Type: Nonfiction
Approximate Age Range: (YA) 12-20 years
Series: “Women of Power”
Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Food Stars

15 Women Stirring Up the Food Industry

Food Stars – 15 Women Stirring Up the Food Industry is part of the new Women of Power series published by Chicago Review Press. This modern-day biography series profiles 15 diverse women who are changing the world in their fields while empowering others to follow their dreams. 

Food Stars features farmers, chefs, food activists, food storytellers, and food scientists who have developed fascinating careers—from operating a 20-acre farm, to fighting for food justice, to finding creative ways for astronauts to eat in space. These amazing women are hardworking, dedicated, creative, and caring individuals who use their heads, hearts, and hands to shed light on the ever-changing food industry with all its sweet and savory sides. 

Women help build important cultural food traditions that are passed down for generations. And if there’s not enough accessible and nutritious food for all? It’s often women who speak up for change and initiate the problem-solving process. 

 ★ Booklist Starred Review

“This book celebrates 15 women who work with food: farmers, chefs, activists (the founder of Food Tank, a worldwide think tank devoted to feeding the entire world, a strategic adviser for Planting Justice, a grassroots movement in California, and a seafood political activist who promotes sustainability for the world’s oceans and waterways); media influencers (a podcaster, a filmmaker, and a vegan cookbook author); and scientists. All of these individuals are movers and shakers in their various fields, and readers learn about emerging technologies, shifting trends, and new attitudes toward providing universal access to healthy and fresh food. Each individual is introduced through an accessible and engaging biographical summary (these brief chapters average around 14 pages). Boxed insets create context and provide big-picture, overarching background; standardized personal preference surveys (favorite time of day, food, saying, movie, book, and so on) help make these women approachable and relatable. Website and social media contacts are provided, and while there’s no bibliography, detailed chapter notes offer additional research options. This accessible offering has multiple applications. It might need a little promotion, but readers will find a treasure trove of information and inspiration.” —Kathleen McBroom

Kirkus Reviews (8/17/22 | Reach 483,857 | Circulation 10,000)

A palatable tasting menu of 15 women stirring up the food world.

Mahoney profiles farmers, chefs, activists, media professionals, and scientists who are making a buzz in the industry. In this helpful volume for school research or browsing by young people interested in a career in food, the chapters highlight individuals interviewed by the author who likely are previously unknown to readers, expanding awareness beyond television and social media personalities. Such crucial issues as food insecurity, food sovereignty, the impact of climate change, and injustice in the industrial food system are addressed, and those profiled come from a variety of backgrounds. Political scientist and urban farming advocate Gail Taylor is the Washington, D.C., founder of the CSA Three Part Harmony Farm whose grandparents were sharecroppers and whose interest in food began when she saw many people she loved die of diet-related diseases. Iranian American cultural anthropologist and activist Haleh Zandi volunteered at San Quentin State Prison, teaching incarcerated men gardening and landscape design, which led her to establish the nonprofit Planting Justice. Sidebars include information about Michelin Stars, types of seeds, Indigenous cuisine, and more. Each chapter ends with fun facts about the subject’s favorite cuisines, books, places, etc., as well as their social media handles and websites so readers can connect with them. Featuring a broad sampling of movers and shakers in the food industry, this accessible volume also addresses an array of current issues.

Inspiring profiles of women revolutionizing the food world today. (notes) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

“Food Stars is a joy to read. The stories of these women who excelled in very differing parts of the food world are inspiring, heartwarming and passionate. From farming to cooking to activism to science and media, these women show us how they overcame obstacles to become leaders in their fields and hopefully motivate the next generation of food professionals.” —Chef Ann Cooper: Founder and President of the Board of the Chef Ann Foundation

“Food is so much more than just cooking. Ellen Mahoney’s new eye-opening book reveals the array of award-winning roles young women are playing in feeding the world, growing safe crops, fighting for sustainability and using science to make things tastier. The broader food world desperately needs more women like those profiled and this book gives readers stories to inspire them and practical links to help them learn about possible careers.”John Lehndorff, veteran food journalist, dining critic and radio host

Food Stars highlights the important roles of women chefs. It has been an absolute honor working with women in the kitchen and in the education sector. They are often the best teammates you could ask for—from preparation to dedication to the craft to making everyone accountable. Women in the kitchen raise the entire team’s performance.” —Bob Scherner, Executive Chef, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts