By Jessica Ventura

What do you get when you combine a group of fierce women with a heavy dose of food knowledge, a dollop of inspiration, and a generous sprinkling to create change? Why, the Cherry Bombe Jubilee, of course. This event is put on by the talented team behind Cherry Bombe—a gorgeous biannual publication that celebrates the intersection of women and food. The day's activities culminate into a meeting of the minds to connect, learn, and act with purpose. This year's event, which took place on April 8th, certainly did not disappoint.

Speakers included renowned chefs such as Barbara Lynch, Stephanie Izard, and Elisabeth Prueitt. It was amazing to hear their very different stories on their rise to success, while also noticing a few common threads throughout when it came to mantras they follow for life (and work).

Perhaps most notable were the several female business owners and activists looking to promote social justice through food in a variety of ways. Erin Patinkin, co-owner of Ovenly spoke about improved employee retention and openly hiring political refugees and those formerly incarcerated. Margarette Purvis, President and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City spoke to food insecurity and made a very real analogy between the low cost and quality of an apple in Manhattan versus lower-income areas surrounding the city.

And of course, it wouldn't be a Jubilee without some delicious food! A few favorites included Anita's Yogurt, which created the most delightful (and cutest!) strawberry  smoothies with their delicious coconut, dairy-free yogurt. Harvest & Revel worked with Hot Bread Kitchen to make spicy PB & J on challah toasts with peanut brittle crumble (you read that right.) And Brutus Bakeshop worked with The Jam Stand to make the picture perfect (not to mention downright delicious) "Jubilee" cupcake that I inhaled in roughly five seconds. Elly Truesdell of Whole Foods Market curated all of these snacks.

This year's Jubilee also featured a second day of events on Sunday for the first time ever, called Marketplace. I loved Marketplace because it gave guests the opportunity to talk face-to-face with many of the incredible panelists from the day before, while getting to walk around and try new products. A few favorites included Ramona, a fizzy wine made from organic grapes that came in just about the most adorable on-the-go packaging ever; Misfit Juicery, which makes cold-pressed juices with 70-80% recovered fruits and veggies; specialty pepper sauces made in Brooklyn from Queen Majesty Hot Sauce made without sugar and unnatural preservatives; and Cissé Cocoa Co., which makes snackable brownie thins using organic fair trade sugar and cocoa.

Cherry Bombe Jubilee: See you in 2018!

Header image via the Huffington Post