Men vs. Women: Who makes for a better chef?

1960s SMILING MAN AND WOMAN STANDING BACK TO BACK WITH ARMS FOLDED STUDIO SYMBOLIC

Let’s take a poll – who says men make better chefs? And who says women make better chefs?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ BLS Report dated February 2013, employed persons by detailed occupation and sex, 2011 annual averages showed that women account for just  19% of the chefs and head cooks in professional kitchens and male chefs represent 81%.

Why is this industry so male dominated? Is it safe to generalize that men make better chefs in a traditionally known female skilled environment due to their numbers employed? A mother’s home cooking brings back the fondest memories and is every child’s first touch that children encounter when it comes to culinary skills. Mothers are known for their creative and tasty dishes made from the heart. As women are the homemakers in their private households, there is still the question of why are there more male chefs than female? Are they truly better cooks as they have matured and learned to cook from their mothers and grandmothers?

Better multitaskers?  Women are great at multitasking; being managers of their households and building those skills that are easily transferable into a restaurant environment. Better commanders of respect due the makeup of the male anatomy? Men are naturally known as authority figures in the home and in the workplace. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, they quote that Chefs and head cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants and other places where food is served. They direct kitchen staff and handle any food-related concerns. In philly.com, “Generally speaking, kitchens are very male-dominated places that thrive under powerful, no-nonsense leadership,” said Erin O’Shea, executive chef at the about-to-open Percy Street Barbecue. “It can be especially challenging, as a woman, to earn the respect necessary to lead people in this environment.”

 

male vs female chefs

Both men and women make great chefs because they are driven by their passion for making great food. Each has their own style and personality that they bring to their dishes. Suzanne Venker wrote an article titled “To be happy, we must admit women and men aren’t ‘equal’” and said that “Men and women may be capable of doing many of the same things, but that doesn’t mean they want to. The fact that we don’t have more female CEOs or stay-at-home dads proves this in spades.”

This is an interesting topic to us, and we would love to hear your thoughts. So who makes a better chef? What say you?

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