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post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi! Miss seeing your show...
You were kind of an ...inspiration... for me. Thank you.
There's already a post talking about televised food shows, and one about locally sourced foods, so I'll just read your replies to those threads.

I remember, from one of your shows, you saying that it was hard for women to get into the industry. Was that a personal experience, given the times, or do you honestly feel that way in these days? (on a professional level, not TV personality wise).
I'm really interested to know how you feel about this subject.
post #2 of 7
I have been working in the industry for 30 years (I started when I was 12...not) and I have to say it is finally better for women, but not best. Since European chefs have stopped dominating the restaurant world (and don't get me wrong I really appreciate what they have brought to this country, especially the French) woman have been able to break in much more to the mainstream. European chefs don't believe that women belong in the kitchen.
I still think it is easier for women to get jobs in restaurants if they go to cooking school first, because that gives them a head start. the problem is that alot of women go to cooking school and then believe the hype that they are not equipped to work in professional kitchens - they can't stand the heat, lift pots, etc which is ridiculous. so they don't pursue it. The other problem and I don't have an answer to this one, is what to do when it is time to have kids. I am a feminist to the core but I believe that children really need their mothers. I worked in restaurants for 7 years and then left when it was time to have kids. I never went back to full time restaurant work after that.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
That seems to be a running theme for BOTH sexes. :)
I think that television has saturated people with a glamorized view of what it is to be a chef, so people go into school thinking that they're just going to become a chef in a year or two not realizing how much work there is to do and how little there is to be made. I'm not a big fan of the kitchen dramatization programs, if you can't tell. Just my opinion.

I'm always glad when a female drops off a resume at the right time and gets hired. I like a co-ed kitchen. It's a different dynamic, and I can't really put my finger on the reason why, so I won't try to.
When I think of the cooks/chefs that I've worked with that have influence me and impressed me the most, at least half of them are female. I guess what I'm saying is that a strong leader is a strong leader, regardless of sex.

Do you mean maternity leave or taking years off to raise children? Because in the last few months we've had three males take time off (weeks) for maternity... Meh, I guess it depends on where you live maybe.

Thanks for visiting the forums!
post #4 of 7
I also like a mix in the kitchen. I worked with all men and that was not a happy situation for me (sort of like a locker room), I worked with all women and we tended to get on the same cycle. Once a month we would all be crying or yelling at each other on the back stairs to the restaurant. and I worked with a mix. the best.

I did not mean maternity leave, (glad to hear that men are taking that time off too), I meant taking time to raise children. When you work in a restaurant you are married to it and children (and spouses) need more attention than that. it is fine when you are young and have no commitments but it becomes complicated later on.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hear, hear. I edited my previous post to not be offensive to someone who might be overly sensitive to statements regarding sex. But you've obviously been in the same situations as me and see the same point. All guys = obscene lewdness; all gals = well, what you said.

Hmmmmm... I think that 7 years is plenty to work a line. I know that there are some salty dogs here on the forum (and more so, in the world) who may disagree, but that line cooking job is for people in their 20's - 30's. After that you re-assess and find a job that is in the field, but doesn't require as much of your (literal) sweat. And if you have children somewhere in that mix, bully for you.
You seem to have done this with great success, and I think that you are a figurehead, someone who has risen to the top by virtue of your skills regardless of real life hurdles, whatever they may be.
People look up to you.
Kudos to you and your success, you deserve it.
post #6 of 7
Sara, I watched your show back in the 1990s on the Food Network and I really enjoyed it and learned alot from watching you.  I was home raising my kids at that time, and I knew I would have to look for a second career when I chose to return to the workplace and seeing as I love to cook.. I thought I would go into this business.  I haven't set foot in a culinary school, but I watched alot of shows like yours, read alot both online and in books, and I started out at Tim Horton's (coffee shop chain here in Canada) in the front but as soon as I could I moved to the back baking and I loved working in the back.  My kids are in high school now and I have been fortunate enough to work during the day in most places (with the exception of one nasty nightshift job at a hospital cafetria) so I am here for them at night and we can have a family life.   I'm glad to see that there are people in this business who appreciate the importance of family and take time to make sure they are taken care of.
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
post #7 of 7
I've worked in all female environments and I have to agree with what Sara has said, and honestly the same goes for all male as well.  There are times when I'm the only female on (we have only two female full timers in the kitchen and I'm one of them) and the guys get to being guys.  I just shake my head and let them have their fun.  When the KM is off I am the person in charge and even if it's all guys they respect that and take direction from me.  I don't ask them to do anything that I wouldn't do myself but I do ask for help lifting heavy pots and that's more of a safety thing than a gender thing.  I would rather see two people lift a big pot that's full together and have it done safely than let one person do it alone and have an accident.  
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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