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Kitchen Bitch
Kitchen Bitch

Female Chefs, the Kitchen Still Feels Like a Man's World

message posted 16-Jan-09 11:03:27
Hi Guys

I came across this article, who writes this shit. I had a hard time in the kitchen, just like the other Male commis with me. But by labeling it as a feminist issue just sucks and degrades us women in the kitchen.

Today as a head chef, i will burn any male or females ass if they dont perform, period. I just like the job to be done properly, feminist, no chance, professional yes !

Article :

With female personalities like Padma Lakshmi, Giada De Laurentiis, and Cat Cora in the media spotlight, one would think that sexism in the kitchen is a non-issue. However, a provocative article in Time Out magazine argues that even if sex discrimination isn't overt, it's still prevalent. While "Mad Men-style ass-pinching" is no longer de rigueur, Rebecca Flint Marx points out that sex discrimination is clear when you notice (or don't) the amount of recognition that women chefs receive in comparison to their male counterparts.

Only 10 percent of the nation's executive chefs are female, and men vastly outnumber women when it comes to receiving accolades, such as a nomination for Food & Wine's Best New Chef, or a James Beard Foundation Award.

Donatella Arpaia attributes the disparity in the kitchen to women not getting enough publicity. Others blame it on the fact that women tend to work for smaller restaurant groups. Prominent female chefs have certainly complained of getting "passed over and not let into the club."

Yet, many in the industry remain hopeful: In recent years, women have gained ground in sommelier and maître d' positions and resources such as the New York Women's Culinary Alliance and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs exist to promote the advancement of women in the food industry.

Are you surprised to learn that women are still hitting a glass ceiling in a place as merit-based as the kitchen?


x x
message posted 15-Feb-09 17:30:52
Sex disctrimination will always be there, just as it is in many other walks of life. As you say professionalism first - its always worked for me, and I don't need to call myself a bitch either. If you are that bothered about it, find a means of going it alone as I did when a male chef didn't pay me for freelance work I did - set up in competition. I've not looked back and there's always agency work to fall back on if the going get tough. When I've been on agency work with other male chefs you can bet your bottom dollar that you, as the female chef, will end up on veg prep as the egos just take over. I just get on with it and laugh as I'm taking the same money home for a lot less stress....I've never felt I had to prove myself against male chefs - if you are talented it shows naturally ( and I have got quite a few awards to my credit). Perhaps the difference is when I take male chefs into my operation, they are always treated with the same professional courtesy I would expect myself, but a point of difference is, that they are asked to undertake work commensurate with their skills and aptitude - ego isn't on the menu - not even fried in garlic for breakfast.
Bread and Cheese
message posted 16-Feb-09 10:12:13
Hi Ladies

Ive never seen a problem in any kitchens that I have worked in, we all just crack on and get the job done.

Sometimes these articles are just written by feminist nutters to get off on.

Take care ladies
message posted 18-Feb-09 18:19:57
Just remembered another tale from the male dominated kitchen which I have a chuckle to myself about every so often.....

A few years ago I went out on an agency job as head chef to an hotel I'd been to on a number of occasions as sous, de partie etc., (I fill in when the work is offered, so try not to be too sniffy about what I do). A boy at least 10 years my junior also turned up as sous, from another agency. Indignant that a woman from another agency had been appointed above him, he them proceeded to take over the head chefs role, positioning himself by the range and assuming control.

Amused, I just let him, and made a start on the starters, and when the owner came into the kitchen and said to me he thought I was the head chef for the evening, I just nodded and smiled.

Come service the kid just didn't have a clue how to organise his equipment, dishes and service management. I had to step in - at his and the managers request....

A couple of weeks later I went out on another agency job as head chef, only to find when I got there, my sous was the lad who would be Kitchen Master! Managed to conduct himself with the same level of dignity as I did this time round- and even called me Chef!! Got lots of repeat bookings for "his" venue therafter
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