Did you know that— despite the central role that women traditionally play in kitchens— less than 7% of US restaurants are led by women? It is primarily for this reason that Joanna James, who directed, edited and produced the award-winning documentary “A Fine Line: A Women’s Place is in the Kitchen,” founded MAPP in 2019.
MAPP stands for Mentorship, Advocacy, Pandemic relief and the Power of women. It is a non-profit supporting women in the hospitality industry, working with some of the industry’s top programs, mentors and partners, with the goals of closing the inequality gap and building equity for women in food.
From April 24 to 26, MAPP will be hosting its first Restaurant Reset conference at the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort— at a time when the F&B industry is slowly bouncing back from the pandemic. “[W]e are at a precipice of a new direction for our industry, and MAPP is especially committed to ensuring women, people of color and all those from marginalized communities are not only heard, but part of the process in creating a more inclusive food system,” James shared.
The event will kick off with an introduction to women-led organizations like Let’s Talk Womxn and James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL), followed by a welcome reception with keynote speaker JJ Johnson, founder and chef of Fieldtrip, on the importance of male allyship. A mentorship speed-dating will follow suit, providing attendees direct access to industry leaders and experts.
The following day, a full day of panels and breakout sessions which include topics like “Recruitment in times of chaos,” “Building a brick and mortar,” and “How to decolonize your plate,” will feature notable speakers, experts and chefs from across the country. In the evening, eating, drinking and dancing can be expected at Food, Wine and Spirits Extravaganza, which will also include live top chef cooking demonstrations in partnership with Chef’s Roll, and wine stalls led by women winemakers in Napa, at the beachfront restaurant Morea.
Some of the speakers and panelists include: Bravo TV Top Chefs Karen Akunowicz, Tanya Holland, and Lorena Garcia; James Beard Foundation semi-finalists Katie Button, JJ Johnson, Valerie Chang, Ellen Yin, Reem Assil, and Ji Hye Kim; World Central Kitchen’s chef Karla Hoyos (who is currently in Poland cooking for refugees from Ukraine); the first woman and Latina executive chef at the Super Bowl Dayanny dela Cruz.
For the full itinerary, complete list of speakers and to purchase tickets, visit the MAPP website.