In honor of Women’s History Month, we are recognizing some of the coolest gals in the New York City food and beverage scene. These underpaid and overworked ladies have made a name for female chefs everywhere, and don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
Each female on the list has her own unique tale of how she got to the level she is at today, but each of them faces some common challenges, mainly being in a predominantly male industry. While earning the respect of their peers is something that has been especially difficult for these women, it is also something that they have decided to face head-on.
Dianna Daeoheung, head baker at Black Seed Bagels, says that there is always a struggle to try to “be one of the homies”. Daeoheung is able to take that with a grain of salt, however, and let the best bagels in NYC speak for themselves.
Another interesting find comes from Jessica Brown, formerly of Parm and Scarpetta, and current wine director at the John Dory Oyster Bar and The Breslin. She finds herself lucky to work for female chef April Bloomfield’s company, noting that the opportunity would not have been possible a mere ten years ago. Brown also mentioned that while there has certainly been progressing in the industry, a double standard still exists. When females in these positions are passionate and aggressive, that can often be viewed as them being emotional.
Another obstacle, which is common in nearly every industry, is paying inequality. Ann Redding, current co-owner, and co-chef at Uncle Boons said that she knew her husband was paid more than her for doing the same job when the pair worked at Per Se.
Despite the many roadblocks, these women have kept a competitive spirit. What is even more impressive is the support, community, and camaraderie they have built with each other. Their relentless pursuit and belief in themselves are inspiring little girls all over the globe to don chef whites. The complete list can be found here!