Name: Jenny Dorsey
Business/Location: Studio ATAO & Wednesdays NYC/New York, NY
Specialty: I specialize in in multi-platform storytelling fusing food with social good. Right now, I’m especially interested in emerging technology, such as AR/VR.
What problem does your business solve?: We deliver social impact stories through food and challenge guests to use all of their senses (beyond just taste and smell) to fully experience a meal.
What makes your business unique? We utilize emerging technology in a new way, expanding the notion of what dining can be. It’s a sensory experience that merges the creative arts with culinary arts. For example, our latest piece, Asian in America, explores the Asian American identity through a 6 course meal that’s paired with poetry, virtual reality and spoken word. There’s also a final bonus course that utilizes augmented reality.
What’s your story? I started my career as a management consultant in the fashion industry and found I hated the meaninglessness of my work, but was addicted to the lifestyle. As a way out, I applied early decision to Columbia Business School, was accepted, and ended up quitting my job early to go to culinary school. That crazy pivot ended up changing my notion of where I wanted to take my career, so I left Columbia after a semester to take a sabbatical and go find what kind of chef and culinary professional I wanted to be. I’m still on that journey now!
One piece of advice you have for other food entrepreneurs: There's never going to be a “good day” to take a big risk and follow your dreams, so you might as well do it today.
What do you wish you had known before you started your business?: You're not accountable for anyone's success or happiness except your own, so don't shoulder the blame of what others impart on you.
What’s your greatest challenge in your business and how are you overcoming it? Fragile male ego in tech -- still working on it.
What are you most proud of about your business: Having started over from scratch multiple times. I started over as a chef, then started Wednesdays, then last year took a big risk and started Studio ATAO.
What do you love most about being a food entrepreneur? Being able to explore my creative ideas to its fullest extent.
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