Elle Scott, photographed at America’s Test Kitchen in Boston by Sarah Hummel
“I TEACH WOMEN HOW TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT, ENTERPRISING AND CONFIDENT. I’M CREATING A RESILIENT ARMY OF WOMEN WHO WILL JUST CONTINUE TO SMASH THE PATRIARCHY...WITH EASE. ”
— ELLE SCOTT
What do you do in the food world and what do you love about it?
I am a Chef & Food Stylist. This means that I work in Culinary Media. In this realm, I am also a Test Cook on America's Test Kitchen. Outside of the kitchen, I am a Social Justice activist with a focus on Food Sovereignty. I love the work that I do because I get add to the dialogue, ideas and representation of people of color, in the media. Also, I get to work on a large variety of projects; I never get bored!
You call yourself the "culinary Oprah," (which is so fucking boss) how did you come up with this and what does it mean to you?
I came up with Culinary Oprah because I LOVE meeting, talking with and getting into the minds and hearts of people who work in/ with food systems. It's a means for me to openly display how important our life stories are and how these narratives play a huge part in community building and healing via food. How amazing is that?
How do you get yourself pumped up and feeling confident before going on air for America's Test Kitchen?
What most people don't know is that I'm very shy in front of large groups of people. It takes a lot of "mirror pep talks" *reference Issa in Insecure here. I think this may have been how "Culinary Oprah" was really manifested. I often ask myself, "What would Oprah do?" She would put her best foot forward, no matter the weather.
How do you resist the patriarchy?
I resist the patriarchy everyday through my org SheChef Inc. I teach women how to be self-sufficient, enterprising and confident. I'm creating a resilient army of women who will just continue to smash the patriarchy...with ease.
What's your vision for how the food industry can improve? How do you see SheChef contributing to that new landscape?
I think that in every industry there is room for improvement. I would like to see the kitchen actually representing the world and for food and culture to be respected in a more evident way. As the leader of SheChef, it's my responsibility to continue to challenge the status quo; creating new policies and creating tangible methods of shaping positive kitchen culture.