Stephanie Goldfarb’s Cooking for a Cause
If you’re a Food Network enthusiast, you likely already knew that Stephanie Goldfarb took home the grand prize on “America’s Best Cook” earlier this spring. We at the SSW were especially excited to hear about this particular chef’s success because Stephanie is an alum of ours! Stephanie graduated from our dual-degree MSW/MA in Women’s and Gender Studies program back in 2010. She’s been working for the Jewish Federation of Chicago for nearly 5 years and is currently their Senior Associate of Youth Initiatives. On the side, she manages to incorporate her love of cooking to not only bring people together, but to support causes that she believes very deeply in.
Take Stephanie’s supper club, for example – Seven Species. She started the business a couple of years ago in an effort to fundraise for the Chicago Women’s Health Center. She serves on their Board of Directors and thought that her talents in the kitchen could bring in more support for the organization. Stephanie hosts 12 guests at her apartment twice each month, serves a 7-course meal, and charges a fee that goes directly to the center. She caters for private events as well, is participating in a guest cooking demo this summer with Green City Market, and she’s working on a series of talks that look at Judaism and food. Stephanie grew up in a big Jewish family, often gathered around great cooking and family meals, and she’s really interested in the parallels between different communities and food.
“For me, food is all about taking care of people,” Stephanie shared. “It’s the way that I love people… aside from providing mental health services and community outreach.” Stephanie proves that it is possible to incorporate various passions and talents into work that makes a difference; for her, it’s a matter of combining social work and her love of food to make a difference. “I’m interested in a lot and I’m always trying to figure out how to smush all of my interests together. And you can, you totally can! You just have to be a little creative about it.”
Congrats on the big win, Stephanie! If you’re ever seeking someone to cook for, come visit your alma mater.