Women Chefs: Don’t Grumble!

aAngela Hartnett

grumble, grumble, grumble go North American female chefs — the airwaves buzz with complaints about sexism, how women are overlooked as chefs, that men get all the awards etc…

Angela Hartnett, one of Britain’s top chefs, says it’s not true in today’s Guardian.

As a female chef, I’ve been asked about sexism so many times I’m almost bored with the question. And to be honest, in over 20 years in the industry I’ve never experienced any kind of sexism. The male chefs I know are happy to have women in their kitchen.

Anyway, there’s inequality everywhere. Last year I filmed a TV show, and there was only one woman on the crew. The idea that it’s just catering, or it’s worse in this industry, is not right.”

There are now ll Michelin-starred female chefs, and Hartnett suggests that “there are far more female head chefs out there than most people realize.”

“And I think we will continue to see that rise. Partly this is because the industry now has so much more exposure, with female chefs on TV or writing about food and their restaurants being more successful. Being a chef is seen as a skilled job. And the hours have become more approachable. You’d  get two days off a week. Now you get three days…it had to change, people wanted a life. The pay has increased as well, which has probably made a difference to the number of women entering the profession.”

Isn’t it rather insulting to have to insert the word woman before chef anyway. Either he or she is good or not. For the record, Toronto has several top chefs who happen to be women: Lynn Crawford,Anne Yarymowich, Suzanne Baby….

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