Archive for the ‘Women ~ The unsung hero's of the kitchen’ Category

It’s the passion that beats within the heart of every female chef, the unsung hero’s of the kitchen, the leaders of a quiet brigade. Strong and silent they rule, yet never miss a beat. While your grandmother or mother may still reign supreme on the home front, behind those swinging doors lies a completely different story. The professional kitchen has always been a male dominated domain, but thanks to a small percentage of stalwart souls that is slowly changing.

Women make up just 17% of chefs and cooks today with fewer than 25% owning their own restaurants. Why is this so? Women are cleaner, faster, quieter, more nurturing and understanding than men, yet they often get overlooked for positions of power. It’s like that saying “There’s no crying in baseball” ~ ditto for the kitchen. Makes people perceive you as weak. Same goes for having children. Oh, she won’t be able to come in if little Johnny gets a cold. Bullshit! We are just as capable, if not more, of rising to any challenge or situation.

Yet the big cheese in the white jacket and top toque is almost always a man. Thank god there are some amazing women working to change that. So here, in no particular order are some of my favourite women chefs, where they can be found & what culinary volumes they have produced. If you can’t enjoy their food first hand, at least you can try to re-create it at home. Just remember it won’t be as good as the real thing.

1) Gabriele Hamilton ~ Chef/Owner ~ Food style: Eclectic french home country, not afraid to speak her mind and not influenced by the next ‘big’ thing. Inspiration: Her mother.

Prune:  54 Est 1st  NY, NY  212-677-6221   http://www.prune.com

Upcoming: Blood, Bones & Butter  release date early 2010

2) Rebecca Charles ~ Chef/Owner ~ Food style: The best lobster roll. No stranger to controversy. Inspiration: Swans Oyster Depot San Francisco.

Pearl Oyster Bar  18 Cornelia St. NY, NY  212-691-8211   ww.pearloysterbar.com

Cookbook: Lobster Rolls and Blueberry Pie

3) Debra Ponzek ~ Chef/Owner ~ Food style: American country french flavours, rose to prominence as Chef of Montrachet in New York City.

Aux Delices   1075 E. Putnam Ave  Riverside, CT.  203-698-1066 http://www.auxdelicesfoods.com   (there are currently 3 locations in CT)

Cookbook: French Food / American Accent

4) Alison Barshak ~ Chef/Owner ~ Food style: Inspired by travels to many different counties, rose to prominence as Chef at Striped Bass in Philadelphia.

Alison two  424 S. Bethlehem Pike  Fort Washington, PA  215- 591-0200 http://www.alisontwo.com

Cookbook: Can be found in Great Women Chefs and Women of Taste

5) Jody Adams ~ Chef/Owner ~ Food style: Italian cuisine with native new england ingredients.

Rialto  One Bennett St. Harvard Sq  Cambridge, Mass  617- 661-5050 http://www.rialto.com

Cookbook:  In the Hands of a Chef

6) Elizabeth Falkner ~ Pastry Chef/Owner ~ Food style: Avant garde works of  edible pastry art.

Citizen Cake   399 Grove St. San Francisco, CA  415-861-2228 http://www.citizencake.com

Cookbook: Demolition Desserts

7) Suzanne Goin ~ Chef/Owner ~ Food style: Seasonally inspired classic dishes.

Lucques  8474 Melrose Ave  los Angeles, CA  323-655-6277 http://www.lucques.com

Cookbook: Sunday Suppers at Lucques

8) Nancy Silverton ~ Artisan Bread Baker/ Owner ~ Food style: Brought artisanal bread to the forefront at La Brea Bakery. Currently partnered with Mario Batali.

Osteria Mozza  6602 Melrose Ave  Los Angeles, CA  323-297-0100            www.mozza-la.com

Cookbook: Twist of the Wrist

9) Judy Rodgers ~ Chef/Owner ~ Food style: Simple, clean brick oven cuisine.

Zuni  1658 Market St  San Francisco, CA  415-552-2522   http://www.zunicafe.com

Cookbook: The Zuni Cafe Cookbook

10) Gale Gand ~ Pastry Chef/Owner ~ Food style: Classic desserts reinvented for today.

Tru  676 N. St. Clair St. Chicago, Ill  312-202-0001  www.trurestaurant.com

Cookbook: Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs  &  Short- n- Sweet

11) Kathy Cary ~ Chef/Owner ~ Food style: Southern traditions inspired with local KY ingredients.

Lilly’s  A Kentucky Bistro  1147 Bardstown Rd  Louisville, KY  502-451-0447 http://www.lillyslapeche.com

Cookbook: Can be found in Great Women Chefs

12) Karen Barnaby ~ Chef ~ Food style: Fresh local seafood, got started in Ottawa, moved to Toronto before landing in Vancouver.

The Fish House in Stanley Park   8901 Stanley Park Drive  Vancouver, BC                   1-877-681-7275   http://www.fishhousestanleypark.com

Cookbook: Halibut The Cookbook

So here’s to Girl Power! May these intrepid ladies keep fanning the fire paving the way for a new generation of female chefs and pastry chefs.

This is not a complete listing, but just enough to whet the appetite. Rock on Ladies!

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