Topic: Authors

Photo of Michael W. Twitty

Michael W. Twitty

Two-time James Beard Award-winner, Michael W. Twitty talks race, culture, food, faith, history with an extra pinch of truth. Gay, Jewish and Black, Michael embodies diversity and intersectionality. His latest book, KosherSoul, drops in August 2022.

Appearances

 
Amazon
Github
Harvard University
Jewish Alliance
Salesforce
Southern Food Alliance
Yale University
Toyota
 

Speaking Options

Kosher/Soul?: Black-Jewish Identity Cooking

Being African American and Jewish is for many a combination that many can’t wrap their heads around. However, for thousands of Jews of color; having heritage, faith and family in both Diasporas—African and Jewish—and their many intersections means creating material, social and ideational lives that interweave identities and histories. For Michael, this includes food and the ways Black and Jews have mediated otherness and oppression using what they eat as well as the global stories Diasporic foodways have to offer. Join Michael on an exploration and a taste of what he calls, “Koshersoul.”

From Cultural Appropriation to Cultural Amplification: Our Next Steps as a Society

Since the emergence of the second phase of the culture wars, no phrase since “reverse racism,” has so much ink been spilled over like “cultural appropriation.” Join Michael for a lively dialogue defining what appropriation is and is not, and how we can advance this complex and emotional conversation in ways that empower and push our society to a more nuanced inclusivity. 

The Cooking Gene: Tracing My African American Story Through Food

For African American culinary historian Michael W. Twitty there was a giant hole in the story of American cooking as big as the one in the story of most African American families. Putting the microscope on himself, Michael decided to fully trace out his family history through the story of Southern and American food. Using genetic research, historic interpretation, nature study, heirloom gardening and interviews with contemporary voices in food, his journey led him back to his family’s origins in West and Central Africa and a front ring seat in the debate over race and food in American life.

The Price of Hyper (In)visibility: Being Gay, Black, and Male in America

From Lil Nas X, to Empire, from Ru Paul to Pose, Black gay men have never been more hyper visible in American culture and yet Black gay men are still facing unique struggles and challenges that are unique to their diverse journeys. Join an actual Black gay man, openly gay author Michael W. Twitty for a discussion on the dichotomy between visibility and invisibility and slow acceptance. Learn the history of Black gay men in America and take a peek at solution points for a brighter future for the LGBT community and beyond.

From a Haunted Plate: Becoming an 18th and 19th Century Black Chef

Michael takes you on journey through the practical arts of food sourcing and cookery through the lens of a colonial or antebellum era African American cook. He will take the audience from lecture to discussion on the ways that traditional West and Central African food traditions met and melded with each other, those of indigenous peoples and Western Europe and then morphed over decades into centuries. Michael discusses the history of the cuisine as an extension of the foodways of Africa in early America with emphasis on the cooking techniques, cultural transformations, and flavor principles unique to this translation of Western cuisine by early African American chefs.

You Don’t Get to be 400 By Being Stupid: The Genius of African American Culture

Black culture in America endures a constant tug of war in the court of public opinion between hype, marvel and hypervisibility and being seen as a detriment, a pathology or degradation. Worse, some don’t really believe there is a Black American or African American culture. Join Michael for an exploration of seven secrets to the endurance of African American civilization and how those will be building blocks for the future. What has African American culture been? Where is it going? 400 years after the tragic beginning at Jamestown, Virginia; let’s have a birthday party for Black America celebrating its cultural resilience and rootedness. 
 
Culinary Justice: Defining a Theory of Gastronomic Sovereignty

Michael W. Twitty HeadshotFood justice, social justice, environmental justice, food sovereignty—and entire language has developed around how we want to see and live in a better world where fairness and right action prevail. In an extension of these concepts, Michael has begun to promote his notion of culinary justice—the idea that historically oppressed peoples have a right to authority, sovereignty, prosperity and acknowledgement in their contribution to national and global foodways. Join Michael for a lively discussion to explore the way the preparation of food unites and divides out narratives and how we can use it for the good.

Selected Media

Film Teaser – Michael’s African Culinary Journeys

London (England)

On Roland Martin:

On PBS NewsHour

Michael’s Genetic Reveal (Stagville Historic Plantation, N.C., USA)

Press

Testimonials

Michael (3rd from right) with Toyota Executives at Toyota’s HQ in Plano, TX (February 2020)

“He blew us away! We never have students stay behind to talk with a speaker like they did with Michael. Thanks for everything!” – Philip Ackerman – Leist, Faculty and Director of the GMC Farm & Food Project , Green Mountain College (VT)

“Michael was an absolute joy to have on our campus. The crowd was very engaged I had many people approach me after the event talking about how much they learned. I even had someone state that this was the best event they had seen on our campus! Michael was an absolute joy to work with and very gracious throughout the process. I learned a lot from him and his truth was more than I could have asked for in a speaker.” – Anneliese Wilson, Speaker Event Coordinator, Cultural Events Board, University of Colorado (Boulder)

“Michael’s dynamism drew together people from many backgrounds, and his energy to engage with everyone he met was boundless.  He was able to take on difficult issues such as race, the legacy of slavery, and continuing discrimination of our own time in ways that encourage thoughtful participation from the audience. Michael’s confidence and perseverance in pursuing his mission of historical justice for the contributions of African Americans is truly inspirational.” – Maria Kennedy, Folks Arts Coordinator, The ARTS Council of the Finger Lakes (representing Corning, NY engagements including Corning Community College and Corning, Inc.)

