“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish” – Michelle Obama

INTERNATIONAL. The food & beverage module at the upcoming Virtual Travel Retail Expo will feature a special session, FAB Women, to recognise, encourage and develop the participation of women in the airport F&B sector. FAB Women takes place on 14 October and promises to be a major highlight of FAB 2021 at the all-digital event.

Visitor registration remains open for the Virtual Travel Retail Expo (11-15 October) and for FAB 2021. The event is run by The Moodie Davitt Report and FILTR.QINGWA, with co-organiser Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development. Registration is free for all travel retailers, food & beverage concessionaires and airport companies.

The FAB Women session, which was first hosted at the Airport Food & Beverage Conference (organised by The Moodie Davitt Report) in Dallas in 2019, features four leading female executives in the F&B channel. These highly experienced, successful and influential women will share their experiences, their career highlights and offer advice for others working in an often male-dominated sector.

FAB Women speakers include Michelin-starred chef Cristina Bowman, Philadelphian restaurateurs Valeria Safran and Chef Marcie Blaine Turney, and Hong Kong restaurant owner Yvonne Kam.

The FAB Women session will be moderated by SSP America Vice President Corporate Marketing and Communications Lana Cramer. More on FAB 2021 can be found here.

Chef Cristina Bowerman

Cristina Bowerman is a multi-talented chef, a Michelin Star holder, with a passion for travel and innovative cooking. Her creative plates are rooted in Italian traditional with international flair.

Italian-born Bowerman studied foreign languages and law, and worked as a graphic designer in the USA. After completing a course at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Texas, her career took a new path which led to work in several restaurants. She was guided by key mentors, including chefs Egil Valentin, from Puerto Rico and David Bull.

Keen on inspiring a new generation of female chefs and leading a fresh, modern era of Italian cooking, Bowerman returned to Italy in 2004.

A year later, she took over the kitchen at Glass Hostaria, now a well-known restaurant in Rome. National and international recognition followed and, in 2010, Bowerman was awarded a Michelin star, the only female chef to receive one that year.

#cristinabowermanchef boasts close to 38,000 Instagram followers

In 2012, together with Glass Hostaria owners Fabio Spada and Silvia Sacerdoti, Bowerman launched Romeo Chef and Baker, which houses a bar, restaurant, bakery and delicatessen.

In 2014, she published her first book, From Cerignola to San Francisco and Back – My Life as a Chef Swimming Against the Tide. Her second book, The Chef meets the Artist, followed in 2019, with both underlining Bowerman’s strong personality.

Bowerman’s history, and a case study of Glass Hostaria, are taught as Bocconi University, and for several years she has headed cooking courses at several educational establishments, both as professor and course director.

Renowned both for its fine food and design elements, Glass Hostaria is a culinary fixture of Rome’s historic alleyways

Bowerman’s commitments are notorious and tackle several fronts, starting with training and teaching, and always highlighting the role of women in the workforce. She has claimed Woman Chef of the Year and Best Female Italian Chef in Europe awards and was the protagonist of the biggest Action Aid campaign.

Bowerman helped establish Fiorano For Kids, with a focus on special diets in the care of infantile epilepsy, and also led a discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year on the importance of food sustainability.

Chef Marcie Blaine Turney and Valerie Safran

Marcie Blaine Turney and Valeria Safran are regarded as two of Philadelphia’s most prominent and ambitious businesswomen.

Chef Marcie Blaine Turney (left) and Valerie Safran are set to share their experiences in the F&B sector on FAB Women

They worked for over a decade to transform a once-desolate strip of the city’s 13th Street into a trendy neighbourhood now known as ‘Midtown Village’. Their Safran Turney Hospitality group owns and operates four popular restaurants in the neighbourhood: Barbuzzo; Little Nonna’s, Bud & Marilyn’s and Lolita. Close by are two lifestyle boutiques, Open House and Verde.

In 2019, in partnership with Areas, they opened a Bud & Marilyn’s restaurant at Philadelphia International Airport.

