Meet the Women Behind Hudson Valley Eats

  Janet Irizarry  

Janet Irizarry is a restaurant consultant with 30+ years in the restaurant and hospitality industry. She started working in restaurants when she was 15 and has owned and operated three full-service restaurants as well as worked for the world’s largest contract food service company.


She is an entrepreneur, who likes to create and help others as a restaurant consultant, Janet has helped clients with all aspects of the restaurant business. For entrepreneurs interested in opening a new restaurant, she helps them avoid the costly mistakes many times made in the restaurant startup phase and make sure they are set up for long term success. For more established restaurants, Janet expertise is helping owners find solutions to the issues that have blocked their business growth.


Janet is an Adjunct Professor, in the School of Business Management, at the Culinary Institute of America where she introduces students to the Hospitality industry. Sharing her expertise in the industry, she teaches students about different career opportunities in the Hospitality Industry, leadership skills, what true hospitality is and how to use it to exceed customer expectations.


In 2017 Janet co-founded with the purpose of connecting the Hudson Valley community to local restaurant owners and food entrepreneurs. For Janet, Hudson Valley EATS became a way of keeping her pulse on the restaurant business as well as bringing exposure to the food businesses in the area that make up the incredible food scene of the Hudson Valley.


The bigger picture for Janet is to use Hudson Valley EATS as a platform to “give back” and contribute something meaningful for society.  Guided by her mother’s motto, "If you are going to be part of the community, you need to find something you can do that will make a difference.”  For Janet, that difference is helping to fight food insecurity and get food to people who would otherwise go hungry.


As of 2020 Janet has made it her mission to connect everyone in the Hudson Valley with food, not just those who can afford it.  She has created an online community that brings together restaurant owners, foodies and the nonprofits in the Hudson Valley that offer food assistance, food rescue and food education programs.


Janet is committed to “Making Sure EVERYBODY in the Hudson Valley EATS.”, not just those who can afford it.