chef carla hall

© Tristan Mosser Photography

Nashville native and Top Chef alum Carla Hall is setting an example with her ingenuity and entrepreneurialism: Thanks in part to funding she earned via a Kickstarter campaign, Hall is opening her first restaurant, Carla Hall’s Southern Cooking, in Brooklyn this fall; she’s also writing a third cookbook and launching a cookie shop out of New York City’s Gansevoort Hotel. The chef wants to reach as many people as she can, whether as a television personality, an author, a chef or a volunteer. “I have a platform,” she says.“I want to use it to reach out and help people.”

In collaboration with Fortune magazine, we considered hundreds of extraordinary women who we think have had a transformative impact on the food and drink sphere over the past year. Here, more of the most innovative women in food and drink.