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Who Are Chicago's Most Important Women In Food?

By Anthony Todd in Food on Feb 12, 2016 6:39PM

Chef Regan with some foraged goodies.

We've always been fairly strident in our feelings that the women in Chicago's culinary scene don't get enough attention. And, by the way, there aren't enough of them. That's why we were so excited to see FW's latest list of the 20 top women in the culinary industry—and we even have some additional suggestions of our own.

The list is a broad one, and includes chef, restauranteurs, a distiller, a few authors and more. Chefs you might know include Christine Cikowski (of Honey Butter Fried Chicken), Lee Ann Whippen (Chicago Q), Iliana Regan (Elizabeth) and Carrie Nahabedian (Naha).

Every best-of list necessarily leaves off some good candidates, but there are a few other awesome culinary women who deserve mentions—the "Chicagoist Addenda" to the list of Top Culinary women, if you will.

For starters, we'd include chefs like Sarah Grueneberg, who has a Michelin star from Spiaggia and is rocking it at Monteverde and Zoe Schor, who recently left Ada Street and just announced her new restaurant.

And there aren't any bartenders or mixologists on the list, which is a shame—Eden Laurin is steering Violet Hour into its second decade and Nandini Khaund is doing amazing things at Cindy's. Some non-chefs who weren't on the list (but who should have been) include people like Sonja Kassebaum of North Shore Distillery or Janet Isabelli of Isabelli Media Relations (the PR firm that handles the massive Chicago Gourmet).

It's awesome to see such a great list—and wonderful that Chicago's culinary community has enough superstar women that we could easily triple it.