The JBF Women's Leadership Programs are committed to advancing women in the culinary industry. Find out which JBF Women’s Leadership program is right for you!
Explore JBF Women's Leadership Programs by clicking the buttons below. You can also get updates on the programs, application deadlines, and related events by signing up for our email list


women in culinary leadership

For young women, the Women in Culinary Leadership (WCL) program, established in 2012, is an accelerated, learning-by-doing mentorship program that gives women with a minimum of two years of professional hospitality or culinary experience the chance to work with top industry leaders and build in-depth skills in the kitchen and in restaurant management. Take a look at our WCL mentors to date.


women's Entrepreneurial leadership

Targeted to chef/owners looking to expand and grow, the Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) program comprises an annual fellowship for a class of women to attend an entrepreneurship and leadership training program developed with and hosted at Babson College. Curriculum will address basic business and finance concerns, provide gender-specific training and skill development, provide access to top mentors in the field, and provide ongoing support to participants.


Note: if you're a student looking for scholarships for culinary school or other food-related fields, check out the JBF Scholarship Program

Women's Leadership Program Webinars

The James Beard Foundation is hosting bi-monthly webinars around different topics relating to women in the culinary industry. Our next webinar is scheduled for Monday, February 5, 12 P.M. to 1 P.M. ET. Check back soon for more information, including a link to registration.

Past Webinars:


Women's Leadership Program Advisory Board

Comprised of chefs, restaurateurs, business leaders, academics, and other experts, both men and women, who volunteer their time, the JBF Women’s Programs Advisory Committee serves as a source of expertise and a sounding board for JBF's Women’s Leadership Programs team. 

  • Elizabeth Blau, Founder and CEO, Blau and Associates
  • James Beard Award–Winning Chef Traci Des Jardins
  • Rohini Dey, JBF Trustee and Founder/Owner of Indian-Latin Vermilion Restaurants in NYC and Chicago
  • Ahmass Fakahany, Chief Executive Officer/Owner, Altamarea Group
  • Ruth Gresser, Chef/Owner, Pizzeria Paradiso
  • Carla Hall, Chef and Television Personality
  • Dr. Deborah Harris, Associate Professor of Sociology, Texas State University
  • Pamela Hinckley, CEO, Tom Douglas Restaurants
  • Josh Kulp, Co-owner, Honey Butter Fried Chicken
  • James Beard Award–Winning Chef Tony Mantuano
  • Jodie W. McLean, CEO, EDENS
  • Cindy McLoughlin, JBF Trustee and Partner with CohnReznick
  • Melissa Musiker, Director, APCO Worldwide
  • Richard Perlman, Chairman, Compass Partners LLC
  • JBF Award Winning Chef and Trustee Anne Quatrano
  • Jessamyn Rodriguez, Founder and CEO, Hot Bread Kitchen
  • Juliana Stone, Vice President at the Elliot Group

The James Beard Foundation would like to thank Rohini Dey of Vermillion Restaurant, Jodie McLean of EDENS, and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs for their founding support.