Does Time Magazine's Male-Centric "Gods of Food" Issue Reflect the Reality of Women in the Restaurant Industry?

Categories: Bites & Dishes

Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail laura.hahnefeld@newtimes.com.

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Chefs David Chang (Momofuku), Alex Atala (D.O.M.), and René Redzepi (Noma) on the cover of the November 18 issue of Time, which ran in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the South Pacific.
Last month, Time magazine published an issue called "Gods of Food," a male-centric look on those who influence "what (and how) we eat." The main portion of the article, the 13 Gods of Food, did not include a single female chef.

When the food blog Eater asked Time magazine editor Howard Chua-Eoan why no female chefs made the list and why the only two covered in the section were pastry chefs with a brief sidebar mention, Chua-Eoan said Time "simply reflected the 'harsh reality' of the culinary world."

Is Time's lack of representation of female chefs a product of restaurant industry reality, media bias, or both? And how does it reflect the reality of the restaurant industry in Phoenix?

Here's the perspective of 10 Valley chefs.

See also: What's a Restaurant's Responsibility Regarding Gluten-Free Items?

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Deborah Schneider,
Chef and Partner, SOL Mexican Cocina

It reflects the attitude of one industry for sure: the food media industry -- which fawns over, and sucks up to, European male chefs exclusively and considers everyone else (regardless of gender) second-best.

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Don Carey
Corporate Culinary Chef, TQLA

It's a two-way street. From my experience and the female classmates I interacted with at the Culinary Institute of America, a lot of them didn't want anything to do with cooking on an a la carte line. It was a lot of sweaty, dirty, and hectic work, and they were more interested in the baking and pastry program.

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Saul Velasquez,
Executive Chef, Blanco Tacos + Tequila

I would have to agree based on the fact that the chefs have been male in eight out of 10 restaurants where I have eaten. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of highly skilled female chefs in the industry, but the reality is that male chefs dominate most of the culinary world.

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Danielle Morris
Co-Owner and Pastry Chef, Cork

This is an industry full of men. It takes a certain kind of woman to be able to work in this environment every day. I know a lot of Valley chefs who are women, but like most places, I would say the majority are men. I'm not the kind of person to see that as a problem.



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1 comments
opinionatedbutright
opinionatedbutright

Thinking of Judy Rodgers who died this week. Would she not have fit into this category? Not a very convincing article anyway. Whenever I read anything like the 10 best blah blah blah or the 4 most influential whomever or whatever, I chuckle to myself because these are editorials/opinion pieces. There is no best chef in the world. There is no best restaurant. And men certainly do not qualify as the gods of the kitchen by any means. I wonder how many of these gods had women teaching them in culinary school? Interestingly, women are at the helm of some of my favorite local restaurants: Lori Hashimoto, Charlene Badman, Silvana Salcido, Chrysa Kaufman and I guess I should also include Helen Yung and Jan W (sorry, won't even attempt to spell her name) as well as Eugenia Theodosopoulos.

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