Disrupting the kitchen boys’ club, which fosters these toxic levels of harassment, requires hiring and retaining more women chefs. But even when those women arrive, as the experiences outlined in the Post and elsewhere suggest, they face a blistering hostility. Why are restaurant kitchens, especially high-end kitchens, so persistently male, and why are they so inhospitable to women who seek to join their ranks? Behind the history of all-male brigades is an effort to distance restaurant cooking from home cooking, the result of a phenomenon some sociologists call “precarious masculinity.”
"It's rare to see a completely female kitchen team - and one so utterly calm under so much pressure as the place was packed,” it said. “This is a restaurant with an interesting story." Criticism came from members of the public including restaurant critic Jay Rayner, who said: “Dear old @michelinGuideUk is startled that an all female kitchen isn’t full of panicking laydees running around tearfully, wailing at the sky.”
"It’s time that chefs and restaurant owners candidly acknowledge the larger culture that hatched all these crummy eggs, and have some hard conversations amongst ourselves that are long overdue. Let’s start with this: Assessing a woman as a body, rather than as a person with a mind, character, and talent, denies the full measure of her humanity. It’s wrong and it demeans us all. Real men don’t need to be told this."
I bought into the idea that talk in the kitchen was just talk, and that a thick skin would indeed protect me. But it wasn’t and it didn’t, because a sexualized workplace is a dangerous workplace for women. When the entire culture of a place is lewd, it makes it impossible to tell which men are dangerous. The raunchiest man in the kitchen had no part in the assault, but a quieter cook apparently did. In the din of dirty kitchen-speak, I could not have told you the difference between them.
Women in positions of power in the kitchen are often questioned for their choices. “There’s an element of guilt associated with women in kitchen positions in a way that there isn’t with men,” Berg explained. “She needs to explain and rationalize how she has chosen this career, which is arguably physically demanding, [with] really long hours, unconventional hours.” Queer women setting foot in the culinary world often find themselves in “no man’s land,” Berg explained. They’re often excluded from pastry work, but still discriminated against for being female in the realm of executive chefs.