“Michael’s event was an absolute hit. All the students and community members had a fantastic time.” – Lazarus Fellow at Yale’s Sustainable Food Program (CT)

“I just wanted to take a moment and let you know how pleased we were with Michael’s recent Kosher Soul presentation to Beth Israel.  We all loved the personal nature of his stories. He captivated the room from the moment he took the stage and his hour and a half presentation seem to go by in five minutes. I believe everyone in the audience would have stayed and listen to him speak for another hour and a half.  He generously stayed afterwards to make sure everybody’s questions were answered. The consensus was that the event was a homerun and I believe some in attendance were so impressed they will be reaching out to you to book him for other groups.  Thanks to you and him for making this event a huge success.” – Scott Nawy,  Beth Israel Congregation

“Michael’s visit to Shippensburg was outstanding! One faculty member said it was one of the best, most memorable visits for a speaker that he could remember. Students reported that they really enjoyed working with him in the kitchen and that is was a truly unique experience. His talk was also well attended and my students got a great deal out of it. We were still talking about it in class almost a week later. His morning session turned out to be quite well attended also, and he had a great discussion with students.  His overall theme really resonated with the students – reflecting upon the nature of food, our alientation from what we eat in a fast-food society, and the importance of recognizing and taking pride in foodways and traditions.  Our new Director of Social Equity was hoping that speakers brought to campus by the Black Heritage Committee would become more than just a one night event, but might inspire action that would have a lasting impact. I think Michael’s visit did that.”  – Dr. John Bloom, Associate Professor, Dept of History and Philosophy, Shippensburg University (PA)

About Michael

Michael W. Twitty is a recognized culinary historian and independent scholar focusing on historic African American food and folk culture and culinary traditions of historic Africa and her Diaspora. He is a living history interpreter and historic chef, one of the few recognized international experts of his craft—the re-construction of early Southern cuisine as prepared by enslaved African American cooks for tables high and low—from heirloom seeds and heritage breed animals to fish, game, and foraged plant foods to historic cooking methods to the table. Michael founded www.Afroculinaria.com, the first website/blog devoted to the preservation of historic African American foods and foodways. He has conducted over four hundred classes and workshops, written curricula and educational programs, giving lectures and performed cooking demonstrations for groups including the Smithsonian Institution, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Carnegie-Mellon, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Library of Congress, the Association for the Study of Food and Society, and Oxford University’s Symposium on Food and Cookery. He has been profiled in the Washington Post and Washington Prost Magazine, the New York Times, Grist, PittsburghPost-Gazette, Cuisine Noir, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Jet Magazine, Ebony.com, and other periodicals. He has also been interviewed multiple times on NPR including the acclaimed food program The Splendid Table and Poppy Tooker’s Louisiana Eats. In 2013, he made several major appearances on television connected to his work including Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern, PBS’ Time Team America, and Many Rivers to Cross with Dr. Henry Louis Gates. Michael was one of 20 people selected globally as a 2016 TED Fellow (you can hear his talk here). His book, The Cooking Gene, won two James Beard Awards in 2018 for Food Writing and Best Book and his piece in Bon Apetit, I Had Never Eaten in Ghana Before. But My Ancestors Had was nominated for a 2019 James Beard Award and was selected to be included in The Best American Food Writing 2019. In 2020, The Cooking Gene was named #2 on Book Authority’s list of the Top 60 food books of all time. Michael’s next book, Kosher Soul, is available on pre-order here.

Who Caught Your Eye?

Name(Required)
Select from the speakers listed below.(Required)
Please select one or more speakers of interest.
Appearance Preference
Please select the preferred appearance location.
Please tell us more! Who is your audience? What are you goals? Why do the speakers interest you? Do you want a standard talk with Q&A or something more?
Please enter the venue name. Not required if an online appearance.
Venue Location
Please enter the address of the venue location. Not required if an online appearance.
Please enter an ESTIMATED budget for the speaker fee and travel. (This field will only accept one amount and not a range.)
Please enter a date or date range in the text field provided.
How did you hear about us?(Required)

What else do we need to know to make this a great event? Don't hold back!

Candace Doby

Author Candace Doby is THE courage expert. She talks about how to maximize leading with courage in work and life – whether you’re a teen or a CEO – she has wisdom to share.

Past Speaking Engagements

 
YMCA
University of Georgia
SUNY Oneonta
MARTA
 

Speaking Options

Courage At Work: Helping Emerging Leaders Take More Worthwhile Risks in an Evolving Workplace

Now, more than ever, organizations need leaders to act with courage. They need leaders who are willing and able to take worthwhile risks, navigate through uncertainty, and withstand challenges in order to position their businesses for growth in a constantly shifting corporate and non-profit world. According to research, courage is an essential leadership quality. But, when emerging leaders consider potential failure or rejection in the workplace as outcomes, they can find it difficult to choose courage — opting instead for safety and limited growth. That’s because they don’t know how to evaluate risks or leverage the internal resources they already have to face them. In this presentation, speaker and courage coach Candace helps audience members discover what’s stopping them from stepping outside of their comfort zone at work and how to begin dismantling those barriers so they can take more risks — risks like speaking up with an unpopular perspective in a meeting of like minds, showing up authentically for themselves and their teams, and challenging old systems that do not serve new workplace realities. This presentation is critical for organizations that want to develop courageous leaders who can help take their businesses into the future. This presentation is appropriate for companies that want to help their people, particularly millennials, courageously speak up and stand out so that the organization can capitalize on diverse and creative thinking, innovate faster, improve processes and collaborate better.

