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Posted at 11:49 AM ET, 12/28/2010

Lunch Room Chatter: The bias against female chefs

By Tim Carman

The latest in food news, ideas and philosophy, just in time for your lunch break.

  • Unemployment is bad for your diet. (WSJ)

  • A public library that could feed more than minds. (Urban Farm Hub)

  • Required reading for the day: "Nochlin asks, what defines greatness? For our purposes, we must inquire, specifically, what makes a Great Chef? The answers reveal that our signifiers of greatness, chefwise, are those attributes considered inherently “male”—or at least those not generally associated with women. In the United States, especially, success, for chefs, has historically been measured more by business acumen, celebrity, and marketability rather than by what happens at the stove. Who cares if your panna cotta has a “female” look to it; tell me instead whether you own multiple eateries. Is your personality translatable to a wider audience? Is your restaurant concept something that can be replicated? Do you have a style that both complements and transcends your culinary point of view—as in, are you a serious extremist (a science nerd like Grant Achatz or a purist devoted to technique and ingredients like Thomas Keller or Tom Colicchio); an enterprising French master (Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, or Eric Ripert, par exemple); an unrepentant glutton and camera-loving ham (Mario Batali); a bad-ass genius-rebel who bucks the establishment (David Chang or Anthony Bourdain)? And then, ask yourself, can you think of a female counterpart for any of these?" (Gastronomica)

  • "Tokyo now has more three-star restaurants than Paris." (ABC Nightline)

  • I think Twain would agree with this. (Twitter)

  • Would someone please give Jose Andres a place at the table already? (The Economist)

  • The Ultimate Legend of McRib: A video as processed as the sandwich. (Village Voice)

By Tim Carman  | December 28, 2010; 11:49 AM ET
Categories:  Chefs, Food Politics, Media  | Tags:  Lunch Room Chatter, Tim Carman  
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