Behind every successful woman... there's another successful woman!
Emma Bengtsson, High Res Portrait-Eric Vitale Photography-1
Photography by Eric Vitale Photography
| Credit: Photography by Eric Vitale Photography

Emma Bengtsson, Executive Chef of Aquavit

"One of the first concerts that I ever went to was to see Alicia Keys. I had never heard of her before, but my sister had two tickets so I decided to join. Ever since that moment, I have been inspired by her songs and her personality. Given that I don't personally know her, I believe her to be kind and generous. She pushes for women's rights and for equal quality of life for everyone. I am also inspired that she believes we can all eat everything we want as long as we do it in moderation and that it's sustainable. She takes care of herself and believes that natural is beautiful. She seems to be a beautiful person and she has inspired me to believe in myself and that I am worth it. I would love to meet her and cook for her. I would love to ask her how she balances her busy life and her career and how she manages to stay positive and happy."

Lidia Bastianich smiling at table with pasta
Credit: Photography by Misha Gravenor

Lidia Bastianich, Television Personality and Owner of Felidia and Lidia's Kansas City

"During my 50 years cooking and running restaurants, I have cooked for some fabulous women, including Julia Child, Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Laura Bush, and Gloria Steinem. However, there is one little woman that remained in my heart and I wish I could cook something that she could eat. This little girl is Mira Crump from Kansas City. At 4 years old, she cannot eat real food; she is fed with a tube. She is afflicted with GNAO1, a genetic mutation. She absolutely loves real food but cannot safely eat or drink, and that grips at my heart. Mira lives in Kansas City, and I met her through my executive chef Cody Hogan and his partner, Peter. I took a photo with Mira so her father could post it and bring more awareness to the condition. Her beautiful smile has remained with me, and I would love to cook something that Mira could eat. For more information, the organization is"

Credit: Photography by Meredith McGrath

Mina Newman, Executive Chef of Sen Sakana

"I would love to cook for Dominique Crenn or Alice Waters! Talk about the adversity these women have been through—Crenn fighting cancer and Waters being a working mom and a trailblazer in the industry."

Lidia's KC Beverage Director Jeanette Taylor

Jeanette Taylor, Beverage Director of Lidia's Kansas City

"I would love to make a drink for Chelsea Handler. We have a similar assertiveness and strive for independence about us, she's just funnier about it. Just like myself, Chelsea is straightforward with her drink order. I would pour a simple vodka on the rocks with a twist of lemon."

Yessenia Alverez

Yessenia Alverez, Beverage Director of Rahi

"If I can make any woman in the world a cocktail, it would be Michelle Obama. I would make her a chamomile margarita."

Oona Tempest (2)

Oona Tempest, Sushi Chef at Sushi by Bae

"I would love to cook for Rachel Carson for her work on clean environmentalism. I read Silent Spring and The Edge of the Sea in high school, and they have influenced my understanding of the world. She became my role model as a woman in science."