Translating Travel Skills into Leadership Skills

When we are met with opportunities to travel abroad, we too often don’t understand how travel skills can translate into leadership skills that employers desire.  In this talk, Candace illustrates how travel has helped her enhance important leadership skills in the workplace and how it can do the same for those who have traveled abroad. Through delightful storytelling, she recounts how driving on the other side of the road forced her to be adaptable, how a tuk tuk driver raised her consciousness around collaboration and much more. Through this talk, the audience will be able to identify important leadership skills employers value, recognize how to connect the dots between travel and leadership skills, and understand their role in telling the most impactful stories about their travel experiences. 

TBD: Travel, Being Black & Doubt

Until the age of 27, Candace had always labeled traveling abroad as TBD, or To Be Determined. The opportunities to do so beforehand were muddled in fear of physical harm, rejection from people at home and abroad, and fear of failure. It wasn’t until she read books, heard tales from friends, and did research that she began to recognize the value of travel.  In this presentation, Candace, who has now traveled solo and accompanied to 19 countries, shares how she navigated fear, race and power to relabel travel as TBD, or The Best Decision. In this talk, participants will be better able to identify their own fears related about traveling abroad, understand how they can manage their fears through the framework of courage, and recognize how travel can help them have a more global understanding of themselves.

Selected Media

Candace Interview

 

Travel,  Black, and Doubt

 

If Courage Could Talk TV interview

Candace’s Sizzle Reel

Testimonials

“Candace was an inspiring keynote and connected greatly with our audience of students and faculty alike.  Her message on courage gave our conference participants the right motivation to get the most out of their leadership journey at our event and beyond.” –  Shahla Akbari, Director of Chapter Support, The National Society of Leadership and Success

“Candace Doby is an inspiring and relatable speaker on the topic of travel, leadership skills, and courage. The ideas and concepts she speaks about are easy to understand, but are unique from what students usually hear, as they come from her own story. Our event evaluation confirmed that students concretely learned something new and learned to communicate their own travel and study abroad stories in a way they were unsure of before. Candace has the ability to inspire young people, get them excited about global experiences, and help them find their courage and confidence to use those experiences to reach their goals.” – Denise Leinonen, International Student Advisor, SUNY Oneonta

“When I read Candace’s biography and topic description for her “Travel, Being Black, and Doubt” talk, I knew immediately that her message would align with everything Wesleyan College values — diversity and inclusion, globalization, and preparedness for life after college. As study abroad professionals, we recognize trends in the types of students who choose to go abroad and which students show more trepidation, but it feels like there is little more we can do than market diverse program offerings and advise students with reassurance through their fears. Candace’s message resonated both with the student audience and with me. The students nodded along, offering their input about their fears and what holds them back from international travel. Candace’s topic drew a diverse crowd of students — many who vocalized their concerns about being black and feeling even more foreign abroad than they sometimes do at home, and others who wanted to explore their racial privilege and understand what holds their peers back from experiencing what seems so natural to other students. When Candace broke into her riff on Kendrick Lamar’s “Fear,” the students instantly and visibly engaged with her personality and message. I hosted the talk with the hopes of opening doors for my students that seemed previously closed — by giving voice to their fears and answers to their questions. But what I (also) gained from Candace was a better understanding of how my own practice can better address those fears and how my message implicitly plays into the cultural disparities that exist in study abroad participation.” – Emily Jarvis, Director of Int’l Programs, Wesleyan College

“Candace is an excellent speaker who delivers an insightful perspective on Study Abroad. As an African American female who did not study abroad while she was in college she sees the value of Study abroad from the lens of a Corporate Marketing professional, who has now traveled all over the world. She understands the importance of encouraging students of color to study abroad and the cross-cultural learning and understanding that takes place from enriching experiences abroad. She delivers this and much more through her presentation, “Travel, Being Black and Doubt”.  – Study Abroad Coordinator, Columbus State University (Georgia)

“What a fascinating and insightful session and conversation on TBD: Travel, Being Black and Doubt. Candace’s message needs to be heard by all of us (white IE professionals & student affairs staff, really everyone on a college campus & in the workplace! ) – Jennifer Ramos, Study Abroad Director, Methodist University

“Candace is a phenomenal and inspiring speaker! Her energy and bright spirit combined with her warmth and fearlessness have helped me find to courage to share my own voice and story. Since hearing her speak, I have learned how to ‘cross the bridge’ and use fear to launch me into a life of greater purpose and fulfillment,” – Shawn Patrick Rivera, Life Is A Verb Participant.

About Candace

Candace Doby has been examining the definition, elements and obstacles of courage on her own for a decade. Through that process, she developed her own courage to travel abroad, an action she had long considered … scary. From her first trip abroad to Indonesia to her 19th global trip to Malaysia, Candace has continuously sharpened the tools necessary to manage fear. As a speaker, Candace combines personal storytelling with life lessons and a dynamic presence to inspire the audience to act courageously.

