The Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink

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Fortune and Food & Wine teamed up for the second year to bring you the dynamos bringing fresh ideas to everything from clean water and home products to goat cheese and wine—in ways that benefit the broader world. —By Beth Kowitt, Christine Quinlan, Lucy Madison, and Shadia Alame
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Leanne Brown

Author, Good and Cheap
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Photograph by Jordan Matter

Eating well can be expensive—but Brown, the author of the free book Good and Cheap, is proving that anyone, including the 46 million people in this country who rely on government assistance for grocery money, can afford a good meal. “It’s skill, not budget, that’s the key,” says Brown. As part of her thesis project at New York University, 30-year-old Brown started developing tasty, nutritious recipes that low-income Americans can make using just $4 per person per day—that being the amount the government provides to families on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). Brown developed nearly 100 recipes, which she then distributed as a free PDF. Within six months, the book had been downloaded more than 500,000 times; it was so successful that she started selling it as a print edition. Now she’s partnered with Workman Publishing to print a second edition and, as with the first, she’ll donate one to a person in need for every copy she sells. Brown wants to make cooking less stressful for people who don’t have a lot of time to think about it. “If you can become a more skilled cook, then you’ll be able to conjure delicious food anytime,” she says.

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