Monday, March 15, 2010

Women in the Kitchen

This article "Why are there no great women chefs?"   and this one, "Have women chefs turned invisible?" are two more reasons I think that women, in general are highly under rated. And in the kitchen, it can be even worse. It is strange how in the home world, it is considered the woman's domain, yet in the porfessional world it is believed that women can't cut it.

If a woman yells at you, she is a bitch. If a man does, he is assertive. A woman is pms-ing, a man is a good leader. I have seen this time and time again. Even in culinary school, males (I hesitate to call many of my former classmates 'men') would talk an incredible amount of smack and get patted on the back by teachers who believed the same backward philosophy.

I am one of many people who is confused about something. Why are women so unwelcome in professional kitchens? I watch shows like Hell's Kitchen, but it pisses me off to no end when these guys are on the show like "Dude, whatever, chicks suck, go cry bitch." And before you say anything, I have seen the same behavior on Top Chef.

WTF?! Honestly, I have been a pastry cook, a grill cook, I have done apps, large events and been the pastry chef running my own kitchen. I have been lucky enough to work for not one but two very talented female chefs, had one female sous chef and acted as a sous chef without the title.

Seriously, you think I don't have skills?!

To watch men diss women and then get taken down by them, (hello boys, try checking your ego at the door. If I am better than you, don't get all mad because I am a woman. Get mad because you suck!) is good for those of us who have been picked on and talked down to.

In 2010 it is crazy to me that women don't get recognized as often as they should. I have worked for many chefs and honestly the women have been superior in many ways.

We as women have to fight these sterotypes everytime we step into a kitchen. Hell, we have to fight them everytime we walk into a room! I think that is a real shame, but I still love cooking. If I can help teach more girls and young women that love it as well to be strong and go forward with graceful confidence (or spatula skills) on their chosen path, I will be happy.

I don't believe there is a lack of strong, talented female chefs; I think there is a lack of respect for those talented people, who many times must work harder, not just smarter, than their male counterparts.
If you love to cook and do so professionally you are helping to make beautiful food that is delicious, so good on you and keep up the great work. Please be sure to check out WCR, Women Chefs and Restuaranters to support a strong, talented group of women!

Also check out: Top Female Chefs Dish  on why they are such a rare breed

It is my hope that as these shows continue, more women will be inspired and more men will grow accepting that there is a room for all of us.

"I'll make this easy to remember: keep your station clear, or I WILL KILL YOU!"
~Colette (Ratatouille)


  1. Isn't it amazing how we are still here, in 2010? I, too, have watched the TV cooks and their outright contempt for women in the kitchen and wondered, "Who fed your face all those years growing up, you smarmy punk?"

    I was similarly inspired by those articles and started a list titled: Here Are the Great Women Chefs! - I'd love it if you came by and added some names to the list for he second part of the post.

  2. Luna,

    I once heard professional kitchens compared to the military--both in the hierarchy (Yes, chef!) and the rush of "being in battle."

    The machismo-dominated realm in those fields has no appeal to me. An unspoken battle for dominance permeates them both. Talent is superceded by ego and for me, I'd rather focus on simply improving my skills.

    Perhaps that's why a lot of women choose not to pursue a career in the professional kitchen. The battle for bravado endures long after talent and creativity, and it is simply not worth fighting for.

  3. I actually don't watch any of the cooking shows anymore. But women still get treated badly on them.


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