Atlanta Restaurant Scene

Lady Locavores event celebrates Atlanta women in food on International Women’s Day

In celebration of International Women’s Day on Mar. 8, Community Farmers Markets (CFM) will host an evening showcasing the talents of women in Atlanta’s local food movement. Lady Locavores will feature bites and imbibes from chef and author Virginia Willis along with a team of female chefs, farmers and bartenders from around the metro area. The event will culminate with a live auction and awards ceremony recognizing three outstanding women in Atlanta’s food community.

CFM executive director Katie Hayes said the organization, along with sponsors GarnerGirls Culinary Studio and Virginia Willis, felt it was time to recognize the tremendous contributions of women in all levels of Atlanta’s food industry, “CFM is a female-led organization and the majority of our farmers and artisans are women. This seems to be true around the world as well. We wanted to take a moment and celebrate all of these amazing women.”

The goal of Lady Locavores is to give a voice to those women who work behind the scenes in the local food movement but are rarely credited for their hard work and dedication in a mostly male-dominated industry. Hayes said of the women involved, “These women work tirelessly to change the intentionality of our food--raising animals with more humane practices, converting farms to organic practices, transitioning the food purchased in their kitchens to locally and sustainably grown sources. All of these women are growers in some way.”

For consultant and photographer Kenan Hill of Kitchen 1204, being a “food evangelist” and an advocate for female-owned culinary businesses is deeply rooted in her personal story, “When CFM contacted me about participating, it was an easy "yes.” It's not hard to see the professional food world is dominated by men. For Lady Locavores, i’ll be making a Puerto Rican-inspired soup, Caldo Gallego, in honor of my great-great-great-great-grandmother, Ana Roque de Duprey. She was a feminist and voting rights leader in late nineteenth, early twentieth century Puerto Rico.”

Courtesy of Community Farmers Markets

Virginia Willis didn’t hesitate saying yes to participating in Lady Locavores as it will mean supporting CFM’s efforts to promote culinary education for women and minorities around the metro area while highlighting female-run food endeavors, “As a woman chef and as a member of the CFM advisory board, it’s a natural fit for me to be a part of the event. It’s a tremendous opportunity to celebrate the female chefs, artisans, farmers and mixologists on International Women’s Day. We’re working to showcase the diversity [in the food industry].”

Hayes said the response by those wishing to participate in as well as attend Lady Locavores has been excellent and hopes it will become an annual event, “More than anything this event is about celebration. I hope it helps to elevate the profile of the hard working women behind the scenes in our local food movement. We thought International Women's Day would be the best way to do that.”


Lady Locavores, Mar. 8, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., $50 (includes food and beverage)

GarnerGirls Culinary Studio, 1240 Old Chattahoochee Ave. NW, Atlanta

To purchase tickets, go to Proceeds benefiting CFM’s culinary education program.


Participating chefs:

Chef and author, Virginia Willis

Sarah O'Brien of Little Tart Bakeshop

Linda Harrell of Cibo e Beve

Lis Hernandez of Arepa Mia

Carla DeRosa of RAWX It

Chef Beee of Quiche and Tell

Kenan Hill of Kitchen 1204

Liz Garner of GarnerGirls Culinary Studio


Participating bartenders:

Ashley Dowling of Octopus Bar

Mercedes O'Brien of Gunshow

Kellie Thorn of Empire State South


Read more about notable women in Atlanta and beyond here.


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