eat, slay, love

Boys’ club be damned! Women are mak­ing some of the big­gest moves in the hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try. We meet three who are in­flu­enc­ing the way we eat, drink and en­joy good times

ELLE (Australia) - - Contents -

The women who are killing it in the male­dom­i­nated food in­dus­try.


She honed her craft at Lon­don’s iconic The Led­bury and Paris’ two-miche­lin­starred Le Meurice, but New Zealand­born Analiese Gregory clearly has a soft spot for far-flung cor­ners of the earth – she’s also done stints in kitchens in Laguiole, a re­mote vil­lage in south­ern France, and the city of Fes in Morocco. Re­cently, she handed in her head chef’s hat at Syd­ney’s Bar Brosé and headed to Ho­bart to take the helm at Franklin, in what was one of the in­dus­try’s most buzzed-about moves.


“I’m ex­cited to know ex­actly where the in­gre­di­ents are com­ing from, right down to the flour and eggs, plus get seafood right off a boat and veg­eta­bles the day they’re har­vested. I also now have the op­por­tu­nity to play with projects I’ve al­ways wanted to do, such as make cheese, bake bread, make wine and fer­ment foods.”

ON WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CHEF: “Per­sis­tence, cre­ativ­ity and an abil­ity to work with less sleep than you’d like.”


“Women bring a dif­fer­ent point of view, a sense of bal­ance and a will­ing­ness to col­lab­o­rate and cre­ate unity in the in­dus­try.”

BEST RE­CENT DIS­COV­ERY: “The Agrar­ian Kitchen Eatery & Store in New Nor­folk, Tas­ma­nia.”

GO-TO MEAL: “Com­fort food – usu­ally gnoc­chi.”


“Ba­nana tarte tatin. I may have to change that now I’m in Tas­ma­nia.”


Mi­ami-born chef Danielle Al­varez was raised in a house­hold where “food was ev­ery­thing”, but stud­ied art his­tory be­fore get­ting into cook­ing school, go­ing on to cut her teeth at Cal­i­for­nian favourites The French Laun­dry and Chez Panisse. Last year, she was tapped by hospi­tal­ity gi­ant Merivale to head up its lat­est open­ing, Fred’s, and has quickly shaped it into one of Syd­ney’s most beloved din­ing spots.


“Restau­rants are mov­ing away from fine din­ing to a more ca­sual style, where peo­ple are hav­ing the best dishes, but not nec­es­sar­ily in a re­ally pol­ished, white-table­cloth set­ting. They can laugh, re­lax and have great con­ver­sa­tions, and as a re­sult, eat out more. It’s be­come part of our daily lives.”

ON HER LABOUR OF LOVE: “It’s not al­ways ob­vi­ous how long it’s taken to cre­ate [a dish] and how many hands have worked on it. I’m usu­ally in by 9am – if not in the kitchen then do­ing ad­min, recipe writ­ing, plac­ing or­ders, etc – and we fin­ish at mid­night. Be­ing or­gan­ised gives me the free­dom to dis­con­nect on my days off. I’m ruth­less about that – if it can wait un­til I’m back at work, I let it wait. I use my free time to catch up with friends, call my fam­ily back home, read books and get re-in­spired for the week ahead. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t last.”

FAVOURITE HOME-COOKED MEAL: “My mum’s ropa vieja, a tra­di­tional Cuban dish with shred­ded beef, pa­prika, rice and black beans.” GO-TO MEAL: “Spaghetti with gar­lic, chilli and an­chovies.” LAST MEAL OF CHOICE: “Steak frites, beau­ti­ful cheeses and lots of bread and but­ter.”


Paige Aubort has come a long way from clear­ing ta­bles at her lo­cal pizza joint at age 14 – she’s made a Forbes “30 Un­der 30” list, was named Bar­tender Of The Year in 2015 and now has a firm hand in keep­ing Syd­ney’s nightlife alive, man­ag­ing op­er­a­tions at Mary’s, The Uni­corn Ho­tel and the re­cently re­opened Lans­downe Ho­tel. She’s also the founder of Cole­man’s Academy, a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion help­ing women nav­i­gate, and ex­cel in, the largely male-dom­i­nated bar in­dus­try.

ON COLE­MAN’S ACADEMY: “The in­dus­try is still heav­ily weighted with men, and it can be big, loud, over­whelm­ing and at times quite iso­lat­ing. I think a lot of women face crip­pling self-doubt or suf­fer from im­pos­tor syn­drome [as a re­sult]. Cole­man’s is an op­por­tu­nity for women of vary­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to come to­gether and take part in some­thing cre­ated specif­i­cally for them. It was born from want­ing more from the in­dus­try, as well as a drive to give back to the com­mu­nity that had given me so much.”

ON HOW TO RUN A BAR SUC­CESS­FULLY: “You need to be lead­erly, or­gan­ised, fair... and have the abil­ity to count. In the service in­dus­try, a nat­u­ral abil­ity to em­pathise and an in­stinct to cre­ate a feel­ing of com­fort also go a long way.”

DRINK OF CHOICE: “Red wine. Or an orange Bac­ardi Breezer, be­cause you can take the girl out of Avalon but you can’t take the Avalon out of the girl.”


“A rum old fash­ioned. It can be a lengthy process, which al­lows me to stand and talk to the per­son who’s or­dered it.”

BEST RE­CENT DIS­COV­ERY: “Au Pas­sage in Paris oozes cool in the way that only a small, hip restau­rant run by an older cou­ple can.” q

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