Do Men Make The Best Chefs Asks The Independent?

A few hours after wondering out loud in Cherchez La Femme, Only 4 Women in Chefs Line Up at Pebble Beach Food and Wine 2010 why there was such an imbalance I noticed that I was not the only one.

Tom Peck and Sunjay Kakar ask Do men really make the best chefs? (Independent, April 8).

They start by noting that since the BBC relaunched Masterchef in 2005, only one woman,Thomasina Miers, won the contest.

The authors don't make the show's judges for the male domination since they quote one of them, John Torode saying to a magazine:

"Females are far better, they have a feel, a touch, a natural love for food and they don't show off. It's not about technical ability, it's not about 'Look at me', it's about 'Here's the food on the plate'."

The Independent also offer opposing views from 2 chefs

First celebrity chef John Burton Race is quoted as saying:

 "It is a fact that men are the best cooks, professional or not. Industrial kitchens may have heavy equipment, but men are the best cooks because they are more passionate and take cooking more seriously."

They note that "Martin Blunos, a chef on the Channel 4 programme Iron Chef UK, has a different take" that I quote below:

"The kitchen is classically male dominated and there is a perceived image of a cauldron of heat, sweat and testosterone. If women are in the kitchen, it takes out the male brashness. Men step up and give better than their all because they feel they shouldn't be outshone by a woman. This makes for a better product for the customer."

It's almost like one hears echoes of the financial world mentality in some of their analysis.

I managed to find one woman in the Outstanding Chefs category of the 2010 James Beard Foundation Awards Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists..


The lonely woman in question is Suzanne Goin, Chef-Owner at Lucques in Los Angeles where the Sommelier and fellow owner is another woman Caroline Styne.

Check Caroline's wine thoughts via Styne on Wine.

I noticed that Lucques is offering Suckling Pig on April 11 for Sunday Supper.

Reminds me of my days at Sonoma Grill.

Which are your favorite women chefs?

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