Women in Culinary Program Empowers Promising Placemakers 

Xio Winning Dish

New ISS Guckenheimer Professional Development Training Advances Mission for Women Culinary Leaders 

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In response to both the ongoing challenges that women face in the culinary industry and the dearth of women in senior culinary positions, ISS Guckenheimer launched its Women in Culinary program in May of 2022 to transform the way the company attracts, retains, supports and develops female culinarians. The first 22 participants in the program — hailing from across North America and holding positions from executive chef to sous chef, chef manager, and executive pastry chef — graduated in mid-November in a special virtual ceremony held to honor their accomplishments. 

Over the course of the six-month program, these ISS Guckenheimer professionals worked with both internal and external experts and company leaders to further develop the confidence, technical skills, and public speaking abilities they need to advance their careers.  

To be successful, you have to understand who you are as a person...Who you are as a culinarian is your foundation."

Alex Howren, program co-founder
Topics discussed in their sessions included the exploration of their roots and specialties as culinarians, optimizing the full capabilities of ISS Guckenheimer’s collaborative menu planning platform, and the development of menus that speak to their personal values as well as those of ISS Guckenheimer and their clients. 

“To be successful, you have to understand who you are as a person,” Alex Howren, Director of Culinary at ISS Guckenheimer and co-founder of the Women in Culinary program, said. “Who you are as a culinarian is your foundation. Then, you layer in the philosophies of ISS Guckenheimer and our clients.” 

Congratulations to our 2022 Women in Culinary Program Graduates

  • Xiomara Battle, Executive Chef
  • Shawna Blair, Executive Chef
  • Samantha Dickinson Bryan, Executive Chef
  • Brielle Bustamante, Regional Chef
  • Mahalia Butler, Chef Manager
  • Della Cannon, Chef Manager
  • Debbie Chan, Executive Chef
  • Sisca Cole, Sous Chef
  • Teresa Donasco, Sous Chef
  • Melissa Gice, Sous Chef
  • Katy Hildebrand, Chef Manager

  • Claudia Mayhew, Chef Manager
  • Nicole Redd-McIntosh, Executive Pastry Chef
  • Kellyn Cruz Mejia, Sous Chef
  • Katerine Mock, Sous Chef
  • Britney Muller, Chef Manager
  • Laura O’Rorke, Chef Manager
  • Angela Patton, Sous Chef
  • Bianca Roches, Sous Chef
  • Rosario Rodriguez, Sous Chef
  • Crystal Smith, Chef Manager
  • Norma Villegas, Sous Chef

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