For some on-point snark about women being left out of narratives about chefs and restaurants, check out “Amanda Cohen on Time Magazine and Female Chefs” on Eater.
The most boring story in the food world is this one: magazine puts together a list of the most important/best/most influential chefs, which doesn’t include any women. Or it drops in one as a token, and people react with incredulity and/or outrage. An editor of a magazine does an interview to say that they are not to be blamed, they are simply holding a mirror up to nature, just like Shakespeare. Even I’m bored of this cycle.
Now, some of you may find this confusing because his chart doesn’t say “The Boys Club” across the top, but then again maybe he’s implying that a chart of important chefs and their influences would necessarily be a chart of “The Boys Club” and I’m just being stupid. In which case, why would women be on a chart of “The Boys Club” because then it wouldn’t be a chart of “The Boys Club” and would, instead, be a chart of “The Boys Club with Also Some Icky Girls in It Ew Gross This Club is Hereby Disbanded.”
Some of my favorite reactions on Twitter:
Women (and queer folks, and POC, and every other minority) are so conveniently left out of these grand narratives and best-of lists because we “complicate” the narrative; “dilute” it, as Chua-Eoan suggests; or are somehow “abnormal”; are relegated to the footnotes of history. This is even more insulting because, as Chua-Eoan told Hillary Dixler for Eater,
We wanted to make it as far-ranging as possible, so it wouldn’t just be chefs. That’s not Time magazine’s forte or calling, actually, to name the most important chefs. It’s really to look for people who are the most influential in terms of food. There will be chefs, of course, because chefs influence they way we eat and what we and they create trends and fashions in food. So that was what we started with. So we went through the entire range: people who create the food, people who cook the food, people who distribute the food, people who own the companies that give you the food, everything like that.
And, of course, out of 60 food-influencers from all over the world, women were a footnote.
I recommend reading the full article “Time Editor Howard Chua-Eoan Explains Why No Female Chefs Are ‘Gods of Food'”–Dixler really let him have it.
Thank you to Shit Food Bloggers Say for the tip-off and the Twitter snark regarding the original “Gods of Food” piece!