Tag Archives: culinary industry

Women: Changing the Culinary Industry, One Palate at a Time

Up until recent years, women have been seen as homemakers, with the old-fashioned, traditional role in mind. However, women are breaking out now and outperforming their male counterparts in many roles and industries. While cooking is certainly not a new activity, many women have flourished in this field, and have even changed the game, so to speak, for the entire industry. We’d like to honor a few of them for their ground-breaking efforts, so read on!

Women - Changing the Culinary Industry_Julia Child

Julia Child

One of the most well-known female chefs, Child discovered her love of French cuisine while attending Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. After writing 19 books, including Mastering the Art of French Cooking, her first television show, The French Chef, debuted. This show was the most successful cooking show of its time (perhaps even to-date!), and brought French cuisine to the average American table.

 

 

 

Alice WatersWomen - Changing the Culinary Industry_Alice Waters

Waters is known as the inventor of “California Cuisine”, with her love of fresh, local ingredients. In 1971 she founded Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. She wrote 12 food related books, and was the first female chef to win the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 1992. That same year, her restaurant Chez Panisse won Best Restaurant.

 

Women - Changing the Culinary Industry_Lidia Matticchio BastianichLidia Matticchio Bastianich

Bastianich arrived in New York City in 1958 after having escaped from Pola, Istria (present day Croatia) when she was just 11 years old. About 10 years later, her family opened an Italian restaurant called Buonovia, which means “On the Good Road” in Queens. When they saw how successful the restaurant was, they decided to open a second restaurant in Queens, Villa Secondo. It was here that Lidia gained the notice of food critics, going on to give live cooking demonstrations, which lead to her career as hostess on her own TV cooking show.  Years later, the family opened a third restaurant, Felidia, in Manhattan, where Bastianich became one of the first female chefs to receive a three star review.

Women - Changing the Culinary Industry_Cristeta ComerfordCristeta Comerford

Cristeta Comerford moved from the Philippines to the United States at just 23. She was recruited to be a chef during the Clinton White House, and soon became the first female executive chef of the White House. She still holds this position to this day. In early 2015, Comerford partnered with Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America, beating both Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali.

Clare SmythWomen - Changing the Culinary Industry_Clare Smyth 

Head chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Clare Smyth was Britain’s first female chef to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars. Though she admits that restaurants tend to be “testosterone-driven,” Smyth didn’t let that affect her drive and perseverance to be successful. She is proud that as a female chef she can be collaborative and add a feminine touch to her cooking, while being tough enough to get things done in her kitchen. Her award winning South Kensington restaurant is proof of her passion and positive attitude.

Women - Changing the Culinary Industry_Rachael RayRachael Ray 

Rachael Ray is a TV cooking expert who offers daily lifestyle advice. She has created a very successful career as a TV personality, in addition to writing several best-selling cookbooks, as well as being a magazine editor. Her simple homemade 30-minute recipes are loved around the world, inspiring countless families to enjoy delicious and healthy meals. Her meals are designed to be easy, quick and low-cost.

Rachel KhooWomen - Changing the Culinary Industry_Rachel Khoo

Rachel Khoo is the epitome of a game-changer. She is young, creative, and unique in her approach to the industry. Khoo uses social media and out-of-the-box thinking to differentiate herself among her colleagues, putting her videos on YouTube and adding her own Malay-Chinese-Austrian-British spice to her food. She moved to Paris, where she opened a restaurant in her own flat, calling it the Little Paris Kitchen. Rachel used her knowledge of social media, along with her passion and creative style of cooking to become a worldwide sensation, and an overnight success.

Women - Changing the Culinary Industry_Paula DeenPaula Deen

The Food Network star was famous even before she was ever on TV. Deen, along with her sons Jaime and Bobby, owns and has operated the restaurant Lady & Sons in Savannah, GA, which serves traditional southern fare and was named “International Meal of the Year” by USA Today in 1999.

Paula did go through some rough times, though, losing both parents before the age of 19, and ending up with a severe case of agoraphobia after her divorce. She was, however, able to remain a successful cook, though, and with her famous love of all things butter, went on to become a Food Network Celebrity.

