We asked top chefs in the industry who inspire them. Here’s what they had to say.

April 14, 2015

F&W's #FOODWINEWOMEN series spotlights top women in food and drink in collaboration with Toklas Society. Follow the hashtag on Twitter (@foodandwine). We asked top chefs in the industry who inspire them. Here’s what they had to say.

Anita Lo, chef/owner of Annisa restaurant, New York City
Subject’s Name: Sawako Okochi
Affiliation and Website: Shalom Japan, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
What She Does: Chef/co-owner
Signature Dish or Accomplishment: Matzo ball ramen with foie gras dumplings
What Sets Her Apart and Why She’s Amazing or Breaking Ground: “Sawa, along with her husband Aaron Israel, creates intelligent and soulful Japanese-Jewish cuisine. Though the restaurant is young, Sawa already has a loyal following for dishes such as her matzo ball ramen with foie gras dumplings and tuna tatake with black tahini.”

Ana Sortun, chef/owner of Oleana restaurant, Cambridge, MA
Subject’s Name:
Cassie Piuma
Affiliation and Website: Sarma restaurant, Somerville, MA
What She Does: Chef/partner
What Sets Her Apart and Why She’s Amazing or Breaking Ground: “Cassie and I have worked together for 13 years. She started at Oleana on the line and worked her way into the position as chef over the years. When opening Sarma, we considered it an incredible opportunity to continue to build our work relationship and to open up new opportunities for others. I’m incredibly proud of everything she has accomplished and cooked and believe that she has true talent when it comes to understanding spices and how to use them.”

Nancy Silverton, chef/co-owner of Mozza Restaurant Group, Los Angeles
Subject’s Name:
Andrea Crawford
Affiliation and Website: Kenter Canyon Farms, Sun Valley, CA
What Sets Her Apart and Why She’s Amazing or Breaking Ground: "She continues to reinvent herself from changing the way we eat salad to now growing heritage wheat. She also got her start in Nancy’s parents' backyard in Encino growing her garden."

Tanya Holland, chef/owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen and B-Side BBQ, Oakland, CA
Subject Name: Stevie Stacionis
Affiliation and Website: Bay Grape Wine Shop, Oakland, CA
What She Does: Sommelier/owner What Sets Her Apart and Why She’s Amazing or Breaking Ground: “It’s a very educational shop in the center of Oakland. It’s unpretentious, accessible to everyone—not a place where you get intimidated. She’s a big fan of what we’re doing. I love people who support Oakland. She’s committed to this region as well. They have a communal table that makes it unique. I think she’s someone to watch for sure!”

Related: Great Female Chefs
The Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink
The Latest #FOODWINEWOMEN

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