A few months ago the San Francisco Chronicle put out their list of the Bay Area’s up and coming chefs. No women were on it. The Chronicle put out an assy justification that it just so happened that the best chefs were male. They TRIED AND TRIED and just couldn’t find a lady to could match the fellas. This is also to point out that usually these type of lists feature one or two ladies in a sea of ten or so men. (see the James Beard Awards).
Someone tried to look in to this phenomenon and here’s what she came up with. It’s been making the rounds of the blogosphere and it hits the nail on the head.
A few key quotes:
On language we use:
“This prejudice operates on two levels. Edible flowers on a plate can be said to signify “female,” while precisely stacked layers and drizzled sauces can be deemed “male.”
On woman as professionals:
“Lidia is an über-mother—an unfussy nurturer—and her latest tv program, Lidia’s Family Table, drives this point home with its charming vignettes of the chef teaching her grandchildren how to shape pasta. This is not Lidia as restaurateur or recipient of multiple James Beard awards (wouldn’t you know, she was the host of the 2009 gala)”
On the Bay Area as a woman-chef friendly town:
“While the East Coast is notoriously unfriendly to enterprising women of the whisk, the West Coast is seen as a hotbed of culinary girl power. But let’s take a closer look. Generally, the Bay Area chefs own one restaurant apiece, and it’s a casual affair— neither the chefs nor their restaurants are household names or internationally acclaimed.