Food // Our April Future of Women Breakfast
In February, we launched Future of Women Breakfasts,
a monthly women's breakfast series to elevate women’s voices.
In February, we explored Diversity in Film and in March we talked about Human Rights, Journalism, and Geopolitics. This month, we gathered at the women-owned photo studio Light Lab in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles with 60 women from across LA to talk about Food Entrepreneurship and enjoy delicious and innovative dishes by the award-winning Chef Santana Caress Benítez.
APRIL BREAKFAST RECAP
Chef Santana Caress Benitez, a Food Network 'Chopped' Champion (and 'LuLu' Blackmon in the Spike Lee directed series 'She's Gotta Have It' on Netflix), prepared a delicious breakfast for us, including crispy honey chicken over basil goat cheese grits, wild mushroom and red pepper ragout over scallion and sour cream drop biscuits, braised eggs with tomato, baby potato, spinach and yogurt, and fresh fruit with toasted coconut, pistachio and rosewater. In addition to providing private culinary classes, pop-up dining events, and freelance recipe writing, she continues to focus on food justice related issues and free culinary workshops in and around her community.
We gathered at Light Lab, a photo studio warehouse space owned by Anne Sage and Caroline and Jayden Lee and located in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles.
We talked about food entrepreneurship and using food as a tool for conversations about health, the environment, local community, and transparency in the food industry. Our speakers included four incredible women: Daina Trout is CEO and Co-Founder of Health-Ade, a nationally recognized kombucha brand that grew out of a shared desire to bring REAL food back to the commercial shelf. Beginning in her apartment closet, Health-Ade has quickly grown to be recognized as a brand that passionately supports the real food movement. Natasha Case is the CEO and Co-Founder of Coolhaus, an architecturally-inspired ice cream sandwich company that has grown from a barely driveable postal van at Coachella to one of the leading innovative small dessert businesses, now available in gourmet grocery stores nationally and internationally in Asia and the Middle East. Aishwarya Iyer is the CEO and Founder of Brightland, an LA-based California extra virgin olive oil company debuting this spring. Inspired by her personal entrepreneurial vision to bring transparency and quality to the American olive oil industry, she began conceptualizing and building Brightland with the mission to craft premium, custom-blended extra virgin olive oil that is nourishing for the body, heart, and soul. Casey Goch is the founder of Shreebs Coffee, a local coffee company dedicated to direct and organic sourcing. Born from weekly coffee gatherings with friends and family at her home, aka “the secret coffee shop of Venice,” and a desire to support local community, Shreebs grew into a traveling pop-up experience and is now opening a permanent home in Echo Park!
Special thanks to Light Lab for providing us with a beautiful space, to Coco Carpets for sharing their colorful carpets with us, to Shreebs Coffee for providing delicious coffee from their Echo Park woman-owned coffee company, to Coolhaus for providing ice cream, to Health-Ade for providing kombucha, to Brightland for drizzling their fresh olive oil on our fruit salad, to Maxine for helping behind the scenes, and to Alex Gomez for these beautiful photographs.