Elizabeth FalknerWomen - Changing the Culinary Industry_Elizabeth Falkner

Elizabeth Falkner graduated from art school in 1989, but taking a job as a chef at Café Claude in 1990 took her off the beaten path and changed her career trajectory. She opened her first restaurant, Citizen Cake, in San Francisco in 1997, which she still owns and is the executive pastry chef. In addition to that, she is co-owner and executive chef at Orson. Falkner is known for her platinum, spiky hair and her creative desserts, and is involved in Les Dames d’Escoffier (a world-wide organization of professional women leaders in the culinary industry), and Women Chefs and Restauranteurs.

Do you know of any other female chefs that have left a mark on you or your industry? Let us know in the comments below!

A Chef and His Coat: The Perfect Pair

womens_coats

The chef coats that we know today are incredibly diverse and come in a myriad of patterns, cuts, colors, styles, and fabrics. While some chefs prefer to keep it more on the traditional side with a white coat, others like to add some spice in their wardrobe with bright colors. Fortunately, this wide range of options means that chefs can truly personalize their coats to fit their personal preferences and styles in the kitchen. For example, Chef Anish Rana, our June Chef of the Month, enjoys Poly Cotton mix and short sleeves: “Poly Cotton Mix – kitchen friendly material. I am a very hands on chef and work behind the line. I like to wear short sleeves. When they started making short sleeves, I was in heaven!” Other chefs, such as Chef Jenn Louis, prefer a more relaxed look, such as sporting a t-shirt with an apron accompanied by Dickies pants and clogs.

54318_HPBLAIn recent years, modern chefs take their everyday cosmopolitan, fashionable look and carry it into the kitchen. Many young, up-and-coming chefs show urban influences in their wardrobe with edgy cuts inspired by the runway and pop culture. A very popular color aside from the classic white is black, which gives chefs a modern, urban appeal. Skulls have even become a popular pattern for chefs to sport in the kitchen! Whatever your preference for uniform style and comfort may be, Chef Uniforms has a wealth of options to showcase your passion and creativity in your workplace!

Here are some historical facts found on Wikipedia about the chef coat and how its iconic image came about!

 

History

  • 165311_white6th century: Along with other artisans and free-thinkers in Europe, chefs faced persecution which forced them to seek refuge in monasteries where they adopted the clothing of the monks, such as toques (now known as “chef hats”) in order to fit in. Different heights of toques indicate rank within the kitchen – for example, the chef would have the tallest toque.
  • 19th century: Chef Marie-Antoine Carême redesigned chef uniforms in white to exude professionalism and cleanliness. During this same period, the chef and his staff began to wear double-breasted coats as another way to promote safety in the kitchen. This look stuck and is now the traditional garb we are familiar with today.

 

Features Chefs Love

Offering protection, durability, and functionality, chef coats are designed with these benefits in mind for their profession. Seemingly simple and sleek, the chef coats we are all familiar with today are designed with intricate detail and thought.

  • mens_coatsThe double-breasted look on chef coats was created so that chefs could simply reverse this double-breasted feature and maintain the look of cleanliness in the event that a spill were to happen on their coat.
  • The cloth buttons on the chef coat endure frequent washes and bleaches as well as the everyday wear-and-tear in the kitchen.
  • Chef coats are both insulating and heat protective – a true necessity.
  • Light, Textured Fabrics that include Mesh panels
  • Sleeves of varying lengths – long and short
  • Egyptian cotton is exclusively grown in Egypt (hence the name) and is known as the finest cotton in the world. This makes it a very popular for chefs who appreciate its strong yet soft fabric and high quality fibers. This reputation has put Egyptian cotton at the forefront for the past century-and-a-half as the highest lint quality available amongst world cottons.

As the culinary industry continues to grow, uniform designers like Chef Uniforms do their best to stay well-informed and design practical, comfortable, and fashionable coats that evolve with your profession and personal cooking style.

 Are there any styles or trends that you see emerging and would love to have? We are always open to ideas!

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