Bud & Marilyn’s, which is named after Chef Turney’s grandparents, is a firm favourite at Philadelphia International Airport

Chef Turney adds a globe-trotting culinary style to their restaurants: Barbuzzo features traditional casual fare from the Mediterranean, Little Nonna specialises in Italian cuisine while Lolita is known for Mexican fare. At Bud & Marilyn’s her focus is regional American cuisine. Turney’s menus, which combine artisanal local ingredients with classic and innovative preparations, have earned local and national recognition.

Co-owner Valerie Safran, a former 8th grade Spanish teacher, runs the front of house/financial operations for all the restaurants and boutiques.

As a team, Safran and Turney are hands-on entrepreneurs who take genuine ownership of every aspect of their businesses, from the look and feel of the spaces to the products and menus that they offer to the service standards practiced by staff.

Yvonne Kam

Restaurateur Yvonne Kam is well-known in Hong Kong, where she is regarded as a trailblazer, having taken the helm of the award-winning and world-famous Yung Kee restaurant.

The granddaughter of Yung Kee Founder Kam Shui-fai, Kam is recognised for her hard work and tenacity and her ability to break barriers as the first female to take over a family business that, is by tradition and trade, a male-dominated industry.

Yvonne Kam: Blazing a trail in Hong Kong with the popular Yung Kee restaurant

As Chief Financial Officer of the Yung Kee Restaurant Group, Kam has been instrumental in the group’s business activities, playing a pivotal role in setting the strategic growth direction and escalating the Yung Kee brand.

Renowned for its original family recipes for charcoal-grilled barbecued meats and other classic Cantonese dishes, Yung Kee has offered both casual and formal Cantonese cuisine across five floors at its restaurant in the heart of Central since its humble beginnings as a dai pai dong [open-air food stall] in 1936.

The restaurant has undergone many location and appearance changes throughout its 80 years of operation but still dedicates itself to the preservation of authentic Cantonese cuisine and promoting Hong Kong food culture at its world-class restaurant on Wellington Street.

Its signature charcoal roasted goose – invented by founder Kam Shui-Fai – is a long-time favourite with both locals and tourists.

In 2016 ,Yung Kee collaborated with SSP to open at Hong Kong International Airport. According to Yvonne Kam, the restaurant symbolises the group’s proactive outreach to customers from all around the world.

Kam is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and has been a Chartered Accountant since 2000. She joined her family’s business in 2005, on a once-a-week, part-time basis to oversee finances.

Kam is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

She was an active board member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) – Hong Kong Chapter from 2011 to 2018 and Chapter President in 2018-2019. Kam has also taken on EO roles in the APAC region as Forum Director, member of the EO’s Global Communication Committee (GCC) and member of Standing Finance Committee.

Kam has extensive hand-on experience in other high-growth companies. She founded Corner Block, a premiere organic foods retail brand, and its wholesales sister company Organic Experience Management Group Limited.

Lana Cramer

Lana Cramer, who will chair the session, is Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Communications for SSP America, a division of SSP Group, which runs F&B concessions in travel locations worldwide.

Lana Cramer, SSP America Vice President Corporate Marketing and Communications, is set to moderate FAB Women

Cramer joined SSP America seven years ago to oversee marketing and communications initiatives and to handle media relations and proposal development.

Prior to SSP America, Lana led marketing and communications for Hargrove. This leading experiential events company has produced every presidential inaugural since the 1950s, decades of global summits hosted by the USA, national political conventions and experiential events for brands such as Nike, Sony, Microsoft and Starbucks.

Cramer holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from American University and a Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University. During undergraduate work, she was recognised as one of the top US collegiate speakers.

Click here or on the above image to register for FAB Women.

Note: *While Virtual Expo registration is free for exhibitors, retailers and other commercial operators, and airports and other landlords, we have also introduced a bulk discount scheme for non-exhibiting brands and distributors who would like to attend the Expo and the fantastic five-day Knowledge Hub and Experience Arena. Speak to Irene Revilla at Irene@MoodieDavittReport.com for details.