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Article: International Women's Day 2024

International Women's Day 2024

Thank you to all these women who embellish the culinary scene of Montreal

By updated: Mar 08, 2024
International Womens Day 2024
See related results: Montreal International Restaurants

On this day, March 8th, 2024, we celebrate International Women's Rights Day by shining a spotlight on inspiring figures from Montreal's restaurant industry. As we honor these exceptional women, we also recognize the abundance of often-overlooked female talent enriching our culinary scene. Through this article, we salute the courage, creativity, and dedication of these restaurateurs who defy norms and inspire future generations.

Whether through culinary innovation, exemplary leadership, or community engagement, these women shape Montreal's gastronomic landscape and leave an indelible mark on the industry. We applaud them for their passion, perseverance, and contribution to the diversity and excellence of our city.

On this day dedicated to celebrating women's rights, let us remember that every story matters, and every woman in the restaurant industry deserves to be recognized and applauded for her hard work and positive influence.

Here's a summary of the advancement of Women's Rights in Quebec: Source.

  • 1765 to 1864: During this period, most women's productive activity was confined to the family sphere in a society where the economy still largely relied on agriculture. However, female workers, domestic workers, merchants, and teachers were gradually called upon to adapt to the emerging industrial and urban context and the ethnolinguistic transformation of their society. Their philanthropic and charitable contributions to the establishment of a social assistance network, both Protestant and Catholic women, will be remembered by history.

  • 1865 to 1939: The slow progression of women towards equality is underway. This period is marked by the first major demands: the right to post-secondary education, the right to vote, the right to recognition in the labor market, and equal legal rights paved the way for the great struggles that will continue throughout the 20th century. Women's lives, especially in urban centers, are marked by the importance of economic changes during this period and the emergence of new feminine models in the public space after World War I.

  • 1940 to 1964: Maternal and family vocation remains at the center of religious, political, or union discourse and expectations. The advent of the pill, women's entry into the majority of university programs, and their gradual return to the labor market prepared for significant changes and the collective voice of women that will occur in the following decades.

  • 1965 to 1989: Women demanded to participate in the profound cultural, social, political, and economic changes triggered by the Quiet Revolution. With their civil capacity now recognized by law, many denounce the narrowness of the roles and functions still reserved for them, as well as the inadequacy of available resources to meet the diverse and multiple needs of women.

  • 1990 to today: The slow progression of women towards actual equality continues, marked by significant advances in many areas such as access to education, the labor market, and political representation. Despite this, challenges persist, particularly regarding wage equality, work-life balance, and combating gender stereotypes. Feminist movements continue to advocate for structural and cultural changes to ensure true gender equality. Women now hold leadership positions in various sectors and contribute significantly to society, but much remains to be done to achieve true parity and eliminate gender-based discrimination.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Helena Loureiro of Helena and Portus 360

Born in Portugal, Helena Loureiro has been an iconic figure in Montreal's gastronomic scene since 1990. With her first restaurant, Portus Calle opened in 2003, she shares her passion for Portuguese cuisine. Engaged in various causes and culinary organizations, she is a renowned ambassador for Portuguese gastronomy internationally. Her influence makes her a renowned ambassador for Portuguese cuisine in Montreal.


March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Juliette Brun of Juliette et Chocolats

Juliette Brun, a dynamic entrepreneur, passionately leads the Juliette et Chocolat empire. With a family of five children and a mindset shaped by travel, she continues her dream of expanding her brand beyond borders. Since opening the first chocolate bar in 2003, Juliette & Chocolat has grown through her dedication, commitment, and creativity. Always present in her restaurants, she embodies gourmet happiness.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

MJ Guertin of Mimi & Jones

MJ Guertin, owner of Mimi & Jones, is the recipient of the Golden Tofu Award, awarded by AVM and Vegan, for her contributions to vegan cuisine. Her self-taught journey, starting with Sata Sushi, led her to open The Vegangels before creating Mimi & Jones, Mile End's first vegan diner, in 2019. MJ Guertin is a charismatic chef passionate about vegan cuisine.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Sandra Ferreira, CEO of the Ferreira Group: Ferreira, Campo and Vasco da Gamma

Sandra Ferreira, CEO of the Ferreira Group, joined the family business at the age of 24. She passionately and creatively manages Ferreira Café, Campo, Café Vasco de Gamma, and production activities in Portugal. Involved in charitable works, she chairs major events in Montreal and serves on the board of the McCord Museum. She embodies the dynamism of women in Montreal's restaurant scene.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Kimberly Lallouz of Bird Bar, Miss Prêt à Manger, Henden and Monsieur Bar

Kimberly Lallouz, a charismatic entrepreneur, has swapped the world of fashion for the world of gastronomy. Aptly nicknamed "Bosslady," Kimberly Lallouz is much more than a chef. She's a charismatic entrepreneur, often seen on our screens in cooking shows. In 2016, she hosted her show, "Les Garden-Partys de Kimberly," on Zeste. Always looking for new challenges, she aspires to share her love of food with the world. Known for her appearances on several culinary TV shows, she has successfully opened several restaurants in Montreal. Her flagship establishment, Bird Bar, offers a unique fried chicken, while her catering service, Miss Prêt à manger, offers healthy and tasty dishes.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Thuy Tam Le of T'ami Restaurant

