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Elle Simone Scott

Elle Simone Scott

Executive Editor/Founder of The Diversity Council at America's Test Kitchen


If you could only use one word to describe Elle Simone Scott, it would be warrior. The Executive Editor and Founder of The Diversity Council at America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) fought for herself — navigating a career and life full of extreme highs and lows, including an ovarian cancer diagnosis twice and agonizing treatments that followed, losing everything in the height of the 2008 recession and then reinventing herself career-wise, and being one of the few queer women of color to work as a chef in the culinary world. Read More >

And she’s fought for others. She’s the founder of SheChef Inc., a mentoring program and networking program for women of color in the culinary arts. Scott is a fierce advocate for the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and ovarian cancer research. She serves on the boards of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, NECAT, Women In Hospitality United, and the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. As Founder of The Diversity Council at ATK, she also works to boost ATK’s diversity efforts and promote a culture of inclusion with a specific focus on recruiting, mentorship and retention. And in her spare time, she launched The Walk In, an ATK podcast that features the food world’s difference makers.

With her creative eye for telling a story with food and her unique contribution to the dialogue surrounding women in business, Elle has appeared on Food Network, Food Network Magazine, The Cooking Channel, The Katie Couric Show, CBS Corporation, ABC’s The Chew and Bravo’s Chef Roble and Co. Elle has also been featured in stories in the Boston Globe, Forbes, Eater and on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and National Public Radio. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Intro Video

Catching Up With Elle Simone Scott | New York Live TV

Speech Topics

Overcoming Adversity: My Personal Journey

In this inspirational and motivational talk, Scott shares her story of hitting “rock bottom” and fighting her way back to a career and life she’s extremely passionate about. Through the hard times with little money, agonizing cancer treatments, a trailblazing career and a global pandemic to navigate, Scott never gave up — all the while finding time to be a fierce advocate for those who are facing their own tough times. Through the ups and downs, Scott knows what it takes to keep on going. Read More >

A true storyteller at heart, Scott shares her life lessons and how they can work for you, too, including: Read Less ^

  • Bouncing back from life’s hard knocks
  • Overcoming financial illiteracy—teaching herself while teaching others
  • Utilizing resources and advocacy for government-subsidized programs and the benefits of SNAP

DEI: Finding Your Voice & Using It

As the first Black woman to regularly host and produce ATK — the top-rated cooking show on PBS that reaches millions around the country — and with many national media appearances, Elle Simone Scott has found her voice. And she’s not afraid to use it. Drawing from her own life experiences and advocacy work, Scott shares how she uses her platform to promote DEI in the culinary/hospitality industry through writing, speaking and organizing. She’ll also reveal how to train predominantly white institutions on ways to create advocacy programming for their companies. And as the founder of SheChef Inc. — a mentoring program and networking program for women of color in the culinary arts — how you can create equal opportunities for Black, Indigent Women of Color (BIWOC), too. Scott calls on us to make a difference with our own voices to drive real and lasting change. After all, if we accept and enjoy different foods from all cultures and styles without a thought, can it be the same for people, too?

Intersectionality: A Personal Story of a Black, Queer Woman

Being a woman of color trying to succeed in a predominately white industry is never easy. Add to that, being a Queer femme who sometimes is forgotten as part of a larger marginalized community, and you have even more roadblocks in your way. But that hasn’t stopped culinary television star and advocate Elle Simone Scott. In this moving talk on intersectionality, Scott will share her personal story as a Black, Queer woman — from growing up in a deeply religious, sheltered household to becoming a proud member and advocate of the LGBTQ+ community and supporting Queer youth who aspire to be in the culinary industry. “While it can be such a struggle for us in the beginning, or in different phases of life, we garner strength from those challenges that make us greater and more exceptional,” she said in an interview with Boston Spirit magazine. “The very things that people tell us make us weird or bad or gross or taboo, is really what makes us special.”

Twice: The Need To Overcome Health Inequalities

Is there disparity when it comes to health care for people of color? For Elle Simone Scott, the answer is a resounding yes. And she’s not alone. According to numerous studies, African Americans have a higher cancer burden and face greater obstacles to cancer prevention, detection, treatment and survival. In fact, Black people have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial/ethnic group for most cancers. Read More >

Scott was at the height of her career as a food stylist, producer and host of ATK — one of the top-rated cooking shows on PBS — when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was a bit of a shock since she had been misdiagnosed and dismissed by her previous doctor. In this deeply personal talk, Scott will share her story of going through cancer TWICE as a Black woman and how it was not the same experience as those who are not marginalized. Scott will also dive into how not being able to afford quality health care means you may be treated with less care, and the importance of holding your doctors accountable. She also questions, Where are all the Black women surviving ovarian cancer? Are they still living or have they died after not receiving the same quality of care? As a patient or a healthcare professional or a person who simply cares, this is a talk you don’t want to miss. Read Less ^

A Patient’s Perspective: My Journey Through the Health Care System

When it comes to health care, ovarian cancer survivor Elle Simone Scott has experienced it all. Both the bad — she was misdiagnosed at first and felt dismissed — and the good — she is a two-time survivor and adores her current health care team. In this moving talk, Scott shares her journey through the health care system, from the positive care she experienced to what needs to be improved. She’ll also dive into the importance of good doctor-patient relationships, including how family members are treated, and the significance of diversity in healthcare delivery — having more doctors and nurses of color. For health care professionals, this is a great reminder of all the incredible work you do and how you can make it even better. You’ll walk away inspired and ready to take on the world.