Candace is the author of “If Courage Could Talk”, published in 2020. She has served as an editing fellow for Travel Noire, the popular digital platform and resource for black travelers. She currently volunteers with Girls Going Global, a non-profit organization that empowers girls of color through travel and cultural exchange. Her 2017 presentation at NAFSA (Association of International Educator’s Conference – Region VII) garnered rave reviews and was nominated for the national conference.

Candace received BA/MA degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At the university, she ran track, worked at the school paper, and served as a resident advisor. She had a 15-year marketing career and has worked for some of the best advertising agencies in the country. Her most recent work in this arena was as a Field Marketing Manager for Chipotle Mexican Grill.  Her book, If Courage Could Talk, has been picked up by a national publisher and the 2nd edition of it will be available as a book and  journal in 2022.

Who Caught Your Eye?

Let us know by completing the form and we'll be in touch quickly!
Name(Required)
Select from the speakers listed below.(Required)
Please select one or more speakers of interest.
Appearance Preference
Please select the preferred appearance location.
Please tell us more! Who is your audience? What are you goals? Why do the speakers interest you? Do you want a standard talk with Q&A or something more?
Please enter the venue name. Not required if an online appearance.
Venue Location
Please enter the address of the venue location. Not required if an online appearance.
Please enter an ESTIMATED budget for the speaker fee and travel. (This field will only accept one amount and not a range.)
Please enter a date or date range in the text field provided.
How did you hear about us?(Required)

What else do we need to know to make this a great event? Don't hold back!

Deirdre Cooper Owens, PhD

Award-winning author and reproductive rights justice activist, Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens is THE expert on the intersection of race and medical history.

Past Speaking Engagements

 
Cherry Bekaert LLP
Illinois Association for Behavioral Health
Cornerstone League
Myovant Sciences
The Federal Reserve
United Nations
University of Limerick
March of Dimes
Princeton University
Brooklyn Historical Society
The Speed Art Museum
London School of Economics
The Schomburg Center
 

Speaking Options

 

 

Bias and Anti-Racism in the Medical Field

Medical racism is inarguable. Dr. Cooper Owens will provide a snapshot of the dismal state of medical racism for people of color using an engaging historical lens. In this talk, she also offers up necessary solutions and calls-to-action on how to provide necessary anti-racist medical care. 

 

Beyond Black History

How do many Americans learn about black history? Sadly, it is often broached through a trivia style approach instead of treated as necessary history in academic classrooms and corporate programs. What Dr. Cooper Owens knows is the real impact and value of Black History is about more than “firsts” and “the only.” In this talk, she contextualizes how Black history offers a more holistic interpretation of American history by dispelling countless myths. The audience will walk away with a deeper understanding of the contributions of people of color. (And for the record, George Washington Carver didn’t invent the peanut or peanut butter!)

Selected Media

Testimonials

Cynthia Daneil - Diversity & Culture Leader Diversity & Culture Leader Cherry Bekaert LLP

“We had the pleasure of having Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens as our guest for our Black History Speaker Event.  Dr. Cooper Owens’ talk, Beyond Black History, is very compelling and her discussion on Black history resonated well with our audience members. Her ability to break down history to a level that is engaging and easy to follow was a big win for our Firm. In just the last few days, many of our employees have shared how her approach provided them with valuable insights into Black History and intrigued their interest to want to learn more. We are grateful for her presence at our event and hope to have her again in the future.” Cynthia Daniel, Diversity & Culture Leader, Cherry Bekaert LLP 

“Dr. Cooper Owens is a terrific speaker who is able to break down historical content in a way that is accessible to myriad audiences. She delivers difficult subject matter about the intersections of race and medicine with care and ease, compelling listeners to pay close attention and enthusiastically enter the conversation (when appropriate) by posing questions and offering comments. Every time I hear Dr. Cooper Owens speak, I am in awe of her command of the stage, the breadth of her research, and her commitment to engaging the public without pretense.”  Michelle D Commander, PhD, Assoc. Director and Curator of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery, NY, NY.

“Dr. Cooper Owens revolutionizes the context in which we frame gynecology. She changes the way we approach patients and encourages the understanding of the burdens of generational traumas and societal burdens in gynecology. Virtually or in person, no one else is as exact as an educator as Dr. Cooper Owens. Her talks are a must add to anyone trying to change and challenge the current narrative of medical norms.” Sallie Sarrel, Co-Founder, The Endometriosis Summit 

“Dr. Cooper Owens has provided incredible insight around medical racism in the US. We are grateful for her expertise and contributions!” Danielle Keiser, Exec. Dir. and Founder, Menstrual Health Hub

Carrie Myers Photo in Circle with Orange Border​”Dr. Cooper Owens is phenomenal! I have heard her speak numerous times and never pass up the opportunity to do so again. I’m so glad we were able to host her at UNMC and for our students, faculty, and staff to discuss health humanities with her. The best-reviewed program we had this year.” – Carrie Meyer, Assistant Professor, Head of Special Collections and Archives, Leon S. McGoogan Health Sciences Library, University of Nebraska Medical Center

About Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens

Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens is an award winning author and a historian most known for her writings on slavery and the history of reproductive medicine. However, her superpower is that she speaks with courage and comfort about deeply unsettling topics. She has spoken at the United Nations, London School of Economics, Morehouse University, Princeton University, Harvard University, The March of Dimes, University of Limerick, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and hundreds of other organizations. 