Thuy Tam Le, a native of Hanoi, Vietnam, opened T'Ami Restaurant in Montreal in 2022. A former journalist, she combined her passion for Vietnamese culture and cuisine. Her commitment is to provide an authentic experience by offering rare dishes from northern, central, and southern Vietnam, such as Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm and Pho. Her kindness and warm presence add a personal touch to every visit, creating a friendly atmosphere where she enjoys socializing with customers.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day


Dyan Solomon of Olive et Gourmando, Foxy and Un po di Più

Dyan Solomon has been a co-owner of Olive et Gourmando since 1998, Foxy since 2015, and the latest addition, Un po di Più, since 2018. Dyan Solomon published a recipe book in 2019 titled "Olive et Gourmando: les recettes". You can also find Foxy and Olive et Gourmando at the Time Out Market. Olive et Gourmando is known for having the best sandwiches in Montreal, Foxy offers a refined Italian menu, and Un po di Più replicates an Italian wine bar where you can eat and drink well in a friendly atmosphere. In short, a woman who succeeds in everything she touches?!

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Geneviève Everell of Sushi à la maison

Geneviève Everell, founder of Sushi à la maison, is much more than a sushi chef. Her inspiring journey, from difficult childhood to entrepreneurial success, has made her a key figure on the Montreal culinary scene. A best-selling author, broadcaster, and social ambassador, she shares her passion through her restaurants, grocery products, and philanthropic commitments.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Sylvie Gagnon of Dame Tartine

Sylvie Gagnon has been the driving force behind Dame Tartine restaurants since 2007, becoming president of this revolutionary franchise. She has been offering homemade brunches and breakfasts 7 days a week since 2002. Sylvie has taken Dame Tartine to new heights with a varied menu and quality local ingredients.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day


Minh Tran of Ohana Sushi Vegan

Minh Tran is one of the owners of Ohana Vegan Sushi located on Mont-Royal. One of the few places serving entirely vegan sushi discovers several specialties such as "Mont-Royal tuna," "Black Angel" maki, or "Geiko" maki. Gluten-free options are available such as spicy poke, 911 maki, or spicy lemongrass soup. A place where eating healthy while having fun is possible.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Cathy Deschambault of Clebard & Josephine

Cathy Deschambault, co-owner of Clebard & Josephine, offers a refined and festive experience through two distinct addresses. Josephine, a bistro in the heart of Plateau Mont-Royal, offers original cuisine highlighting seafood with a brand new concept of a menu with shareable dishes. Meanwhile, Clebard is the ultimate haunt for bourbon and whisky lovers, offering a vibrant atmosphere with an irresistible bistro menu.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Zoya de Frias Lakhany and Chef Marie-José de Frias of Le Virunga

This mother-daughter duo created La Virunga to share their passion for cuisine with typical Sub-Saharan African flavors with Montrealers. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, they had to leave the country in the 1990s for Belgium, where they stayed for over 15 years. Faced with limited growth opportunities due to skin color, they moved to Montreal. Marie-José Frias returned to culinary school in her forties. Zoya, on the other hand, studied computer science and statistics. In 2016, they opened what we know today as the famous restaurant La Virunga. They demonstrate enormous perseverance and are not afraid of challenges, which is greatly inspiring for many women.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Sinai Milian of Bon Vieux Temps & Point Bar

In 2017, Sinai Milian, a dynamic and passionate woman, became the owner of Point Bar, a lively establishment in the Latin Quarter. In 2023, she opened Bon Vieux Temps, a new cocktail bar on Saint-Denis Street. Point Bar is known for its Latin cocktails and lively atmosphere. Bon Vieux Temps, a new cocktail bar on St-Denis Street, offers an intimate atmosphere with exquisite cocktails and fresh seafood.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Yasmine and Sara Atouk of Unicone

Sisters Yasmine and Sara Atouk founded Unicone in 2019, turning their passion for homemade desserts into an ice cream parlor inspired by the world. Their creativity is reflected in a varied range of ice creams, with seasonal flavors and vegan options. In the summer season, new flavors are served every week under the theme of different countries.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Nathalie Côté of Stella Pizzéria, Le 409 and Brasserie Bernard

Co-owner of the two Stella Pizzeria restaurants, 409 and Brasserie Bernard, Nathalie Côté is a no-nonsense entrepreneur who doesn't hesitate to stand up for her ideas. Stella Pizzeria is a friendly, family-friendly neighborhood restaurant in a trendy setting. Le 409 is a funky Indian brasserie reminiscent of Bollywood films. Brasserie Bernard will make you feel like you're in a Parisian brasserie, with its vibrant, welcoming atmosphere. As different as these three restaurants are, they are all up to date-with an innovative vision. One thing's for sure: Nathalie Côté is passionate about her craft, and it shows in every one of her establishments!

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Rosa Broncales of restaurants Manana

Rosa Broncales, owner of Manana restaurants, offers an authentic Mexican experience at her two Saint-Denis locations. Their relaxed atmosphere and delicious fresh dishes, including the famous "Taco Tuesday" and frozen margaritas, attract customers in search of authentic flavors.

March 8, 2024: International Women's Rights Day

Before writing this article, the RestoMontréal team knew that the city was full of inspiring women in the restaurant industry. However, discovering the stories of each of them has deeply inspired us to strive for more.

We salute the hard work of these women, as well as that of all those we could not mention, who contribute to shining the spotlight on Quebec's culinary scene.

See related results: Montreal International Restaurants



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