Gender issues in restaurant kitchens are nothing new — but it’s time for London to set a better standard. By Victoria Stewart (illustration by Ellie Foreman-Peck)
Last week I decided to imagine that I, a woman, was entering the London restaurant industry in 2017. Should I let myself dream big — of cooking my way to the top — or would that be preposterous?
When I sidled onto social media things looked promising. Here, I found women across London boldly flying the flag. Chef and Masterchef judge Monica Galetti and former Gordon Ramsay protegée Clare Smyth — one of the few women in the world to earn three Michelin stars — are both launching their own restaurants. This felt exciting. Without digging far, I could quickly list 25 restaurants owned or run by women, including Thomasina Miers, who co-founded Wahaca, Zoe Adjonyoh of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen in Brixton, Anna Hansen of The Modern Pantry, and Emma Reynolds, who started Tonkotsu. All of them, if not instantly recognisable chefs, were behind places of note.
Curiously, moving up a level to international recognition was a less encouraging story.
To read the full story, which appeared in Eater London in July 2017, click here