Hailing from South Carolina’s Gullah/Geechee Low Country, she comes from a long line of storytellers and preachers. Her ancestors gifted her with skills that move audiences from hearing the unimaginable to open hearts through the power of her authentic voice and compelling tales. Along the way, Dr. Cooper Owens has lived all over the United States and South Africa, written an award-winning book (Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology), and earned a Ph.D. When she’s not chronicling the country’s past or advocating for reproductive justice for birthing people, Deirdre enjoys being a global citizen and proud middle-aged fashionista.

Who Caught Your Eye?

Let us know by completing the form and we'll be in touch quickly!
Name(Required)
Select from the speakers listed below.(Required)
Please select one or more speakers of interest.
Appearance Preference
Please select the preferred appearance location.
Please tell us more! Who is your audience? What are you goals? Why do the speakers interest you? Do you want a standard talk with Q&A or something more?
Please enter the venue name. Not required if an online appearance.
Venue Location
Please enter the address of the venue location. Not required if an online appearance.
Please enter an ESTIMATED budget for the speaker fee and travel. (This field will only accept one amount and not a range.)
Please enter a date or date range in the text field provided.
How did you hear about us?(Required)

What else do we need to know to make this a great event? Don't hold back!

Alan Bergo

James Beard Nominee (2022) Alan Bergo is The Forager Chef, a wild hunter of plants. His stories of foraging in the woods teach us about innovation, nature, food, and our humanity.

Speaking Options

Foraging for The Win: The Final Frontier of Ingredients 

This talk is ideal for culinary professionals including culinary students, chefs, and the food service industry

The culinary world devours new ingredients. Obtaining those that others can’t easily locate is a competitive advantage for chefs and restaurants. Alan (the “Forager Chef”) takes you on a journey into the cutting edge of the culinary world—literally the final frontier of ingredients that he, a handful of chefs, and wild food authors are shedding light on including wild herbs, like kinome and galium, extremely obscure vegetables, like angelica and cow parsnip blossoms,  hyper seasonal parts of plants we never knew we could eat, like the shoots of squash, unripe pumpkins, and young elm seeds, and a legion of leafy green plants history has forgotten. Alan shares stories of how he began to forage and the processes he went through serving his unique finds in restaurants. He shares the challenges, including sourcing, the cycle of wild food harvesters that inhibit chef access, and how we might break those cycles to share these things with the world.

The Grocery Store Outside: The Food We Overlook

This talk is ideal for those interested in farming/growing,  including restaurants/bars

There is a world of food at our fingertips that we overlook and take for granted on a daily basis. With our current food system relying on conventional agriculture, we need to look at every angle we can if we’re ever going to attempt to feed more people with less inputs. A byproduct of searching for the finest ingredients for his restaurants was that Alan discovered the virility and extreme volume with which some particular plants grow, plants that are at our fingertips, and under our feet. We harvest corn and soy, but what if there were products we could harvest up to six times a year? It’s possible, and you don’t need a hobby farm to try out Alan’s ideas! A wide variety of people and organizations: community gardens, small farms, vegetable growers, restaurants/bars, thrifty eaters, vegetarians, and locavores will find great takeaways in this talk.

Consulting (Corporations and Restaurants)

Alan, a well trained chef who specializes in the bounty of foraged foods, is available for consulting also.  Fill out the form below to inquire.

Selected Media

Tastemade – Foraged+Found

Alan Bergo on the Today Show (2021)

Alan’s segment is the latter half of a story on Blue Zones. Click to view the full Today Show video.

Forager Brings Mindfulness to the Kitchen

The Wild Harvest: Early Spring

Testimonials

“Alan is my Yoda. He taught me everything I know about the kitchen, and the wild.” – Jeremy Bechtold, Executive Chef: The Happy Gnome, St. Paul MN

“Few chefs have the sort of culinary and field experience Alan does.”  – Samuel Thayer, Founder of Foragers Harvest and Wildwood Products. Author of The Forager’s Harvest, Nature’s Garden, and Incredible Wild Edibles

“When the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Agriculture asked me to sit on a task force to help author the statewide certification class for wild mushroom foragers, sellers and buyers, my first call after accepting that appointment was to Alan. I asked him to join me on the task force since I felt his superior knowledge would be valuable to the process. He didn’t disappoint.” – Chef Leonard P. Russo seven-time James Beard Nominee and Former Executive Chef/Owner of Heartland Restaurant, St Paul, MN Author of Heartland: Farm Forward Dishes from the Great Midwest

About Alan

Alan Bergo is the Forager Chef, a leading authority on culinary uses of mushrooms and plants. Thousands follow his work at Forager | Chef – a website dedicated to wild food seasonal cooking and kitchen industry life – for tips on how to maximize what is available to us via the woods (and our backyards, too). The website started as a journal and evolved into a mycelium-like network of wild food authorities and mushroom hunters from around the world.

