Where Are the Women Chefs?


For most of history, women played a large role in the kitchen, and now in 2007, the majority of chefs that dominate restaurant kitchens are male. All three winners of Bravo's Top Chef were males. The final contestants on the Next Iron Chef are male. So where are the female chefs?

Star Chefs recently sought to answer this question by speaking with nine of the nation's top female chefs. They asked the chefs about having a family, prioritizing, the strength it takes to last in the kitchen, cooking with soul, and experimental techniques. Here's a snippet from their interview with San Francisco's Traci DesJardins:

"You never hear men talk or get asked about their kids as an issue — it’s because they probably have a wife who takes care of the kids. I have my son only two days a week and I’m not available to the restaurant on the days that I take care of my son. So if a critic walks in that day, I’m not going to be there, I’m going to be with my son. Period.

It's a sad truth that having children doesn't affect male chefs as much as it will female chefs, but this is something all female professionals have to deal with, not just chefs. What do you think? Will the role of females in the culinary work force change or will men continue to be in control?

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