International Women’s Day

Today marks International Women’s Day. This year’s theme of #InspireInclusion calls for a celebration of diversity and empowerment. It also highlights the work that still needs to be done towards equity, equality and inclusion for women.

To mark the day, we are profiling a number of successful women working in the Fitzrovia area. We have focussed specifically on women in hospitality, given that Fitzrovia is known for its diverse and independently-owned restaurant scene. The hospitality industry is seeing more and more leading female head chefs, restaurant owners, promoters and sommeliers taking on roles that have traditionally had little female representation. We hope you enjoy the read!

Monica Galetti

Co-Founder and Chef Proprietor at Mere

Chef Monica Galetti moved to Britain in 1999 to work alongside Michel Roux Jnr at Le Gavroche in London. She became a household name in 2009, after becoming a judge on the BBC competitive cooking programme MasterChef: The Professionals.

In 2017, together with her husband David Galetti, a sommelier, she opened Mere on Charlotte Street which has since become an institution in the Fitzrovia area.

Abi Sargeant

Head of Event Production at Carousel

As Head of Event Production at Carousel Abi is responsible for building and training the events team as well as running events at Carousel’s flagship space in Fitzrovia and offsite.

 Having worked in the events industry since 2015, she was recently nominated for CODE Hospitality’s Women of the Year 2023. Now in its fifth year, the list champions female campaigners, disruptors, connectors and leaders in the industry.

Romy Gill

Chef, Food and Travel Writer and Broadcaster

Romy Gill MBE is a renowned Indian chef, food and travel writer and broadcaster based in the south-west of England. With a passion for culinary excellence, she first gained recognition as the owner and head chef at Romy’s Kitchen. In 2016, Romy was honoured with an MBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours list.

You might have seen her around the area this week as she was a guest chef at Pahli Hill on Wednesday in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Adejoké (Joké) Bakare

Founder and Head Chef of Chishuru

Adejoké (Joké) Bakare originally opened Chishuru in Brixton in 2020 as a three month popup, after winning a Brixton Village competition. Following rave reviews the site became permanent until it closed in late 2022. After a number of popups, Chishuru found a new home in Fitzrovia in September 2023.

Joké was named one of Code’s ‘100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality’ in 2022, was shortlisted as ‘Innovator of the Year’ at the GQ Food & Drink Awards 2022, was shortlisted as ‘Chef to Watch’ in the National Restaurant Awards 2023, and most recently has become the first black woman to be awarded a Michelin star in the UK.

Sandia Chang

Head Sommelier and Co-Founder of Kitchen Table and Bubbleshop

California-born Sandia Chang is one of London’s most exciting sommeliers. Her knowledge in Champagne has earnt her an enviable reputation in the industry, as well as numerous awards. 

Together with her husband James Knappett, she is responsible for the two Michelin-starred Kitchen Table. After opening in 2012, the restaurant was awarded one Michelin Star in 2014, and achieved a coveted second star in 2018 – which it has held ever since. She also specially handpicks the selection for Bubbleshop, bringing the finest grower Champagnes to the UK via the online store.