Our Stories

A Tasteful Catalyst For Change


We know first-hand the benefits to an entire organization when women have a voice in leadership and policy. When people from all backgrounds and experiences are represented in business, the range of perspectives and ideas they bring greatly improves decision-making and operations. Fair, equitable and inclusive labor practices make for a more vibrant and innovative workplace, but also help break down barriers and stereotypes in our society-at-large.

These values are embodied in our mission and by the Women’s Empowerment & Entrepreneurship Program (WEEP), an initiative of EDENS’ 501(c)3 philanthropic foundation that supports career advancement and financial wellness for women business owners.


Fostering equity in the culinary industry is important to EDENS because much of our retail community is composed of professionals working in this field–one where women leaders are underrepresented: approximately 147,434 chefs are currently employed in the U.S. today, 25.2% of whom are women. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, just over 20% of all head chefs are women; in 2021, female chefs made 84 cents to the dollar men earned.

Increasing the number of women chefs and entrepreneurs is critical for promoting diversity front-of-house as well as in the kitchen. This ensures there are more visible role models for aspiring chefs and better reflects the changing demographics of diners which, in turn, improves the customer experience and drives loyalty. Through WEEP and our annual Sunday Supper event, we are highlighting these fair and equitable practices to re-frame the policy-making process on behalf of our country’s second largest private employer.


When we gather around the table, we connect intellectually, culturally and emotionally. Some of the most memorable stories are inspired by culinary experiences and the people who have mastered this art form. To be sure, food is nourishing, yet we believe that sharing a lovingly prepared meal also inspires ideas, fosters connections, strengthens relationships and encourages a sense of belonging.

Held in Union Market District in Washington, DC, Sunday Supper is the festive culmination of these ideals, when we celebrate the chefs, artisans, civic leaders and community advocates who are reshaping our foodways and advocating for a more diverse and equitable industry.


This year, we are excited to welcome The LEE Initiative and Regarding Her (RE:Her) as new beneficiaries of Sunday Supper. Lindsey Ofcacek and Edward Lee founded The LEE Initiative in 2017 in response to the #MeToo movement. This nonprofit creates and implements programs to address issues of diversity and equity in the restaurant industry, always with a focus on increasing employment opportunities and making the restaurant industry more sustainable. RE:Her is a national non-profit organization driven by women restaurateurs on a mission to evolve and advance women in the hospitality industry and society-at-large. Both organizations are quickly growing in their reach and reputation.

Sunday Supper continues to benefit James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program (WEL), a ground-breaking training initiative co-founded by EDENS’ CEO Jodie W. McLean. Last year, for the first time, the annual program expanded from one to two cohorts of 20 women each (40 participants). Today, there are 217 WEL alumni across the country, in nearly every state; four members of the Board of Directors of RE:Her are WEL graduates.


Our 7th annual Sunday Supper will be held this year on May 7 at Dock 5 in Union Market District. Learn more. Buy tickets.


I still feel supported every day, especially as I look to launch a new venture. WEL instructors and the depth of the program amaze me.

Ji Hye Kim Class of 2021, 2023 Guest Chef

We’re grateful for the support from EDENS and to be a part of Sunday Supper, an event that brings our values to life and year after year—especially by women-led businesses that embody so many of our same core pillars.

Lindsey Ofcacek Co-founder and Director of The LEE Initiative