a bit of history

In 16th Century Venice, 18th Century France, in the worlds of Geisha and so many other cultures, women have had to go to extreme measures to be educated. Often this came at the price of their bodies. In France, wealthy women created salons as a personally curated “university”, as women were not considered worth the bother to educate.

In recognition of the cases where this still exists — and it exists much more than we like to think or talk about — I’m creating a philanthropic piece of foodphilosophy to help support organizations focused on women’s education and empowerment around the world.

Here, we celebrate the mind. And I know that if I had been born in 16th Century Venice, I surely would have been a courtesan to get to those books, and Veronica Franco would probably have been my best friend. She celebrated all that is worth living for, after all, so we shall continue in her spirit and ensure that not only pleasure is emphasized here, but also the importance of critical thinking and education.

When we too are armed and trained, we can convince men that we have hands, feet, and a heart like yours; and although we may be delicate and soft, some men who are delicate are also strong; and others, coarse and harsh, are cowards. Women have not yet realized this, for if they should decide to do so, they would be able to fight you until death; and to prove that I speak the truth, amongst so many women, I will be the first to act, setting an example for them to follow.

—Veronica Franco, 17th Century Venetian courtesan