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We Should All Be Listening to Radio Cherry Bombe

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

When Kerry Diamond opened a restaurant over 10 years ago, she realized how few women there were in the New York City restaurant industry. As it turns out, there were simply few women in the (American) restaurant industry at large. Looking for a community she could not find, Diamond set out to create her own, launching Cherry Bombe in 2013: a print-only magazine dedicated to the stories of female chefs, cooks, and kitchens. Today, Cherry Bombe is probably best described as a media company, publishing a weekly newsletter, and hosting a network of podcasts and expansive community events.

When I started listening to the podcast about three years ago, I was struck by the breadth of its attention. One of my favourite things about Cherry Bombe is that it recognizes that food doesn’t only exist in restaurants and that food culture doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Beyond restaurant chefs and owners, Diamond’s guests range from home cooks, food writers, and food and drink entrepreneurs to the actors and producers behind food culture shows like The Bear.

Yet, Cherry Bombe provides much more than content for chefs and aspiring cooks. It is a trailblazer in women-focused media, attending to the future of agriculture, food products, and food media in the broadest sense of the term. The women they champion are leading the way and calling attention to the social issues that undermine their place in the food world and beyond. Cherry Bombe is expansive, offering thought-provoking insight to anyone curious about women’s changing relationships with work and media.

In a recent episode of Radio Cherry Bombe, Diamond sits down with Camille Becerra, chef of As You Are at the Ace Hotel in Brooklyn. Beyond attending to the story of Becerra’s dynamic career and how it shaped the ethos of her food, their conversation emphasizes the difficulty of balancing motherhood with work in the restaurant industry, especially given the late-night hours and the rarity of night care. With several new moms gracing the cover of the magazine this year, the show has increasingly discussed the barriers to childcare that disproportionately affect women.

The show also speaks to the difficulties of entrepreneurship. Many of the guests shed light on why it is still so hard for women to raise capital, citing how most women-led projects are self-funded. For example, their recent 500th episode showcases the work of Giada DeLaurentis (who you might know from Food Network). She speaks to the struggle of many women to conceive of their projects as businesses worthy of funding. As someone who struggles not to be skeptical of monetizing passions, DeLaurentis’s interview resonated with me, reminding me that creative labour is still labour. It’s okay to see the value of your work.

In addition to curating such strong interviews, I am struck by how deeply attentive Diamond is to the lives of her guests beyond their work in the industry. It is clear from their conversations that many of the guests are new and old friends. The host ends her discussions with “rapid-fire questions,” often asking guests how (and if) they have been taking care of themselves lately. While the answers vary, I’m most grateful that the question is posed, calling attention to the importance of self-care, even amid the demands of work, entrepreneurship, and often, motherhood. To me, the questions asked and the stories shared on the podcast are about much more than the restaurant or various food-related industries. Instead, they are about the lives and careers of women who have made a difference in their communities by rethinking our relationships to food, work, and hospitality.

Despite the podcast’s success and expansion into two sister podcasts—The Future of Food and You and the baking-centric She’s My Cherry Pie—it is Cherry Bombe’s print-only magazine that remains at the heart of its orbit. Despite the demand for digital copies, Diamond’s steadfast love of print has resisted a move online. As a writer firmly invested in the art of print publishing, I feel that this tells me everything I need to know about their ethos. While surface-level commitments to communities and their interests too often hide a company’s more sinister practices, Cherry Bombe proves itself to be the real deal time and time again.

My engagement with Cherry Bombe these past few years has been deeply thought-provoking, expanding my conception of what it means to be a woman in media and what it takes to balance work and life. For all those interested in food, art, media, and entrepreneurship, Cherry Bombe is a pivotal space for women to learn from and advocate for each other.

Catherine Marcotte holds a BAH in English Literature and Language, with a minor in French Studies, from Queen's University. An avid reader and curious home cook, Catherine is passionate about used (and local) bookstores, collecting cookbooks, and perfecting her at home matcha latté. She is pursuing her MA in English at Queen's where she is writing about intersectional feminism, eco-criticism, and cultural studies in modern and contemporary literatures.