Janet Irizarry


Janet Irizarry's culinary journey began at the age of 16 with her first restaurant job, igniting a lifelong passion for food. Over the years, she evolved into the owner and operator of three independent restaurants, deeply embedded in the culinary fabric of the Hudson Valley.

In 2017, Janet founded Hudson Valley EATS, an online platform devoted to spotlighting food entrepreneurs and championing sustainability initiatives across the region. Through Hudson Valley EATS she organized and ran the first "The Hudson Valley Food Waste Challenge," and the innovative initiatives "Cooking for a Cause", earning sponsorship from industry leader Chobani, and helping to raise over $50,000 for local food relief programs,

With a Master of Education in Instructional Design and Technology, Janet has spent the past seven years as an Instructor of Hospitality at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. Alongside shaping the future of food entrepreneurs, she developed an eLearning module titled "Upcycling: Creating a No-Waste Kitchen" for the Applied Science Department, emphasizing sustainability.

Today, Janet is dedicated to My Mindful Kitchen, advocating for a sustainable food system and cultivating mindfulness when it comes to food. She strives to inspire others to make small changes in the way they think about in order to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.


Margot Schulman


Margot Schulman has worn many hats throughout her life and career, but they have all stemmed from her passion for helping people and protecting the planet.

With over 25 years of experience as a professional chef and a degree from The Natural Gourmet Cookery Institute, she combines culinary expertise with a holistic approach to health, holding a B.S. in Biology from Columbia University and certification as a Holistic Health Coach from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

Driven by her passion for food justice, Margot founded Fareground Community Cafe, a women-led 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to combating hunger and promoting access to nutritious, locally sourced meals. Her efforts also extended to running The Lunch Box, a community meal program addressing food insecurity and waste.

Margot's advocacy extends beyond the kitchen, as a published author and TEDx speaker championing the belief that "Everybody Deserves Access to Healthy Food." She shares her wisdom as a guest lecturer at various institutions and events, including the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Rise Gathering.

Yet, Margot's most cherished role is that of a mother to Oliver, 17, and Isadora, 13, who inspire her to continually learn and take action. Both children are active environmental advocates, collaborating to implement composting initiatives in their schools in Red Hook, N.Y. Margot's journey epitomizes the power of passion and purpose in creating positive change.