drift Inn: Recipes, Gardening and Hot Flashes, and a freelance writer WHO SHE IS: From her red barn in the itty bitty mountain town of Pikeville, Kentucky, Joyce Pinson is determined to teach the rest of us about the cuisine of Appalachia, an area traditionally known for coal mining. Through her blog, videos on public access TV, local newspaper column and heirloom seed and saving, Pinson is doing her darnedest to give ​her little-known, misunderstood neck of the woods its proper culinary due on a national level. With the recent launch of a state-funded “Appalachia Proud” food label initiative, Pinson’s dreams may come true that much sooner. WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: In the competitive, star-fucking world of food writing, Pinson is a relative nobody — but she doesn’t let that stop her. Pedigrees and celeb connections be damned; Pinson bulldozes her way to the table and demands (politely, ‘natch) a moment of your time so she can tell you a story about …

Women Who Inspire: Naomi Starkman

(Photo Credit: Paula Crossfield) NAME: Naomi Starkman AGE: 43 OCCUPATION: Co-founder and editor-in-chief of Civil Eats WHO SHE IS: Most of us would consider a law degree and a few executive-level stints in magazine publishing good enough to call it a day. But not Naomi Starkman. She got schooled in organic farming, and hung her shingle as a food policy consultant for groups like Consumers Union. Five years ago, she breathed fire into Civil Eats, a daily site of news and commentary about the state of the food system. Until recently, she and co-founder Paula Crossfield essentially ran the site on fumes and the good will of 100-plus unpaid contributors (myself included). However last fall, they defied the 30-day odds and raised $100K via Kickstarter, with rousing social media and financial support from the food-erati — Michael Pollan, José Andrés and Ruth Reichl among them. Now they’re really cooking with gas. My prediction? We ain’t seen nothing yet. WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: I’ve met fewer people more driven or determined not just to make something work, but to create …