Chef and restaurateur Edward Lee has partnered with his one of his restaurant’s general managers, Lindsey Ofcacek, to launch the Let’s Empower Employment Initiative, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
The LEE Initiative will focus on offering programs that help further women’s career and education opportunities in culinary arts, starting with the Women Chefs of Kentucky Initiative. Five chefs will receive mentorship from an experienced, out-of-state female chef for a week, then attend the 2018 Southern Foodways Alliance symposium. Participants also have the potential to join Lee’s team when he cooks at the James Beard House in New York City.
According to the organization’s website, the program has been in the works for about a year as a response to the wave of sexual misconduct allegations coming out of the restaurant industry. Lee states, “This initiative is NOT a solution to a complex and pervasive problem. This is simply an effort to do something positive. I am a male chef and I have benefited from the system, a system I did not create but nonetheless one that made my path an easier one to follow.”
The Initiative is also looking for corporate partners to help sponsor this and future programs.