“It’s not like you always recall your Dad cooking for you!” – Chef Victoria Blamey, originally from Santiago, Chile, now NYC.
I sat up a little straighter in my seat as I listened and watched the women chefs in Maya Gallus’ “The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution” last Friday at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto. One by one they shared their years of dedication in pursuing and perfecting their art.
But I wondered who are they? Why don’t I remember their names like I remember the male chefs? Blame it on the media, PR, the male chefs? Or us, we women?
“Women have been cooking forever. Women have been the ones that have been cooking for the chef or the man that became the chef. Usually it’s like my mom used to make this for me so ok …Women have been cooking all this time but you can’t make it to the professional side? That’s the irony of this, you know what I mean?” – Chef Victoria Blamey, ready for her next adventure after Chumley’s, NYC.
“There’s a saying. Men cook for glory. Women cook for love … but as a chef, you really want to be judged on your work. Your gender has nothing to do with it.” – Chef Anita Lo, 2nd generation Malaysian American, Annisa, NYC.
“I’m a chef. I don’t really attach importance to the fact woman or male chefs. We are all chefs.” – Chef Anne-Sophie Pic, known for her 3 Michelin star restaurant, Maison Pic, SE France.
“I always say I wasn’t harassed because I was a woman. I was harassed because I was a human and chefs are equal opportunity ass-holes. They’ll harass anyone they see who’s weaker than them.” – Chef Amanda Cohen, owner, award-winning vegetable restaurant, Dirt Candy, NYC.
I won’t forget them now.
In NBA player San Antonio Spurs’ power forward/centre, Paul Gasol’s recent open letter about working with female coaches like Coach Becky Hammon, he sees no difference in coaching.
Growing up near Barcelona, Gasol’s father is a nurse and his mother is a doctor. “In 37 years, I can honestly say I’ve never once thought of my mom as a “female” doctor. To me, she has always just been … a doctor. And a great one, too.”
So why are we women still be pushing that same rock up the mountain forty years later? Maybe it’s time to put that rock down and just build our own damn mountain. What we need is a voice, a more united voice, a louder voice. Maya Gallus used her voice. Pau Gasol used his voice. Now is the time. Find ways to use your voice – blog, tweet, speak, share, educate, discuss. We need to care, we should care, do we care?