In the Baking: Joanne Chang + Future Chefs

March 10, 2023


In the Making

“To really get the most out of this industry, I think you have to understand the power of connection. The food is the vehicle—but it’s really about making a connection with the people who work for you, with the people who are eating your food.”

On Thursday, March 9, 2023, we met with Boston pastry chef, cookbook author, restaurateur, and James Beard Award-winner Joanne Chang—on site with members of Future Chefs, an organization using cooking as a medium to teach teens a broad range of essential life and professional skills. Together, they held a conversation about the lessons and creative solutions we find through cooking, in the kitchen and in our communities.

Founded in 2008 and located in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Future Chefs uses food and culinary craft is the medium for teaching life, knife and professional skills. Their school-to-career program relies on a systemic collaboration with food service employers, community partnerships, and educators to provide hands-on-learning, preparatory and work-based experiences, youth development, leadership opportunities, and networking opportunities. Their founder Toni Elka joined us for the event, along with graduate and current Program Operation Specialist Caroline Huynh, and current Future Chefs member and high-school senior Shanell Lewis-Johnson.

Since opening the first Flour Bakery in 2000, Joanne Chang now operates nine Flour bakeries and sister restaurant Myers + Chang in Boston and Cambridge with her husband and business partner Christopher Myers. Both Joanne and her businesses have garnered local and national recognition from Gourmet, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, the Food Network, Conde Nast Traveler, Inc. Magazine, O Magazine, Boston Magazine, and The Boston Globe

“In the Making” is a public programs series where we connect with a range of new voices, fields, and perspectives. Learn more and view a full list of events on the series homepage.

With thanks to our underwriters

Massachusetts Cultural Council
Adams + Beasley Associates
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Eaton Vance

Columbia Contracting Corp.

First Republic Bank
F.H. Perry Builder
Firestone & Parson Inc.
Inland Underwriters Insurance Agency
Muecke, Inc.
Sequoia Custom Builders, Inc.