Grab a snack before you delve into our next piece, exploring the incredible innovations by women in Cardiff’s food scene. Warning: it’s about to make you seriously hungry!

Leyli Homayoonfar

Credit: Everand

Leyli Homanyoofar, raised in Fairwater with a Welsh mother and an Iranian father, has achieved significant recognition for her contributions to the culinary world. She secured a spot on CODE’s prestigious list of the 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality not just once, but twice.

Beginning her culinary journey at 15 as a waitress in a family friend’s restaurant in Cardiff, Leyli’s passion for the kitchen grew as she crafted desserts and immersed herself in the culinary world. This dedication ultimately led to the creation of Bab Haus in 2018, specialising in modern BBQ inspired by Texas, Mexico and the Middle East. With two established locations, Bab Haus HQ ‘Smoke Shop’ in Bedwas and Bab Haus Mex in Goodsheds Barry, Leyli is set to open a third in Ffos Caerffili this month.

Rhian Jones 

Credit: @elyse.bakes

Furloughed during lockdown, Rhian Jones found her passion for baking at her parents’ home in Heath and never looked back. She launched Elyse Bakes in July 2020, leading her to eventually leave her retail job due to overwhelming demand for her cakes and cupcakes.

In under two years, Rhian opened Green Door Bakery in Cyncoed Village. Inspired by her mum, who owned her own business, Rhian emphasises the importance of empowering women in business and dispelling assumptions about male involvement. She highlights the need for women to have a voice, be acknowledged for their capabilities and own and run businesses without facing unwarranted questions, such as “is this your dad’s business?”

Simren Vedi

Credit: @the.content.creators

Starting at a Marston’s pub with no prior exposure to the food industry, Simren Vedi gained valuable skills under the guidance of an exceptional Head Chef, who was classically French trained. Today, Simren, having represented Wales on Great British Menu, holds the position of Head Chef at Kin+Ilk. Sustainability is a core focus with Simren using local Welsh produce in all her culinary creations. 

When addressing the crucial changes needed for gender equality in the workplace, Simren emphasises the necessity of tough conversations about gender, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. She advocates for implementing zero-tolerance policies, pay transparency measures and safe reporting avenues to combat issues like pay gaps, abuse, bullying and intimidation in the hospitality industry.

Laura Davenport 

Meet Laura Davenport, the co-owner and driving force behind The Posh Fish and Chip Company and Posh on Wheels. Juggling roles in socials, marketing, new ventures and overall business coordination, Laura ensures the culinary empire runs seamlessly.

With a background in project management from corporate giants like Dyson, Laura’s strategic touch is evident. Her recent triumph includes acquiring a massive fish and chip truck, adapting to changing customer habits. This move has opened doors to exciting opportunities, including potential contracts with a top Cardiff sports ground and participation in major festivals this year.

The Posh Fish and Chip Company secured a spot in the top 40 best fish and chip takeaways in the UK by the National Federation of Fish Friers and a recent shortlisting in the Cardiff Life Awards for the best restaurant title.

Author WCS

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