Welcome To The Bombe Squad

New cookbook celebrates and showcases the talents of women in the culinary world, including Indy’s Martha Hoover.

Indy’s creative and foodie set packed the house at PRINtTEXT Thursday night to toast the launch of Cherry Bombe The Cookbook with its co-founder/editorial director Kerry Diamond and (needs no introduction here) Martha Hoover, or “The Other Martha,” as she’s known in the Cherry Bombe universe.

Diamond, a former beauty editor and PR exec, created Cherry Bombe magazine in 2013 to showcase women and food and the stories that surround them. After opening restaurants in Brooklyn with her chef boyfriend, she quickly realized just how “bro-y” the food world is, in stark comparison to the female-centric fashion and beauty worlds she was accustomed to. Craving community and place to celebrate women, a Kickstarter was born. The magazine continues to thrive with food stars like Christina Tosi, Padma Lakshmi, and Chrissy Teigen gracing the cover. They’ve since added a weekly podcast and a series of conferences called the “Jubilee.” The most recent was just held in San Francisco and hosted 525 women with a keynote from renowned chef Alice Waters. And now there’s a beautiful cookbook featuring 100 recipes from 100 inspiring women, including Hoover.

Diamond and Hoover met in New York through Hoover’s daughter Sarah during the early stages of Cherry Bombe’s creation, and quickly bonded over the lack of female representation in the culinary world. Over the course of the evening, Hoover talked about what it was like opening her first Café Patachou with no restaurant experience and creating a company that has a distinctly female approach to everything from staff to philanthropy. “When I started out,” she said, “I had no mentors thanks to systemic misogyny in the food world. It was a boys’ club. Even the female journalists at the time bought into that cultural narrative.” This is why both Cherry Bombe and Hoover believe it’s vital to support women in the business—because sadly, not enough has changed.

When talk turned to the evolving restaurant scene here in Indy, Hoover said she doesn’t believe that there’s a “restaurant bubble,” meaning a point when there will just be too many eateries. But she would welcome a more original scene here. “I’d love for us to be more proud of what we can uniquely offer as Hoosiers. We don’t have to try to be Brooklyn or Portland,” she said.

We’re guessing there are a lot of women in this town that are up to the challenge … and we can’t wait to taste whatever they’re cooking.