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The top ten food industry influencers are listed by Waitrose.


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The top ten food industry influencers are listed by Waitrose.


In advance of International Women’s Day in 2023, Waitrose has identified the top ten food industry influencers of the present.


Women are still overwhelmingly underrepresented in the culinary and hospitality industries, despite being the primary consumers and cooks of food at home. In the UK, only 17% of all chefs and 8% of Michelin-starred chefs are female, and in the food industry as a whole, female participation at the board level was only 30%* in 2021. Although there are many complicated factors contributing to the disparity, such as structural flaws, discrimination, and hostile workplace cultures, it is evident that gender equality in the food industry is still far from being achieved.


The 10 Most Influential Women in British Food in 2023 will be identified and highlighted by a group of expert judges assembled by Waitrose Food magazine in honour of International Women’s Day. These women are expanding the sector and advancing societal, cultural, and environmental goals by using their authority, free time, and knowledge of food and drink.


Day of the World Woman


The list, which was released this week in the Waitrose Food magazine’s March edition, includes:


Musician, chef, restaurateur, author, journalist, and TV host Andi Oliver


Minette Batters was the National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales’ first female head.


Former attorney, writer, and proprietor of Darjeeling Express, Asma Khan The restaurant is managed by a female-only staff. In addition, Asma founded the nonprofit organisation Second Daughters Fund, which promotes and instructs second-born girls in her native India.


Co-founders, chief chef, and CEO of the nonprofit Chefs in Schools, Nicole Pisani and Naomi Duncan are changing school meals and curricula for 20k kids every day.


Organic farmer and Director of the Soil Association Helen Browning OBE


Mary Quicke MBE, a cheesemaker and the creator of the Academy of Cheese, creates exquisite British cheese.


Over many years, cookbook author and cultural researcher Claudia Roden CBE has changed Western perceptions of Middle Eastern food.


Ukrainian-born chef, food stylist, and writer Olia Hercules is the creator of the initiative #CookForUkraine, which has collected £800,000 to aid those suffering as a result of the conflict.


Chef, author, and activist Ravneet Gill is the founder of Countertalk, a network for chefs and other hospitality industry workers that promotes knowledge sharing and healthier workplaces.


Jaega Wise, chief brewer and co-founder of the London-based Wild Card Brewery, is a broadcaster and an advocate against discrimination and gender stereotypes in the brewing industry.


The Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers, food and culture commentator Mallika Basu, cheesemaker Stacey Hedges, and Jessica Gunn, Editor of Waitrose Food, were among the prominent food producers, commentators, and restaurateurs who made up the all-female judging group.


The winner, Andi Oliver, said: “To be listed alongside women I’ve long admired and who are changing how we produce, cook, think, and feel about food and its place in society is such a joyful and unexpected honour. I’m radiating.


“These women have genuinely changed the paradigm when it comes to food,” commented Jessica Gunn, editor of Waitrose Food. Their capacity to think differently and pave a new course is what unifies them. We have witnessed them use their creativity, enthusiasm, and knowledge to forge networks that, in the end, benefit society. They have used food as a tool to bring people together for the common good, from aiding refugees to collecting money and educating people. We compiled this list because it’s crucial to recognise these women so that they can motivate the following generation to keep questioning the status quo.


Remarks for writers


The March edition of Waitrose Food is currently available in Waitrose stores for £3.75 or free to those with myWaitrose loyalty cards.

* How do the shopping patterns of men and women differ? (2021 The Grocer)
Women in Leadership: “We need to transform the sector from the inside out” (The Grocer 2022)

ONS: London and Britain chefs from 2009 to 2017 (ONS 2019)

UK women cooks with Michelin stars (Chefs Pencil 2022)

Contact information: Please get in touch with Gemma Chaldecott for more details.
Gemma Chaldecott can be reached at (07974 139 884)

Veronique Evans, Rhys

With regards to the John Lewis Company
The John Lewis Partnership is the owner and operator of John Lewis and Waitrose, two of the most well-known retail names in Britain. With over 80,000 employees who are all Partners in the company, the Partnership, which was founded as a radical experiment more than a century ago, is now the biggest employee-owned business in the UK. The goal of the Partnership is to build a more equitable and sustainable future for our Partners, clients, suppliers, and communities. Our Purpose directs us to act differently and better in order to make the world a happier place for everyone and everything we come in contact with. It inspires our values, shapes our choices, and serves as our compass for being a force for good.


Waitrose & Partners operates 331 stores across England, Scotland, Wales, and the Channel Islands. These stores include 59 convenience stores, 27 Welcome Break locations, and Waitrose.com, a rapidly expanding online retailer that has regularly received top marks in independent studies. The retailer, committed to providing high-quality, ethically sourced food along with exceptional customer service, blends the convenience of a supermarket with the knowledge and services of a specialty shop. All Partners have a voice in how the company is managed because they are a part of an employee-owned company.



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