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New Documentary "Her Name Is Chef"


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"Food Network Stars Open Up About Sexism in Kitchen Culture in New Documentary Her Name Is Chef"


It's never easy when a women joins a field dominated by men, and that's especially true of the food industry that notoriously runs rampant with sexism and harassment.

Peter Ferriero's new documentary Her Name Is Chef blasts the kitchen door open to follow six prominent female chefs who've fought against sexism to carve out space in the food world. The movie (streaming now on Amazon, Apple and Video on Demand) delves into the hardships women face when having to prove themselves in the kitchen.

I am trying to recall if any current board members work in restaurant kitchens. 

I know the Kitchen Life is a rough one but to have to deal with sexist crap on top of it would be especially tough. 

To quote from the world of Politics..."Nevertheless, she persisted." And, hopefully, thrived.



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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


Tim Oliver

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Let's say that professional kitchens became a rough world because for centuries they were mostly the realm of outcasts.
The average behaviour is really raw, kitchen humour is for hard stomachs, go figure the rest.
There are lots of sexual jokes, not alone from male to female, but mostly from male to male. First days in a professional kitchen were a bit of a shock for me, with people touching my ass / balls (can I write this on eGullet?) and making gay jokes. Never found something similar in any other work field. That kitchen had only male workers. I adapted quickly and stopped paying attention to that stuff. Here in Italy the "tradition" is getting really upset if someone says you are gay and doubts your masculinity, it's an "honor" thing that still ends up in blood here and there. After that, it was just a matter of jokes. So much that we said something like "if 5 minutes passes without anyone reminding you are gay, then a disaster is going on in the kitchen".
Sexual stuff is not the only hard thing. Simple example: one time we spent the whole day discussing how to cut one leg from one cook and make prosciutto, so on with every member of the staff and every part of the body. Not a good environment for sensible souls.
For the most part it's just made in good will, meaning no one is trying to have gay sex, eating some part of your body and so on. So, personally, I just laugh about it. If I had to sue every single person who touched my ass in a kitchen then I would spend the rest of my life with attorneys.
But this is from a male point of view. For a female it's totally different if someone touches you and so on. Even if it's just a joke, it's much more difficult for a female to not get upset. Unfortunately, in some cases it's much worse than a joke.

Having said that, there is also the opposite side of the coin. In my experience, the people with less human respect that I met in kitchens were females. Only a small part of the group, so it would be dumb to make a generalization, but the worst were females. Calling them b17ç#3s would be an understatement.

So there's not only the male to female harassment. There's also the female to male. The worst one is female to female.





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