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The LEE Initiative Announces New Class of Mentees

Lee Initiative
Left to right: Lauren Schoen, Megan Duffy, Taylor Davis, Hannah Arvin and Sydney Fisher. Image credit:

Uplifting the next generation of female chefs is what the LEE Initiative (Let’s Empower Employment) is all about. And this month, they announced the next class of women hand-selected to be part of this incredible program.

Created in 2018 by chef Edward Lee and Lindsey Ofcacek—managing director of Chef Lee’s 610 Magnolia—with a goal of promoting equality in the foodservice space, the six-month program connects young chefs with some of the most celebrated female chefs in the industry.

The Louisville-based LEE Initiative introduced the five mentees to the industry at a very appropriate sounding event called “The Future is Female.” Upon completion of the program, the rising chefs—from Louisville, Lexington and Cinncinatti—will complete week-long externships with the likes of Katie Button in Ashville, Anne Quatrano in Atlanta, Ashley Christenson in Raleigh, Nina Compton in New Orleans and Joanne Change in Cambridge, Mass.

The group will learn skills from the best, including how to butcher a whole lamb. They will also create signature bourbon blends at Maker’s Mark and even cook dinner at the James Beard House in September.

Get it ladies! We can’t wait to see what you do next.

Check out our chat with Lindsey to learn more about this amazing program.

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