Requirements for “best new chef”? Be male and white

newchefs.jpgThe last issue of Food & Wine magazine has an article about the “best new chefs” and a picture of 11 of them in the cover. Mika, my 7-year-old, took a quick look at it and noticed “there is only one girl”. And indeed, she’s right. There are also no noticeable minorities. Do you need to be male and white to be noticed as a chef in America? Or are only white men becoming chefs?
Top Chef, the Bravo TV reality series, seems to have little trouble finding a good number of women and minorities for its show (though most winners have been white males) – so I don’t believe that good, new women & minority chefs are not there, perhaps they are just not cooking at the “bistro”-style restaurants where many new chefs establish their reputations. Or perhaps they are cooking more ethnic cuisine.

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  1. debra sarver

    Particularly strange, especially in light of the fact that almost all of the food in restaurants in cooked by hispanics. Perhaps it has less to do with cooking, and more to do with ownership of high end restaurants, which requires considerable financial resources. We seldom see the chef/owners anymore at their restaurants. One notable exception recently was revisiting restaurant Janos in Tucson where we were greeted by the chef in the restaurant, and saw him doing a cooking demonstration in the bar. As I said, a pleasant exception.

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