Meet 2023 Women in Culinary Showcase Participants Kitami Lentz

This Women’s History Month, Bon Appétit and our parent company, Compass Group, are celebrating female culinarians across our operations.

Launched in 2019, Compass Group’s Women in Culinary program goes beyond simply recognizing female culinarians for their work, to providing dedicated training and leadership development opportunities. An exciting element of the program is Compass Group’s Women in Culinary Showcase, which provides a platform for 23 female chefs to display their extraordinary culinary talents. This year, the chefs will collaborate in teams to create culinary masterpieces at the Middleby Innovation Kitchen in Dallas, Texas.

We’re thrilled that three Bon Appétit chefs – who were nominated by leaders in their respective regions – have been selected to participate. Read on to learn more about one of the participants, Kitami Lentz.

Kitami is the Executive Development Chef of Culinary Training and Activation for Bon Appétit at a large technology account in the Bay Area. She started at Bon Appétit as a line cook nearly a decade ago and has since held roles as Sous Chef, Chef de Cuisine, and Global Executive Brand Chef.

In these roles, Kitami contributed to key projects and initiatives including a Yale University study, campus activation planning committee, and Culinary Institute of America Plant Forward Kitchen Program. During her days as a unit chef, Kitami saw her team receive the “As Fresh As it Gets” Farm to Table Congressional Recognition in 2015. For her recipe work in plant-forward cooking, Kitami was a Menus of Change University Collaborative: Plant Forward Recipe Winner in 2018. She also received a client award for outstanding user engagement in cultural cuisines in 2019.

As an African American woman in the food and beverage industry, Kitami has a deep passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. At her account, Kitami is co-founder and co-chair of the Black Community Network employee resource group and a member of the Leading Ladies employee resource group. Kitami also served as co-chair of Bon Appétit’s Bay Area regional Diversity and Inclusion Action Counsel (DIAC). Putting our people first is how Kitami guarantees success in our account and equal opportunity within our industry.