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Jen Agg

Restaurateur & Bestselling Author

Toronto restaurateur Jen Agg, the woman behind the popular The Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar, Rhum Corner, and Agrikol restaurants, is known for her frank, crystal-sharp and often hilarious observations and ideas on the restaurant industry and the world around her. Her book, I Hear She’s a Real Bitch, is a National Bestseller and was shortlisted as a Best Book of 2017 by The Globe & Mail and the National Post.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

Entrepreneurship
Jen Agg knows a thing or two about building a successful business. In fact, she’s put together a culinary empire full of them. Praised for her “psychic powers” in reimagining the ways people eat & drink, Jen’s developed a slew of trend-setting restaurant endeavours. Her success comes in part to her ability to speak to the wants of the young & old: youth wanting to feel refined and the mature wanting to feel cool. In this presentation Jen shares stories from her struggles, breakthroughs and success in setting trends & building businesses.

Harassment & Sexism
Jen Agg frequently calls out heavy hitters in the restaurant world for not doing enough to combat discrimination and harassment in their kitchens. She believes that if people started having more open discussions about harassment and sexism in the kitchen, they’d be one step closer to stopping it. This presentation draws on examples found with the restaurant industry & Jen’s experiences to explore practical solutions to put an end to the problem.

Fighting the Patriarchy
Jen Agg is one of the hospitality industry’s leading feminist voices. She brings a confidence, wit & persistence in her messages advocating for change in an industry where most women don’t speak out because they report to male employers. In this talk, Jen inspires audiences raise their voices & help create social change.

  • Whatever Jen Agg says is worth listening to...she's one of the most vocal and interesting observers of the peculiar subculture of the restaurant business. I Hear She's a Real Bitch is the book a lot of us have been waiting for. A terrific, beautifully written, frank, and funny memoir, and a compelling argument for pulling down the long outdated system of 'bro' culture that has dominated the industry since what feels like the beginning of time.

    - Anthony Bourdain
  • Agg dishes on the grit it takes to be a successful woman in a dude-dominated world, falling in love with her artist husband and, of course, her reputation for being a 'real bitch.

    - Chatelaine

Summary Profile

A tastemaker of food trends long before they were considered trendy, Agg has garnered equal parts praise and criticism for her work ethic, her business savvy, and especially her honesty in taking on sexism in the restaurant industry. In 2015, she organized a sold-out conference called Kitchen Bitches on that subject, pulling together a panel of food world celebrities from across North America, including Hugh Acheson, Amanda Cohen, and Helen Rosner.

Ever controversial, she drew ire and admiration for an essay called “Vodka is Stupid” that went viral, and frequently calls out heavy hitters in the restaurant world for not doing enough to combat discrimination and harassment in their kitchens. She wrote a widely circulated Op-Ed in the New York Times called “Sexism in the Kitchen.”

Her memoir, I Hear She’s a Real Bitch is about food, life, and building her restaurant empire in a male-dominated industry.