WHAT I LEARNED AT CHERRY BOMBE JUBILEE
1. Every Single Person Can Create Change.
As Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Cherry Bombe Jubilee reinforced that women in the culinary arts are dedicated to using their talent to change the world. The day started with Lauren Bush Lauren talking about FEED SUPPER, which everyone should plan on doing this September. How do you do it? Host a dinner where each of your guests makes a donation that provides meals to children and families globally through the FEED Foundation.
2. Be True to Your Leadership Style. Sweet is Good.
Karen Kelley, President/COO of sweetgreen, a food destination that is healthy and fast (currently in DC, New York, Philadelphia and Boston), pointed out that one of the principles of success is to “add the sweet touch.” The adage that honey attracts more bees than vinegar is surprisingly good business advice, especially when many of us have been encouraged to be less emotional to get ahead.
3. Food actually IS Medicine.
Michelle Tam of the award-winning Nom Nom Paleo, Caroline Randall Williams, who is challenging the notion that “healthy” and “soul food” cannot coexist with her cookbook Soul Food Love, and everybody’s favorite “30 Under 30” Danielle Walker, who personalized and gave a voice to the idea of Against All Grain, shared personal, inspiring and funny stories about how food changed their lives.
4. Fun is the Baseline Test for Everything.
The real reason that Ina Garten is so great? She loves what’s she’s doing and has a team that is completely in sync with her vision. Ina challenged us to ask questions about what our lives can look like. Ina’s litmus test? Think about what you’re doing when you’re happiest. For her that meant a job with no commute (unless you count steps from house to barn), few employees and the opportunity to jet off to Paris if the mood struck her. Check, check, check.
5. Give Back in a Meaningful Way that Enhances Your Business Purpose.
The demand on restaurants to give back is tremendous, with the requests like a weekly fire hose. Changing the World, One Bite at a Time was a panel of restaurateurs, chefs and change-makers that use their for-profit businesses as a way to give back in a strategic, meaningful way.
Martha Hoover, who changed the face of the food world in Indianapolis when she launched the Patachou Group, launched a foundation in 2014 in conjunction with the launch of Public Greens- - a restaurant and micro-farm that funnels all profits to the foundation which in turn focuses on healthy after-school meals for at-risk children in Indianapolis.
Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland focuses her business on what benefits her community. Politically active and devoted to mentoring her employees, she has made a huge impact in Oakland.
Jordyn Lexton launched Drive Change, an organization that empowers, trains and employs formerly incarcerated young adults in New York. With one food truck launched a year ago, Snowday Food Truck, Jordyn is pushing the mission by building a consortium of food trucks, creating revenue for Drive Change and getting other food truck businesses to participate in the mission to hire and train young adults as they are transitioning from life behind bars.
6. Wellness Really Matters. Balance is the Key to a Great Life.
Tanya Holland is incorporating wellness classes for her employees at Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland. April Bloomfield wished that someone had told her younger self that taking a break, taking a vacation, and being kind to your body is important. The pressure to work harder and faster to succeed needs to be balanced with the reality that life is a marathon, not a sprint.
7. Vote with Your Money. Be a Smart Consumer.
Many of the leaders in the culinary world are politically active. They face problems by immediately looking for solutions, they participate and they challenge the status quo. Jordyn Lexton is spreading the word to change the law in the state of New York that has kids at age 16 tried and incarcerated as adults. Vote with your money, be smart and educated as a consumer. Look at issues in your community and take initiative.
8. Find What Feels The Least Like Work and Try To Make That Your Job.
Padma Lakshmi had a tale with two stories – one where she followed her inner voice and one where she ignored it. In her work life, the inner voice won out and she finally gave in to the realization that the culinary world was her home, despite going to school for acting and having a successful modeling career. The other story? She didn’t listen to her body and accepted the dismissal of her endometriosis symptoms as “normal.” When finally diagnosed years later, she felt vindicated but urged everyone to pay attention and listen to the messages your body is giving you.
9. When You Connect With Your Higher Purpose, Challenges Melt Away.
Erin McKenna’s journey in creating her successful company Erin McKenna Bakery NYC was absolutely about listening to her inner voice - - and it came through during meditation. Find a way to sit in silence, create an intention and have quiet time to contemplate your life. It is the best way to tune out the noise that we all have in our lives and find your higher purpose. As she tells it, that’s when the challenges melted away for her and she launched her bakery with no baking experience and no financial backing.
10. Listen to Your Inner Voice.
Whatever it is telling you, listen to it. Your gut instinct rarely leads you astray. Your body sends signals that should not be ignored. Take care of yourself because others depend on you. Because then you can participate, give back and change the world…..or at least your corner of it
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