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