A Midwestern native, Alan worked for 10 years under Italian chefs and then served as sous chef to Lenny Russo at St. Paul’s 7-time James Beard nominee Heartland. He led two restaurants as executive chef of the Salt Cellar and then at farm to table cornerstone Lucia’s in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  He is a consultant on everything from foraging for unique restaurant menus to how mushrooms can be used for wild things like grain-free starch fabrication and even as a condiment.

Alan’s work has been featured in various print and visual media, including REI Coop, The Today Show, FOX, The Daily Beast, Heirloom Gardener, Experience Life Magazine, The Growler, The Heavy Table, Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, and Women’s Health.  2021 book titled “Forager Chef: Flora” is a study in rare and forgotten plants, herbs, vegetables, and culinary techniques is already in its 4th print run!  In 2022, Alan was nominated for a James Beard Award for Instructional Visual Media for his online show, The Wild Harvest.

Who Caught Your Eye?

Name(Required)
Select from the speakers listed below.(Required)
Please select one or more speakers of interest.
Appearance Preference
Please select the preferred appearance location.
Please tell us more! Who is your audience? What are you goals? Why do the speakers interest you? Do you want a standard talk with Q&A or something more?
Please enter the venue name. Not required if an online appearance.
Venue Location
Please enter the address of the venue location. Not required if an online appearance.
Please enter an ESTIMATED budget for the speaker fee and travel. (This field will only accept one amount and not a range.)
Please enter a date or date range in the text field provided.
How did you hear about us?(Required)

What else do we need to know to make this a great event? Don't hold back!

Jennifer Hamady

 Being of Lebanese, Cuban and Mexican descent, Jennifer Hamady deeply appreciates the need for diverse and authentic voices in this world. She has coached CEOs, written three books on voice and self-expression, and sung with Grammy Award-winners. With unsurpassed skill and heart, she empowers diverse teams to better understand each other as humans in the workplace.

Past Speaking Engagements

 
Cherry Bekaert LLP
National Society for Leadership and Success
Songwriters Guild of America Logo
Kripalu Logo
Womens Presidents Organization
ALTO Logo
American Bar Association Logo
Wells Fargo Ackler Logo
WICT LOGO
IBM
 

Speaking Options

Women Empowering Their Voices

As women, we know how challenging it can be to find and use our voices, within ourselves, and in the world. Join Jennifer for this popular and important conversation about the perspective, persistence, and bravery required to discover who we are and what we want to say, refine our message, and share both with clarity, power, peace, and pride. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to harness your inner strength, self, and voice.

Overcoming The Fear of Public Speaking

Managing the fear of public speaking is the subject of a thousand books, workshops, and programs that attempt to help deal with and mitigate its effects. Yet only a fundamental shift in the way in how this anxiety is perceived will allow us to overcome and transcend it. In this presentation, Jennifer speaks to the true nature of performance anxiety, helping us to break down the barrier- finally- that exists between us and other people in all of our interactions.

Mastering Your Voice as Leaders

As leaders, we know the importance of communication, yet our habits and blind spots can hinder our ability to effectively lead, connect and advance our careers. In this talk, Jen leads a conversation about the technical and emotional issues that interfere with our communication and self-expression. In this interactive approach, you will learn practical tools for developing and extending your most powerful voice in the workplace and beyond.

Finding Your Voice


In this presentation, Jennifer teaches us how to discover, honor, and express our most authentic selves. She explores topics including our levels of physical, mental, and emotional awareness, and how to address and resolve any limiting associations and actions that prevent us from walking openly, joyfully, and powerfully into and through our lives.

The Heart and Art of Public Speaking in a Corporate Culture

Whether you’re in sales, customer service, or the CEO of a company – you’ll walk away from this talk feeling ready to communicate and lead with confidence and a new perspective on self and your stakeholders! While most communication training aims to teach you the tricks of the technical trade: how to craft a great speech, connect with your audience, and properly protect and project your voice (all important goals, for sure) –  these are not nearly important as first considering who is doing the speaking. In this engaging interactive presentation, Jennifer helps individuals and teams discover the dis-empowering ways of thinking and being that have been standing in the way of their best self-expression at work. Once revealed, Jennifer works with participants to bring the technical skills of speaking and communication to life in an interactive format that is the hallmark of her keynotes and workshops.

Exploring Voice In The Professional Kitchen

Communication is often challenging, but throw high stakes, pressure, and different personalities into the mix, and things can get out of hand. Join Jennifer for an enlightening look at how to bridge the divides that diminish our power and joy in working together, resulting in respect, partnership, and a shared sense of vision and responsibility. You and your team will walk away from this incredible conversation with the skills necessary for personal, interpersonal, and professional success.

Masterclass: Voice for Singers

Working with aspiring and professional singers is one of Jennifer’s greatest joys. Each event is tailored to meet your group’s specific needs, which Jennifer brings to life through a combination of conversation and working one on one with volunteers. Whether participants sing or observe, the experience of being ‘shown’ rather than ‘told’– combined with Jennifer’s unique ability to teach and lead with love, humility, and humor– will result in a magical and memorable session, as well as vocal and personal tools that last. Popular topics include:

  • Performance Presentation and Authenticity
  • Vocal Technique and Troubleshooting
  • Working With and Through Performance Anxiety
  • Bringing Balance and Bravery to a Career in Music
Exploring Voice Across Cultures

What are the keys to a culturally transcendent voice? What is it that makes some people– their confidence, their delivery, their message – universally pleasing? Not just today, but across time? Connecting with people in our own communities and cultures can be a challenge… one that multiplies when we move beyond our personal and geographical boundaries. How do we remain true to ourselves and our messages while accommodating different countries and their norms? What are the specific vocal and personal tools we need to connect powerfully with anyone, anywhere in the world? Join Jennifer, who is Lebanese, Mexican, and Cuban, for a fascinating and practical conversation about the intersection of psychology, culture, language, and voice.

