Liza Hinman: Santa Rosa Chef, Mom, Entrepreneurial Leader

Popular restaurant leader gets a nod for entrepreneurial spirit.

Spinster Sisters chef Liza Hinman, second from right, and her kitchen staff, from left, sous-chef David McDowell, and line cooks Kelli Bailey and Grant Mitchel prepare dishes from chef Joyce Goldstein’s new cookbook The New Mediterranean Jewish Table, during a Book Passage Cooks with Books event at Spinster Sisters in Santa Rosa, California on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

Spinsters Sisters chef Liza Hinman has been named to the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. As one of the first class of 21 recipients, the program aims to help female chefs and owners grow their businesses by cultivating women’s leadership in the culinary industry.

The Santa Rosa chef and her businesses partners from Spinster Sisters recently purchased Santa Rosa’s Astro Motel, which is going through a $10 million renovation to restore it to it’s mid-century modern glory. She’ll head to Babson College Sept. 10-15 with the rest of the class, which also includes Tanya Holland of Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen.

That women chefs rarely get their due is one of the dirty secrets of the restaurant industry. Well, let’s face it, of a lot of industries. 

“Even years of hard work in the culinary industry didn’t necessarily mean the women got their due,” said Dr. Deborah Harris, who analyzed 2,200 pieces of food media, and conducted in-depth interviews with 33 women chefs for “Taking the Heat: Women Chefs and Gender Inequality in the Professional Kitchen,’’ co-authored with Patti Giuffre. For more on the topic, read Harris’ op-ed on the James Beard Foundation blog:

We’re glad to see Liza get tapped, and look forward to her bringing back plenty of wisdom for her sisters in the kitchen.

But what’s with being from Healdsburg, JBF (see below)? Santa Rosa proud!

The first class of 21 WEL recipients from across the country are:

·         Bleu Adams (Black Sheep Cafe, Black Sheep @ Epic Brewing, Provo, UT)
·         Kathleen Blake (The Rusty Spoon, Orlando, FL); Women Chefs and Restaurateur Fellow
·         Amy Brandwein (Centrolina/Chef Amy B, LLC, Washington, DC)
·         Christine Cikowski (Honey Butter Fried Chicken and Sunday Dinner Club, Chicago, IL)
·         Meredith Corey-Disch (Community Loaves, Jacksonville, FL)
·         Kimi Eklund (Kimi’s Chop & Oyster House, Salt Lake City, UT)
·         Gina Gruenewald (Wolf Peach/ Supper, Milwaukee, WI)
·         Liza Hinman (The Spinster Sisters, Healdsburg, CA)
·         Alicia Hinze (The Buttered Tin, St. Paul, MN)
·         Tanya Holland (Brown Sugar Kitchen, Oakland, CA)
·         Sarah Huck (Kos Kaffe, Brooklyn, NY)
·         Carolyn Johnson (80 Thoreau, Cambridge, MA)
·         Vivian Joiner (Sweet Potatoes-a restaurant, Winston-Salem, NC)
·         Guisell Osorio (Sabores Del Sur, Walnut Creek, CA)
·         Nicole Pederson (Found and The Barn, Evanston, IL); Women Chefs and Restaurateur Fellow
·         Marian Romano (Nonna’s Osteria, catering & Potato Palace, booth State Fair, Wasilla, AK)
·         Suzanne Simon (Chaia – Farm to Taco, Washington, DC)
·         Lien Ta (Here’s Looking At You, Los Angeles, CA)
·         Shannan Troncoso (Brookland’s Finest Bar & Kitchen, Washington, DC)
·         Jan Wichayanuparp (Sweet Republic, Phoenix, AZ)
·         Elizabeth Wiley (Meadowlark Restaurant, Wheat Penny Oven and Bar, Dayton, OH)

Mentors for the women chefs include

  • Elizabeth Blau, Founder and CEO, Blau and AssociatesJames Beard Award-Winning Chef Traci Des Jardins
  • Rohini Dey, JBF Trustee and founder/owner of Vermilion Restaurants
  • Ahmass Fakahany, Chief Executive Officer/Owner, Altamarea Group
  • Ruth Gresser, Chef/owner, Pizzeria Paradiso; Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Past President
  • Carla Hall, Chef and television personality
  • Dr. Deborah Harris, Associate Professor of Sociology, Texas State University
  • Pamela Hinckley, Chief Executive Officer, Tom Douglas Restaurants
  • Josh Kulp, Co-owner, Honey Butter Fried Chicken
  • James Beard Award-Winning Chef Tony Mantuano
  • Jodie W. McLean, Chief Executive Officer, EDENS
  • Cindy McLoughlin, JBF Trustee and Partner with CohnReznick
  • Melissa Musiker, Director, APCO Worldwide
  • Richard Perlman, Chairman, Compass Partners LLC
  • James Beard Award-Winning Chef and JBF Trustee Anne Quatrano
  • Jessamyn Rodriguez, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Hot Bread Kitchen
  • Juliana Stone, Vice President at The Elliot Group