For members of the Northwestern community who love food and are curious about a career in the industry, the Sugar and Spice Summit will feature leading female professionals such as Marissa Conrad, Deputy Food Editor at The Chicago Tribune and Aarti Sequeira, a Medill alum who won Season 6 of Food Network Star.
On Saturday, April 1, over a dozen women with diverse experience in the food industry will convene in Harris Hall for panel discussions, professional workshops and tastings.
Students will be able to personally interact with professionals and enjoy rich conversations about their real-life experiences. The speakers comprise chefs, food writers, social media influencers, business leaders, and more from Chicago and beyond.
Mindy Segal of Mindy’s Hot Chocolate in Wicker Park is also a panelist on the roster of talent for this weekend’s summit. Segal is an acclaimed pastry chef and James Beard Award winner, and will speak about being a female chef in a male-dominated industry.
Aarti Sequeira graduated from Medill in 2000, competed on and won Food Network Star, and now stars in her own cooking show, Aarti Party.
“She’s a Northwestern grad who used her Northwestern degree to do something a little bit unconventional,” said Lauren Goldstein, who planned the event.
Other discussions will cover topics such as entrepreneurship, food journalism and social media.
Finally, Irene Rosenfeld of Mondelēz International will talk about her experience as Chairman and CEO of the global corporation that owns Oreo, Ritz, Cadbury and more.
Women are the minority when it comes to corporate leadership in the food industry and comprise only 19 percent of chef positions, reported The National Restaurant Association.
Lauren Goldstein, a junior from the Manhattan suburbs studying communication and gender studies, organized the event to bring students together with accomplished and seasoned female professionals.
“I think the interest is already there at Northwestern,” she said, referencing clubs like Cookology, a culinary arts club, or Spoon NU, the campus chapter of Spoon University, a college-focused food publication established at Northwestern in 2009.
Goldstein, who joined Spoon NU in her freshman year and is now the Director of Partnerships and Special Projects, pulled together connections and resources that the organization had to offer and leveraged her personal relationships to put together the lineup of diverse speakers.
Writing for Spoon has exposed Goldstein to the reaction of the Northwestern community, as well as that of the publication’s broader reader base.
“They wanted to hear these people’s stories,” she said, describing a wide spectrum of interest, ranging from professional career consideration to simply personal interest. “I wanted people to be able to talk to these women firsthand, regardless of whether they were actually trying to get a job.”
Sugar and Spice Summit – Buy tickets online
General Admission – Northwestern Student: $13
General Admission – Non-Northwestern Student: $30
Harris Hall – 1881 Sheridan Road Evanston, IL
Saturday, April 01 at 11:00 AM