5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
Back in the early days of 5@5, chef Anita Lo extolled the unglorified finds of the farmers market. Now, she's back talking the rare breed that is the woman chef.
In case you need a refresher course, Lo is the executive chef and owner of annisa restaurant in New York City. As one of the most esteemed female chefs in the United States, she's been named one of Food & Wine magazine's "Best New Chefs in America" and competed on the first season of "Top Chef Masters," where she finished fourth.
Five Things to Know About Being a Female Chef in a Male-Dominated Profession: Anita Lo
2. "To make it in this business you have to be extraordinarily passionate and tenacious. You will spend long hours on your feet in a hot, uncomfortable environment for meager wages at odd hours. Cooking is a lifestyle choice for the obsessive-compulsive."
3. "You must be prepared to answer a million of these types of questions. As one of a very small minority, you do get asked about this a lot. And of course, I am a big supporter of women in business - our wine list at Annisa celebrates women in wine and is made up of wines mostly by female vintners."
4. "The ratio of gay-to-straight executive female chefs is much higher than amongst the general population. The Kinsey Report states that about 10 percent of the general population is gay. I think that ratio is higher among female executive chefs and apparently, in the WNBA as well. But on a more serious note, this is perhaps related to my first statement and begs the question: are gay women less bound by societal norms and therefore get further in this field?"
5. "Find a support system outside of the kitchen. Women Chefs and Restaurateurs is a national organization that supports women in cooking through education and networking. This is perhaps the beginning of the 'old girls' club.'"
Are women getting the appropriate recognition in the professional kitchen? If not, why do you think that is? Do you actively support women chefs? Let us know what you think.
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.