Invisible women in the ugly culinary world

I’ve always wondered why so-called world-famous chefs are mostly men.  Women are the ones who have been cooking everyday every day throughout our long human history, making the best use of whatever is available within the household budget and trying to put something delicious and nutritious on the table.  When did men overtake women’s endeavor and wisdom in cooking?

My country Japan also has a male-dominant culinary culture.  Most sushi chefs are men. Most prestigious Japanese restaurants boast of their male chefs.  The chefs’ disciples (yes, we call those kitchen workers disciples in Japanese.) are, in most cases, all men.  Women are not even hired, I heard, in the country where we have an old saying “Men shouldn’t be in the kitchen.  That would degrade their status.”  

A New York Times article  says that the gender discrimination and sexual harassment against women in the culinary world is appalling.   Whenever a woman becomes successful in cooking, she gets in the news, as “a female chef”.   Is the name “chef” only for men?

On my website “” I introduce everyday Japanese home cooking.  I apply cooking skills and secrets I learned from mother and grandmother, who also learned from their mothers and grandmothers of many generations.  You don’t need fancy gadgets like sous-vide or rotovaps. All you need is the accumulated wisdom and sagacity of women in the home kitchen.

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