Jen Agg is the influential restaurant impresario whose mini-empire comprises Toronto’s The Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar, Rhum Corner, and soon-to-open Grey Gardens. In spring 2016, she and her husband, Haitian artist Roland Jean, also opened Montreal’s Agrikol with Win Butler and Régine Chassagne of Arcade Fire.
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 forthcoming memoir, I Hear She’s a Real Bitch (Doubleday Canada, spring 2017) is about food, life, and building her restaurant empire in a male dominated industry.
Visit Jen’s website for her restaurant The Black Hoof.
I Hear She’s a Real Bitch Doubleday Canada, April 2017