Helping food lovers put their passions to work.

Do you dream of turning your passion for food into a career? 


Cooking is your calling or maybe you want to save the planet by changing the way we eat. Maybe you've dreamed of opening a bakery since you were small or you want to teach others to cook healthy meals. Perhaps you long to be the next M.F.K. Fisher. Alice Waters and Michael Pollan are your idols. You've got cookbooks on your nightstand. 

You've known since the get-go that you wanted to work in food, so you jumped right in and followed your passion. You even got a food-studies or culinary degree, but now, you're not quite sure what you want to do with it.

Or maybe you opted for the stable "responsible" path and went in a different direction. But now, you sit in your cubicle, stealthily browsing recipes on Pinterest, wondering if you could actually start that food truck you've been dreaming of. 

You Can.


I can help

I'm Emily Halpern.


                    Read more about me here.

I help people like you find the way to turn their passion for food into a fulfilling career. With over a decade of experience in high-profile food settings like Chez Panisse and Food & Wine Magazine, plus first-rate professional coach training, I founded Career Hungry so I could provide you with the kind of guidance I wish I had had when I was just starting out. 

The good news is that your perfect food job is out there, and if it isn't, you can create it. But, without smart planning, following your passion for food can lead you down a bumpy road (I know, I've been there).

With sensible strategy and real-time support (not rainbows and unicorns, I promise), I'll help you determine your goals, values, and strengths, so that you leave with the confidence and clarity it takes to make your food career dreams come true. 


So pull up a chair, and let's dig in. 

"Knowing you want to work in food can be both a blessing and a curse. While there is now ample opportunity that extends far beyond the kitchen, there is also no set path to follow, which can make the prospect of finding a good food job really daunting. As we continue to redefine a more sound food culture it's important to have shepherds that guide us. We're so thankful for Emily's services in helping folks navigate this growing landscape."
-Taylor Cocalis, Founder, GoodFoodJobs.com
“Food is the place where you begin.


You, my fine, food-loving friend, are in very good company.

You want to turn your passion for food into a career that really matters to you, one that feeds your soul and makes a meaningful difference to other people.

A lot of people feel called to work in food, but just because food is your passion, doesn’t mean that just any old food job will suit you.

And now that you’ve got that expensive food studies degree, or you’re working for that sustainable seafood non-profit, or you’re peeling onions for ten hours every day, you’re feeling a little lost. And you’re not quite sure where you’re headed. You’re starting to wonder if the problem is you.

But for all your enthusiasm, you just can’t seem to find that job that taps your potential, lights you up, and makes you want to hop out of bed in the morning and get to work.

In fact, trying to navigate your way through so many options in the food world feels a little bit intimidating, and it’s kind of been getting you down.

Boy, do I know where you’re coming from.


That's my cue...

Hi! I'm Emily, 


and I've been exactly where you are.

I followed my life-long love for food and “succeeded”. I graduated from NYC’s top culinary school, cooked at Chez Panisse, wrote for Saveur and Food & Wine, and got two food-focused masters degrees. But for all my accomplishments, I wasn’t happy. 

I'll never forget spending my days off from Chez Panisse lying on my living room floor. 

After years of trying to find the right fit, I was frustrated and felt like a failure. It took me a long time and a ton of soul searching to chart the path that worked for me. 

So, I trained as a professional coach, and I founded Career Hungry to provide people like you with the kind of help I wish I had had when I was just starting out.

Don't let following your passion  leave you in the weeds.


I'm here to help you direct your passion into a fulfilling career. I see potential everywhere (that means in you, silly!), brainstorm like a boss, and believe there's real power in following your heart and dreaming big.


Through working with me, you'll uncover your values, discover your strengths, and establish clear goals for the food career you want. You'll overcome overwhelm and doubt, quiet self-destructive chatter, and get clear on where you're headed. You'll come away with the confidence and clarity you need to go after the food career of your dreams.

About Emily Halpern:

Emily Halpern's career in food has included working as Alice Waters' assistant, cooking at Ron Ben Israel Cakes and Chez Panisse, writing for Food & Wine Magazine and Saveur, and working as marketing manager for Di Palo's of Little Italy. She has consulted on projects for The Astor Center, Italian Wine Merchants, LA Amarilla de Ronda, Colangelo PR, and Leite's Culinaria, among others. She also caters desserts for small parties and weddings, and her cupcakes have been in The New York Times

While completing her training at the Coaches Training Institute, Emily honed her skills as a professional storyteller working as an educator at The Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Emily is a CTI Certified coach, and a member of the International Coach Federation. She received an MA in Food Culture and Communications from The University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, a Grand Diplôme from The French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center), and an MA in Cultural Memory from the University of London. When not hard at work on all things Career Hungry, Emily maintains a food blog called The Repast Project and freelances locally on projects related to food, culture, and heritage (you can find out more by clicking here). While still an undergrad, Emily, who is also a classical singer, performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic. She earned her BA in music from Barnard College of Columbia University. A native New Yorker, Emily still calls the City home and quite happily gobbles up all the delicious food it has to offer. 

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.

— James Beard



Passion, meet Planning.

You two were meant for each other.

Building a career in the food industry is a lot like cooking: 

If you're not clear on what you're trying to make, chances are you won't be satisfied with your results.

Does this sound familiar? 

  • You're thinking of starting a food business, but you're not quite sure how to make all your ideas take shape.
  • You have a passion for food, but you're struggling to define your goals.
  • You're not sure how to translate your food studies/culinary/hospitality degree into a career.
  • You're a career changer, and you need help translating your professional experience into a food career.
  • Food is your passion, but you're feeling unhappy in your career, and you aren't sure what's not working.
  • You're intimidated by the sea of choices and need help navigating the options and mapping out a plan.


