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Blended - meet: Maria Canabal


Hashizra community is honored to host a discussion between Meira Harel and Maria Canabal in our first “Blended” Zoom session.

Maria is an esteemed journalist and an award-winning author specialized in culinary and wine culture for the past 25 years. Maria teaches the Gender Equality Courses in the Master program in gastronomic sciences, University of Gastronomic Sciences - Pollenzo, and is the the founder and president of PARABERE FORUM, set to improve gastronomy with women's visions. PARABERE was the first forum in the world with the declared goal of empowering women in hospitality. 8 years later, it operates in 60 countries around the world and has over 8000 members. Maria is a remarkable pioneer and we are excited to hear from her first hand about her important work and inspirational path.

Meira, a member of our community, is a wine and restaurant professional with over 15 years of experience, having worked at and managed many of Australia’s top restaurants as well as some of Israel‘s, before her move a decade ago. Nowadays she manages some of Adelaide's greatest venues. Meira is also the co-founder of GROW Assembly, a non-profit organization promoting education and inspiration for hospitality professionals.

Meira met up with Maria Canabal for a few short questions before her ZOOM session with Hashizra on May 11. Get to know Maria's work and agenda, and later on this month join us for her session: Driving Gender Balance in Wine & Gastronomy.

Maria, tell us a few words about the projects you are currently involved in

"I’m an Associate Teacher, teaching gender equality in master of gastronomic science program at the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences - Pollenzo.I am also the president of PARABERE FORUM, non profit organization I founded in 2015 which aims to promote diversity, inclusion and gender equality in hospitality.”

What motivated you to found PARABERE FORUM?

“As a journalist, I have been covering international culinary festivals, congresses and competitions all over the world for many years. At some point, I felt like I simply had nothing new to report! It was Always the same men, speakers, chefs, talking about the same topics. It was then when I realized how absent the female voice is in these professional forums, and how important and refreshing it would be to see female representation and perspectives.

A few months later the United Nations launched a campaign called “He for She”. I thought it was amazing, because the idea behind it was that it's not only women who should think how to empower women, it’s a shared goal of women and men, and we should collaborate to achieve it. This gave me great motivation and a good direction as to how to approach things. It made me confident that the time and the social climate was right. I started by creating a database of professional women so that their voices, perspectives and work will have greater presence and visibility in the industry and be accessible to all.

We will continue talking about your incredible work in our zoom on the 22 this month. But before we say goodbye - one wine question; after all, we are a wine community -

What key elements do you believe a good wine list should have these days?

“Definitely the element of surprise! A good wine list should be unexpected, it’s a part of the experience. For example, great wines from unknown women winemakers, there are so many. “

RSVP our zoom session with Maria here


Meira Harel, Sommelier, restaurant manager, consultant, mother.

Read more about Meira - here.


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