Chef Pearl Thompson is a true Jersey Girl, having been born, raised, and lived most of her life in New Jersey. Coming from a family of activists that engaged in everything from the civil rights movement to the black liberation movement, Pearl’s life’s work has been dedicated to ensuring the empowerment of underserved communities. She trained professionally at the New School for Social Research- Restaurant School in 1982. Her training has encompassed working in restaurants, owning restaurants. and finally teaching culinary as a tool to upward mobility for those who have needed a way to pursue social and economic security in a world that has keep them out of achieving even the most basic of human needs.
This work has fueled her passion as a chef in an industry racked with racial and gender discrimination, as well as inhumane labor practices. As a board member of WhyHunger and a food activist she has been able to address issues, of land reclamation, agroecology, wage equity, food sovereignty, and environmental racism. Working to alleviate the root causes of hunger and poverty is her life’s work.