(CNN) — Five esteemed women chefs and restaurateurs -- four at present and one with a rich industry history -- sat down in Alice Waters' Berkeley kitchen to eat and drink and discuss their journeys as females in an industry once fully dominated by men.
Alice Waters of the renowned Chez Panisse opened her home to friends and fellow food comrades from across San Francisco's Bay Area: Dominique Crenn, Tanya Holland, Gabriela Cámara and Cecilia Chiang.
Each brought a dish -- and stories galore -- to share on the late autumn day in Northern California.
While there was plenty of laughter and an easy rapport among the women around Waters' table, the conversation was not all light and breezy -- in spite of the pale, pink rosé making the rounds.
"What is the future of food?" asks Crenn, chef and owner of Atelier Crenn, the three-starred Michelin restaurant for which she is perhaps most known.
Running and owning a restaurant is, of course, a lot about the food on the table -- where that food comes from, what dishes it inspires, how it's presented to the diner -- but it's not the whole story.
Cámara, chef/owner of Contramar and Cala, calls San Francisco a generous society and views the role of restaurateur through the hospitality lens: "What you're doing is taking care of people."
"Female leadership! I think that's the future," Holland declares.
No one at the table challenges the statement.