The current cohort of women working in some of Australia’s best kitchens know the recipe for success – they wrote it, after all.
The ReSTAURANT world is no stranger to trends. From brioche burgers to matcha lattes, obsessions come and go. But to call the sudden high-vis prominence of women in some of the nation’s leading kitchens a trend is to miss the point. What we have here is a new world order. The male-dominated status quo has become a relic of the past, thanks to a band of women with brilliant cooking skills and an ironclad will to rise to the top.
Why now? Most obviously, it’s timing. In the past, the adage “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” could be taken quite literally in the industry. But in the wake of the #MeToo movement, serious conversations around gender and inclusivity have begun.
Female chefs are nothing new, of course; Australian trailblazers such as Stephanie Alexander, Kylie Kwong and Christine Manfield claimed their rightful place in the culinary landscape long ago. But 2018 seems a watershed for many industries and workplaces, including professional kitchens.