The restaurant industry has been buzzing about a recent article in TIME magazine, The Gods of Food. In it, TIME editor Howard Chua-Eoan runs down a list of influential chefs, but fails to mention any notable women.
As you can imagine, this has created quite a stir, with comments from both men and women chefs in the industry about the great women chefs who have had an impact on so many over the years.
After reading some of the comments, I, of course, have my own opinions on the topic, which I normally wouldn’t share, but as a woman, I figured I might be able to shed some additional insights.
First of all, I completely agree that there are many wonderful female chefs that have had a huge impact on the restaurant industry. No one can deny that fact.
But, as a journalist, I know that no list can be all inclusive, nor should it try to be.
What if The Gods of Food list did in fact contain men and women, but failed to mention great African-American chefs, or Asian chefs, or Italian chefs…do you see where I’m going with this?
A list loses its effectiveness–and its truth–when people start being added simply to meet a quota or ratio of one type of person to another.
So is it possible that there are no great women chefs influencing the restaurant industry right now? Of course not. Chua-Eoan has said that the chefs chosen were narrowed down from a list of 300. Undoubtedly, there were many women chefs on the larger list; the fact that they didn’t make it onto the short list simply means that they haven’t been in the spotlight as much as the others.
If anything, this is a wake up call for all women chefs who are interested in being acknowledged by the industry to start getting their noses out of the pots and pans and start letting the industry take notice of them for their skills, not because they are women.
Remember, if you want to be seen, people have to see you!