A Look at Our Favorite Women in Food and Hospitality

Women belong in the kitchen. And at the table. And in the corner office. They belong in every area of the food world and are slowly but surely taking over the male-dominated industry. The irony of it all lies in the fact that women make up only a fraction of the food and hospitality workforce. And the spots they do fill are often front-of-the-house—female chefs and industry CEOs are growing in number, but still make up only a fraction of the professional food business.

Entertaining Company is proud to have a woman at the helm—Wendy Pashman founded EC in 1991 and has made indelible marks on the Chicagoland food and hospitality scene. We’re both empowered and (literally) powered by the trail-blazing creativity of women. Here are some of our favorite female-driven collaborators and inspirations.


evolveHer is one of the city’s first woman-only co-working spaces. The company is based out of a 5,000 square foot loft directly downtown and offers a selection of memberships ranging in price. While anyone can rent out the space for use as a general venue, members are also afforded amazing opportunities to attend networking events, lady-led panels, talks and discussions, and even some fitness and yoga classes. We LOVE the way evolveHer seeks to build a professional community of diverse, successful women, and we are proud to call evolveHer a venue partner in 2019.

Women’s Club of Evanston

The Women’s Club of Evanston has a storied history spanning over a century. At the peak of the women’s club movement in Chicago (just before the turn of the century), a group of Evanston women founded a club for their own community. Since then, it’s raised over $125,000 each year for not-for-profit organizations. Where the focus of evolveHer is building professional community, the WCE is all about maintaining a vibrant group of women philanthropists seeking to better the surrounding communities. Like evolveHer, the WCE is available to all for private rental, and we are proud to partner with the clubhouse.

While we’re continuously inspired by our lady-led venue partners, we also take inspiration from chefs in other cities. Our “Gift Giver’s Guide to the Cookbook Universe” features chefs such as Alison Roman, Samin Nosrat, Alice Waters and more.