Preparing Your Voice For Conferences

For many people, speaking in front of a group can be terrifying. But it doesn’t have to be, not when you have the proper vocal, technical, and emotional tools in place. In live and webinar formats, Jennifer Hamady empowers people to share their stories and messages with clarity, authenticity, and power… and to do so joyfully. In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to care for, warm up, and project your voice, read and engage with your audience, work with microphones and monitors properly, and eliminate performance anxiety once and for all.

Selected Media

NSLS Keynote Conversation 2019

Meet Jennifer Hamady

Testimonials

“Jennifer was the highlight of our event, and year. It is rare to see someone so talented and powerful also bring such warmth and tenderness to the table. And to so effectively connect and communicate with an audience. We all were left in awe and transformed.” – Janae Noble, Partner, Next Wave Investments, LLC

“A one in a million find… we are talking about a brilliant and truly special person.” – Dr. James Fallon,TED Speaker, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Neurobiology (UC Irvine)

“Having attended another of Jennifer’s workshops, I knew she would be great. But I remain blown away by the impact of her time here at BuzzBack on my staff and our ability to better express ourselves and communicate with one another. The great feedback, and results, keep coming.” – Carol Fitzgerald, CEO and Founder of BuzzBack

“Jennifer has a knack for figuring out how people tick and uses it to help people get the most out of their voices, personally and professionally.” – Paul Crick, IBM, Senior Managing Consultant and Strategy Manager, London; TEDx Speaker

“Jennifer Hamady is The Voice Whisperer” – Karen Salmansohn, NY Times best-selling author

“Jennifer Hamady was the keynote speaker at my school’s annual Global Awareness Day activities. Jennifer has a unique set of abilities—she is able to make a big room feel small and intimate, she makes students feel safe sharing their thoughts and aspirations, and she brings out a high level of engagement even at 8:00 in the morning on a Monday. Jennifer worked closely with our students to create a shared vision for the event and then brought that vision into reality. She is someone who is excellent at encouraging free-form conversation and bringing out the best and most interesting parts of that conversation. I enthusiastically recommend Jennifer!” – David Miller, Director of Global Programs, The Gunston School

“Amazing and transformational – our girls loved working with her and have begged me to bring her back. Thank you so much!”- Joel Sohn, Episcopal High School, Office of Equity & Inclusion Co-Director (PS – they did bring her back!)

“It’s The Artist’s Way, The Four Agreements, and Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain all rolled into one. An author, and force to be reckoned with.”- Don Davis, Variety (referencing Jennifer’s book The Art of Singing: Discovering and Developing Your True Voice)

“Jennifer’s book simply confirms her abilities in discerning the fundamentals of life. Powerfully insightful, her treatment of fear not only has immediate application but revolutionary impact, as she has identified the core problems that undermine the full performance of so many people. There is no doubt in my mind that the book will have an enormous positive impact on a wide cross-section of people.”- Dr. Amii-Omara Ottunu, Chair, UNESCO Institute of Human Rights

About Jennifer

Jennifer Hamady is a voice consultant and board-certified psychotherapist specializing in technical and emotional issues that interfere with self-expression. With offices in New York and Washington DC, Jennifer works in private practice with musicians and others to discover, develop and confidently release their personal, professional and performance potential. Her clients include Grammy and CMA award-winners, contestants on The Voice and American Idol, performers in Emmy and Tony award-winning productions, and corporate clients (including CEO’s) across an array of industries.

Jennifer is the author of The Art of Singing: Discovering and Developing Your True Voice, Learning to Sing: A Transformative Approach to Vocal Performance and Instruction, and The Art of Singing Onstage and in the Studio. Jennifer also writes regularly for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today on matters of creative expression, and conducts workshops and lectures frequently around the world.

In addition to recording four albums of her own material, Jennifer toured internationally with Cirque du Soleil’s DELIRIUM as a lead singer and sang back-up vocals for artists and television programs including Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera, Patti LaBelle, Def Leppard, Jessica Simpson, Lee Ann Womack, The Grammys, American Idol, David Letterman, Good Morning America, and The Tonight Show.

Her undergraduate and graduate work are in Classical Vocal Performance and Psychology, she holds current, professional affiliations with The American Counseling Association (ACA), National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), The International Women’s Writing Guild (IWWG), Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), American Society of Composers and Performers (ASCAP), Women In Music (WIM), The Author’s Guild (AG), National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the New York Singing Teacher’s Association (NYSTA).

Jennifer is of Lebanese, Cuban and Mexican descent. She loves to travel abroad and speaks Spanish. Jennifer resides in the Washington DC area.

Who Caught Your Eye?

