Yes, chef!

The cur­rent co­hort of women work­ing in some of Aus­tralia’s best kitchens know the recipe for suc­cess – they wrote it, af­ter all.

Qantas - - YES, CHEF! - Danielle Al­varez Fred’s, Syd­ney Story by LARISSA DUBECKI

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.

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