Here's the thing:  contrary to popular belief, it isn't just enough to find your passion and go for it, especially in a field with as many different opportunities as food. You need to know all kinds of other stuff about who you are, what you're good at, what's important to you, what kind of life you want to lead, and how to put together all the puzzle pieces. 


That's where I come in. I'll work with you in a process that is personalized around your needs. I'll ask questions to help you establish your goals, uncover your values, and recognize your strengths, and I'll support you and hold you accountable along the way.


When our work is through, you'll have new found clarity, confidence, and a plan for moving forward. Not bad, huh?





  • One 75 minute session via telephone or Skype.


  • Create a mission statement for your business.
  • Gain insight into why you're unhappy in your current food job.
  • Determine if enrolling in culinary school or a food studies program is right for you.
  • Plan your post-graduation job search.
  • Uncover your transferable skills to set you up for a smoother career change. 
  • Conduct a mock job interview/critique.





(Now booking for May and June. Limited availability.) 

Normally $187.00, Special rate expires July 1, 2016

"Just hearing you reflect back to me what I've been saying to you gives me courage. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This was the best $100.00 I've spent on myself in a long time." 
-Elizabeth S.



  • A fun and comprehensive questionnaire to get you thinking and learning before we even start the one-on-one coaching.
  • A sixty minute discovery session during which time I'll get to know about you, we'll discuss your biggest challenges, and we'll establish our goals for working together.
  • Eight 45 minute coaching sessions to check in, dig deeper, tackle weekly challenges, and keep you moving forward. (The discovery session and the following coaching sessions are conducted via phone, Skype, or in person when possible). 
  • Weekly homework and focused action steps to keep up your momentum between sessions.
  • Organized write-ups of all the insights and info from each session, compiled into a customized PDF and sent to you after each session.
  • Three months of unlimited access to me via email for support between sessions. 
  • After our three months are through, you'll continue to receive special alumni bonuses and discounts on any further one-on-one coaching, and you'll be the first to know about any new offers, group programs, webinars, and workshops.


  • You'll take your new found clarity with you throughout the rest of your career. You'll have gained priceless personal insights as well as a whole new set of tools to refer to now and in the future. You'll feel in control, and you'll be confident in your ability to make smart choices that will help you go after the meaningful, passion-filled food career you crave. 



more than 25% off!



(Now booking for June. Only 10 spots available.)

Normally $1350.00, Special rate expires July 1, 2016

"This coaching is so awesome! You just work with what's already there...you're like an idea extractor! I feel so much clearer about so many things, and I actually start a new job next Monday! Thank you so much!"
-Sabrina J.

FREE 20 Minute Consultation!

Not sure if this is the kind of help you're looking for?  Have some questions?

 Fill out the form below, and I'll be in touch with you to set up a time to chat.


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What some of my clients have to say...


“ I left our sessions knowing what action I needed to take in order to move toward my goals. Emily takes the noise out of day-to-day life and provides space for you to just be who you are. After working with her, I am less worried, stressed out, and overwhelmed. I just feel better!”  -Christa B.



"Through my work with Emily, I was able to fully own and go after my seemingly ‘larger-than-life’ dreams, which was liberating and healing, to say the least. I would highly recommend Emily as a coach.”    -Indira J.


"Emily helped me realize that my job wasn't in line with my integrity, so a big change was that I switched jobs. I'm now in a management position, I've been more creative in my everyday life, and I'm heading to grad school in the fall. I have achieved so much in a very little time! I am much happier in my work now, and, as cheesy as it may sound, I feel much truer to myself." -Jennie C.

And from my colleagues...


"Knowing you want to work in food can be both a blessing and a curse. While there is now ample opportunity that extends far beyond the kitchen, there is also no set path to follow, which can make the prospect of finding a good food job really daunting. As we continue to redefine a more sound food culture it's important to have shepherds that guide us. We're so thankful for Emily's services in helping folks navigate this growing landscape."
-Taylor Cocalis, Founder, GoodFoodJobs.com

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Who should get career coaching?

Career Hungry Coaching was created specifically for people like you who aren't satisfied with spending their careers doing ho-hum work. You already know that you want a meaningful, passionate food career, but you haven't quite figured out yet how to make it a reality. 

You've already gone so far as to identify your passion for food. Now it's time to put it to work. 

Career coaching may be for you if: 

  • you want to finally get started on that business you've been dreaming of (it's not a pipe dream, in case you were worried).
  • you want to hop out of bed each day to do work that is aligned with who you are and what you care about.
  • you want to have clear career goals in mind...no more bouncing from random food job to random food job.
  • you want to feel calm, confident, and in control of your career path.
  • you want to have a way to talk about your resume and your experience without feeling all over the place. 
  • you want to feel like you’re finally on a path to get your career from what it is now to what you want it to be.
  • you want a supportive partner who has been where you are (that's me), whose number one goal is helping you figure this whole food career thing out.

Coaching may not be for you if:

  • you're not willing to put in the time it takes to do the assessments, exercises, and homework assignments that yield results. 
  • you've already got it all figured out, and you're just looking for tips on salary negotiation, networking, effective job-search techniques, and resume help.

My clients are creative professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to do meaningful, food-focused work. 

I work with a wide array of clients in all areas of the food industry, from recent grads to career changers, entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, activists, farmers, and policy-makers.

Sound like you?