Sustain London Food Link Articles

Meet 30 wonderful women changing London's food for good

This year’s Urban Food Awards, run in partnership with the Mayor of London saw a new award to recognise the fantastic work that women are doing for London’s good food scene.

Jacqui Shimudzu from Hill Station by Miles Willis

Jacqui Shimudzu from Hill Station by Miles Willis

The London Food Link network celebrates and connects those growing, cooking, making and saving good food in the city, with many women doing great things in the public eye and behind the scenes. This year, building on the Mayor’s ‘Behind Every Great City’ campaign, we joined forces to create a special award for those women and received over 100 applications.

Together with a panel of judges including members of the London Food Board, 30 women in food were selected. They were announced at a showcase event at City Hall and celebrated together as equals, a reflection of how we think things should be in the wider food world. 

Our 30 women in food include:

  • The Chefs and Restaurateurs who are transforming the food scene, supporting their communities and championing sustainable sourcing
  • The Food Growers who are growing for good, promoting wellbeing, access to and understanding of local food
  • The Educators and Trainers who are teaching Londoners how to grow, bake and eat good food
  • The Change-Makers pioneering change to make good food the norm
  • The Food Savers who are using surplus food to help community initatives and charities
  • Not forgetting the Community Champions who create connections, build resilience and support people through food

Check out these wonderful women in food and the work that they do for people and planet. You can also find out about the other Urban Food Award winners for 2019.

Meet a Women in Food Award Winner at the London Food Link Spring Do

The Chefs and Restaurateurs

Bridget Callaghan, Well Kneaded

With the vision of transforming the lives young people from marginalised inner-city communities Bridget co-founded Well Kneaded in 2011. The young people become part of the Well Kneaded family who work together to make sourdough pizza, salads and sides using ingredients from sustainable sources. (Picture by Miles Willis)

Visit Well Kneaded during Urban Food Fortnight to try their UFF McMiso special pizza with 25% off if you mention UFF

Natalie Favre, Be Enriched

Working at the youth and community charity, Natalie runs cooking courses alongside community members giving them the skills and confidence to share with others.

Asma Khan, Darjeeling Express

Asma’s restaurant gives an opportunity to women with no former professional kitchen experience. The all-female kitchen has an average age of 50 and every Sunday the restaurant is free to hire for women led supper clubs.

Jacqui Shimudzu, Hill Station

A community café, art space, craft cooperative, training resource, social hub, and music venue led by Jacqui and run by local people for local people. The cafe has incubated over 65 diverse local micro business food popups.

Laura Hern and Emma Miles, The Clerkenwell Kitchen

Every dish uses seasonal produce with a focus on plant-based ingredients, and the kitchen has built strong relationships with local producers.  Laura and Emma have championed sustainability, animal welfare, affordability, and fair pay for over 12 years.

Sadhbh Moore and Abi Glencross, The Sustainable Food Story

Their roving supper club connect citizens to the origins of our food through interactive dinners, workshops, events and food experiences. They grow produce, use surplus food, forage, and discuss food and farming through stories.


The Food Growers

Lizzy Mace, Janet Burns, Eileen Hart, Elaine Armstrong, Sally Brading, Kalsoom Khan, Bushra Khatun, Xue Yuan D'costa, Cranbrook Community Food Garden Committee

The all female committee set up the project on a derelict playground and now grow food together, encouraging gardening as a means of recreation, promoting health, wellbeing, social cohesion, and as a sustainable way of life. (Picture by Vicki Pipe)

The women of Forty Hall Vineyard

London's only commercial scale vineyard is a community-led social enterprise that promotes good mental health . Sarah pioneered the Vineyard back in 2009 hand planting an acre of vines and is supported by a wonderful team of female volunteers.

Susan Sheehan, Incredible Edible

Susan sets up local community food projects in her borough. The incredible edible LEAP project helps those born into poverty to access good food through growing, cooking & eating together in community settings

Daniela Jamois, Charles Dickens Primary School

Daniela runs an eco council and gardening club that look after a food garden at the school. The produce and eggs from the chickens are is sold at school fairs and at Borough Market and to the school community.


The Educators and Trainers

Cindy Stott, Bensham Manor

Cindy teaches food growing and education to pupils with special needs and is described as going ‘truly above and beyond’ for her students.(Picture by Agne Bekeraityte).

Helen Carvall & Tracey Langridge, Rockmount Primary School

With their team, Helen and Tracey have spent the last 4 years transforming food education and food provsion across the school community and are now helping other schools do the same.

Sarah Bentley and the team, Made In Hackney

Sarah founded this plant-based community cookery school and charity that empowers people to grow, cook, and eat more plants regardless of their budget or life circumstances. They have helped 10,000 Londoners access good food (knowledge and skills) since they opened in 2012.

Sara Ward, Hen Corner

This urban smallholding and microbakery helps pupils understand where their food comes while also working with the wider community  through courses, training and the sale of produce.


The Change-Makers

Julie Brown, Growing Communities

Julie leads social enterprise Growing Communities which has grown the market for organic produce and changed the face of food retail through setting up  veg box schemes, a farmers' market, and urban  farms and training. (Picture by Ben Dyer)

Ailbhe Bhreathnach, Enfield Council

Ailbhe is a health strategist at Enfield Council and has been instrumental in encouraging them to take up the good food challenge.

Stephanie Wood, School Food Matters

Through campaigning and food education at a London wide and national level, Stephanie helps children enjoy fresh sustainable food at school and learn where their food comes from. School Food Matters has reached over 35000 children since starting in 2007.

Lisa Ashley, Compass Group UK

Lisa has decisively changed the food outlets across Goldsmiths Uni while building healthier eating habits for thousands of students.


The Food Savers

Josephine Liang, Day Old Eats

Josephine takes pastries and artisan baked foods from high-end bakeries and sells them on to make money for charities fighting child hunger. (Picture by Agne Bekeraityte).

Laura Winningham, City Harvest

Laura is the CEO of London's first surplus redistribution charity, City Harvest. They deliver to more than 40 community programmes weekly who teach cookery, diet and nutrition while bringing people together, reducing social isolation.


The Community Champions

Dee Woods, Granville Community Kitchen

Dee Woods is the co-founder and coordinator of Granville Community Kitchen, a true community Champion, Dee was named BBC Food and Farming Awards Cook of the Year in 2016. (Picture by Miles Willis).

Emma Lundie, The Food Gatherer

Described as a “collaborator and enabler” Emma has set up multiple festivals and markets, and works with local food producers to promote them for the benefit of the community and environment. More recently, Emma set up the Enfield Food Forum.

Rebakah Gibson, Oasis Hub Waterloo

Rebekah runs a busy foodbank and makes a huge impact supporting people in crisis in a holistic way through socialisation, debt advice, and training.

Sue Pollock, GCDA

Sue’s role is food logistics, distributing surplus food to community projects. Sue was described as a “real dynamo” and  “always cheerful and happy to help” , her dedication ensures that local people” have access to affordable food.

We are honoured to work alongside these women, heir achievements are truly something to be celebrated, and we look forward to sharing more of their stories in the coming months.

Find out who were the other Urban Food Award 2019 winners

Published 25 Mar 2019

London Food Link: London Food Link brings together community food enterprises and projects that are working to make good food accessible to everyone in London to help create a healthy, sustainable and ethical food system for all.

Credit: Sustain

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