Kitchen Explosion

Way before the #MeToo fuse was lit, Cherry Bombe’s mix of food and fashion was turning the tables.

With the #MeToo movement hot on everyone’s lips, Cherry Bombe’s editorial recipe – a celebration of food and the women behind it – couldn’t be more timely or empowering. Now in its fifth year the twice-yearly magazine has grown to include a weekly podcast, cookbook, and annual conference for women working in the food industry to discuss pressing issues, network and support one another. And boy is it needed. The same day we visit the Cherry Bombe HQ in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, to talk to co-founder Kerry Diamond, allegations of sexual misconduct are made against celebrity chef Mario Batali. Not that you would expect to see him on the cover of Cherry Bombe.

Cherry Bombe is all about turning the conversation around to women in an industry where men all too often hog the limelight. Diamond came up with the idea for a magazine combining food and fashion when mulling over whether or not to do a cookbook for one of the three restaurants she runs with her boyfriend, chef Rob Newton.

“I’d discovered there was no place for me to connect with other women in the business,” says Diamond, who met her co-editor Claudia Wu when they worked at Harper’s Bazaar. “Looking around, it was all male chefs and very much a boys’ club, and it still is to some extent. I had no support system, no community, and that made me realize how much I missed that from working in fashion.”

The first issue of Cherry Bombe had model and passionate foodie Karlie Kloss on the cover. Since then, Martha Stewart, Lena Dunham and April Bloomfield (pre-Spotted Pig scandal) have followed.

“We started working with Cherry Bombe in 2013 and quite quickly realized we’d tapped into something that people really needed. At that point we had no idea it would get as political as it is today. But that’s unavoidable, especially in view of what’s happening now,” Diamond says.

“Four years ago no one could mention any big female chefs in NYC apart from April Bloomfield and maybe Gabrielle Hamilton. All the rock star chefs were male, and the media were only interested in featuring the male star chefs. Today, quite a few female chefs are getting recognition from the media.”

What are some of the big trends in food this coming year? I think this year will be an evolution of some of the trends already happening, like seasonal cooking and slow cooking. The ‘food as medicine’ trend will grow as many hospitals look into what they are feeding their patients. I spoke to a sky farmer in Minneapolis recently. She runs a rooftop garden at a hospital, and I think that’s great! I would love to see more hospitals doing that.

You’ve had Tastemaker, Baked, Eat My Words and Pet Project as themes for the magazine. What can we look forward to in future? Will there be another cookbook? Maybe we’ll do a Scandinavian issue. I loved the Eat My Words issue with Lena Dunham on the cover about food and writing. I also loved our Cali issue. As for another cookbook, I hope so. But for now we need a break as we just finished the tour. It was amazing. We had women coming up to us to say they quit their corporate jobs to pursue a career in food thanks to us. That’s amazing, and a bit scary – I hope they’re doing OK.

If you could take anyone to dinner, who would it be? I would take the Obamas because I love and miss them so much. We would go to my favorite place Lilia in Brooklyn. Missy Robbins, the chef, makes the best pasta. We would order the chef’s special or the amazing pink peppercorn pasta. I would have to wear something with pockets I guess because I would cry a lot – so something from Maria Cornejo.

Kerry Diamond's three favorite NYC food spots

Lilia – Italian cuisine by Missy Robbins.

Dimes – American food by Alissa Wagner & Sabrina De Sousa.

The Good Fork – American/Asian cuisine by Ben Schneider & Sohui Kim.

Text: By Sofie Zettergren Photo: Anna Schori

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