For every chef like Gabrielle Hamilton, who has earned the right to bristle at being called “one of the best female chefs in New York City,” there is Anne-Sophie Pic, who considers femininity to be a large part of her approach and identity as a chef.
Charlotte Druckman’s new book Skirt Steak: Women Chefs on Standing the Heat and Staying in the Kitchen shares the perspectives of 73 chefs—including Christina Tosi, Traci Des Jardins (Jardinière), and Anita Lo (Annisa)—on what life is like for a female in the food industry.
Some of the more valuable takeaways are sociological. Druckman uncovers both universal issues like inequality in pay and region-specific ones like sexism being less prominent in California. Meanwhile, the New York bias is as real for women and men, because “succeeding in [NYC] tends to put you on the map or give you a certain credibility in terms of access to media and awards.”
In a recent interview on Food 52, Druckman emphasizes the importance of creating a supportive community as a way to combat some of the issues facing female chefs in a testosterone-dominated industry.
[via Grub Street New York; Food 52]