While today is the day I usually set aside for my Woman Crush Wednesday series, I thought I would instead take this time to talk about a project near and dear to my heart! It is a campaign to raise money to publish a cookbook for charity with all of the recipes and LOVE stories from the first 100 Woman Crush Wednesday chefs! I’ve never been one to ask for help in my 53 years on this planet. But I am asking now, though it is not for me, but for this most worthy charity.
For three years I have devoted my Wednesdays to recreating a recipe from one amazing female chef live on Snapchat. I post photos on other social media as well as write a LOVE story for the chef on this blog. It is a labor of love and gives me so much joy and positive energy. I spend time researching every detail I can about their culinary journey, I scour their arsenal of recipes trying to find the perfect one to make. I try to pick just the right songs to play during the cooking tutorials (yes my bad singing and dancing shtick is an important part of the tutorial, just for fun). And then I put all of this together in a blog post which I call a LOVE story. That in itself is a feat! If you know me, you know I am tech disabled so every day is a digital miracle for me. Remember I am a chef, a pots and pans girl!
So why do I do this? There are several reasons. First of all, since I don’t have any fond food memories from my childhood due to both of my grannies passing before I was born and unfortunate circumstances with my mom, I have had to create food memories for myself. I have done this through my foodie love affair with other female chefs. I have an amazing collection of cookbooks and feel these women have come into my kitchen via their recipes. They have inspired me and infused me with passion and creativity in my own cooking. A day dedicated entirely to them almost seems a smidgen of what my heart would love to do for them!
I never thought about how many episodes there might be or what I would do when I got to a certain number. I just kept doing them every Wednesday, whether I was sick or not, or whether I worked late myself and then had to cook and blog well into the wee hours of the night. In the beginning I kept these episodes going at times when I was traveling, much to the chagrin of my family and friends who let me use their kitchens.
When I started this series my hubby said, “what if you run out of female chefs”. Ummmm, I don’t think so buddy! The fact that I even have say “female” before “chef” says it all. And while the majority of cooks in this world are female, only a small fraction have been able to win awards in the culinary realm, such as the coveted Michelin stars. Therefore, I feel this weekly episode has been able to cast a spotlight on the gender disparity in my profession. While I have done 100 episodes thus far, I have a list miles long of all the women I plan to honor in future episodes.
As the 100th episode was nearing my friend Katy Kay asked how I might celebrate that achievement. And like the whole idea for this series itself, it came to me as a gift from above. The gift was the idea for a cookery book of the first 100 chefs, with proceeds earmarked for charity, and would be announced on the day of the 100th episode! So last week that is what happened. A Go Fund me Campaign to help raise money to publish the book was launched! And the worthy charity is the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Scholarship Fund.
I feel blessed I was able to afford my culinary training. I attended the Ballymaloe Cookery School in 2007. Those three months were life changing. Not every women has the resources to get culinary training and education. And the WCR Scholarship Fund will benefit from the proceeds of the sale of this Woman Crush Wednesday Cookbook to launch the career of a female in the foodie world or expand the knowledge and experience of a woman already working in a kitchen. Who knows, she could end up being a future honoree in this series. Bottom line, I want to be able to give back and pay it forward simultaneously. I’ve always been the person who wants to help others in small ways, big ways and everything in between.
None of this would have happened without the wonderful support from my SnapFAM commUNITY who have watched this episode from day one! They have encouraged me along the way and I am so grateful. I am also thankful for my friends on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for their support, “liking” “sharing” and “commenting” has not gone unnoticed and has meant the world! For someone like me who only got into social media 3 years ago, I have experienced true SOCIAL media. People from all over the world uniting for the common good. All these global connections have been life affirming, especially now.
I will end by asking you to please consider making a donation to this Go Fund Me Campaign. Any amount will help. And here is some good news, the first 100 donors will have their names go into a draw to win one hundred dollars (or euro or pounds depending on where the winner lives). If you are feeling generous AND lucky, don’t waste time, hop on over! As well, the name of EVERY person who donates to this campaign will go into the final published Woman Crush Wednesday Cookbook! I hope you will share this good news with your family, friends and co workers. It is a team effort indeed! Which is why I love the acronym for TEAM: Together, Everyone, Achieves, More! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Go Fund LOVE,