Let us know by completing the form and we'll be in touch quickly!
Name(Required)
Select from the speakers listed below.(Required)
Please select one or more speakers of interest.
Appearance Preference
Please select the preferred appearance location.
Please tell us more! Who is your audience? What are you goals? Why do the speakers interest you? Do you want a standard talk with Q&A or something more?
Please enter the venue name. Not required if an online appearance.
Venue Location
Please enter the address of the venue location. Not required if an online appearance.
Please enter an ESTIMATED budget for the speaker fee and travel. (This field will only accept one amount and not a range.)
Please enter a date or date range in the text field provided.
How did you hear about us?(Required)

What else do we need to know to make this a great event? Don't hold back!

Ashley English

Eleven food books, a Southern upbringing, and a sociology degree make Ashley English who she is; a food personality with a unique perspective.

Speaking Options

No Taste Like Home

In this talk, author Ashley explores telling your personal culinary experiences and journey through your cookbook or menu. Using examples (and tastings when possible!) from her book Southern From Scratch, which showcases how her culinary upbringing informed and shaped the cook she am today. She’ll discuss ways to imbue dishes with both literal and figurative, personal flavor. 

So You Want To Write A Book?

Ashley guides you on the journey of creating a book concept, pitching it, working with agents versus being unaffiliated, recipe development and testing (where relevant), and more. She’s learned many helpful steps to catching an editor’s attention along her 11 book journey and she generously shares what insider tips have stuck, and what hasn’t, along the way. 

Recipe Development (aka What’s Your Flavor?)

Ashley invites you to more deeply explore the process of recipe writing. Having authored 11 food-based books, she’s learned quite a few tips and tricks for crafting recipes that are original yet personal, innovative yet familiar. This talk is geared not just for those interested in writing cookbooks of their own, but also for getting out of “safe” culinary ruts. 

Breaking Bread

For centuries, people bonded over food—building long-term relationships based on a need to collaborate in order to grow, harvest, and preserve food. Today, the easy access to food has eliminated the need for those relationships, leaving us with one less reason to interact. In this talk, Ashley discusses how eating together has the power to create scientifically proven social bonds, engender community preservation, and serve as a form of diplomacy.

Using Food as a Catalyst for Memoir Style Writing
This talk is ideal for those food professionals that enjoy writing as much as they enjoy cooking. We’ll discuss ideas for creating and nurturing food-based first person essays, articles, blog posts, and more, and ways to get out of food-writing ruts.

Press

Selected Media

Ashley on Whole Foods – Dark Rye 

Ashley on Wassail – A Holiday Toast

Ashley’s Book Trailer: Handmade Gatherings

Testimonials

“In a time when origin and heritage are finally enjoying the culinary spotlight, Ashley English emerges from the sweet hollars of Southern Appalachia as an honest and refreshing voice. You’ll find no truer heart and account of what it means to reject, embrace, interpret and celebrate the kitchen we come from. As a mountain girl myself and working in the TV food industry, I see many iterations of this new brand of home cook, but y’all, take notice — Ms. English is the real deal.” – Selena Lauterer, President, Artemis Independent

“As one of the leading local voices on food, Ashley combines a unique message with a relaxed stage presence and an articulate delivery of her thoughts. She is both charming and informative. She attracted a big crowd as the keynote speaker for one of our events in 2018 and wowed the audience with ground-breaking thoughts on our relationship with food. Can’t wait to have her back for an encore!” – Tennille Tracy, Publisher, Edible Asheville

About Ashley

Ashley English is the author of 11 books, including all 5 books in her “Homemade Living series” (Canning & Preserving, Keeping Chickens, Keeping Bees, Home Dairy, and Home Apothecary), as well as A Year of Pies, Quench, Handmade Gatherings, A Year Of Picnics, The Essential Book of Homesteading, and Southern From Scratch

She has worked over the years with a number of nonprofit organizations committed to social and agricultural issues, hosted a bimonthly column for several years in the popular blog Design*Sponge entitled “Small Measures with Ashley,” is an ongoing contributor to the quarterly publication “Taproot,” and regularly contributes to a number of international, national, and regional print publications. She has been a frequent guest on Martha Stewart Radio on SiriusFM.

She regularly teaches classes on topics such as chicken-keeping, bee-keeping, canning & preserving, pie-making, creating dairy products, making homemade health & body care items, and crafting homemade beverages.

She holds degrees in holistic nutrition and sociology, and is an alumnus of both The University of North Carolina at Asheville and Clayton College of Natural Health. She lives in Candler, NC with her husband Glenn, their young sons Huxley and Alistair, and a menagerie of animals. You can follow along with Ashley’s writings at Small Measure.  

Who Caught Your Eye?

Name(Required)
Select from the speakers listed below.(Required)
Please select one or more speakers of interest.
Appearance Preference
Please select the preferred appearance location.
Please tell us more! Who is your audience? What are you goals? Why do the speakers interest you? Do you want a standard talk with Q&A or something more?
Please enter the venue name. Not required if an online appearance.
Venue Location
Please enter the address of the venue location. Not required if an online appearance.
Please enter an ESTIMATED budget for the speaker fee and travel. (This field will only accept one amount and not a range.)
Please enter a date or date range in the text field provided.
How did you hear about us?(Required)

What else do we need to know to make this a great event? Don't hold back!