Tag Archives: paula deen

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!

Chef Advice – Humility, Prep, Culture, Work Ethics and Patience

Chef Advice and Words of Wisdom found on blog.chefuniforms.com

You should never underestimate the value of experience. It is likely that people who have been around longer know a thing or two that you may not. In that light, it is always important to learn as much as we can from those people, and take whatever advice they are willing to give. With that said, here are a few words of wisdom from some great chefs around the country that just might be useful to you one day.

Chef Advice and Words of Wisdom from Chef Kristen Kish found on blog.chefuniforms.com

Kristen Kish, winner of Top Chef’s 10th season: “Honestly, one thing I wished I learned earlier on was humility and how to humble yourself, and how to start from the bottom, because that’s where you learn the most. You don’t have to be in a million places at once, you’re in charge of one thing and you have to learn and listen and be more aware of what’s happening around you. But at the end of the day, it’s a hard industry. It’s hard. There’s sacrifices that are made and work will come before personal life. You’ll give up friends and family and holidays and events and you’re gonna lose people out of your life. But that being said, you get to surround yourself with people who share the same passion. You have to choose wisely though, because there’s a lot of restaurants that breed bad habits. Whether it’s how the restaurant runs or late-night partying, it’s the restaurant industry. And it’s hard not to give into those temptations, because it’s kinda fun. But once you find that professional kitchen that truly knows how to run and breed true talent, you stick with that. It’s one of the hardest industries I’ve ever been a part of, but also the most rewarding once you make that breakthrough. You go through culinary school and have that idea of working in kitchens, and it’s a harsh reality once you go into your first real kitchen. A lot of people give it up, but another great thing about the industry is you get to jump around from city to city, restaurant to restaurant. Give it two years and move on. For a commitment-phobe like myself, it works out well.”


Chef Advice and Words of Wisdom from Paula Deen found on blog.chefuniforms.com

Paula Deen, Paula’s Best Dishes: “Remember, y’all, it’s all about the prep. Take away the stress by doing the prep the night or day before. You’ll look like a star.”


 Chef Advice and Words of Wisdom from Tony Mantuano found on blog.chefuniforms.com

Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia in Chicago, IL: “It’s important to look at tradition and culture for inspiration. Look to the past to move forward. Go and spend time in the region of the cuisine you’re interested in. Learn the techniques and how local chefs are modernizing their own culinary traditions. See how people actually live. That experience will certainly come through in your food and help create a unique point of view.”


Chef Advice and Words of Wisdom from Marc Vetri found on blog.chefuniforms.com

Marc Vetri, Sara’s Weeknight Meals: “Work ethic and attitude is everything. It’s the only thing that matters. I would take a less knowledgeable cook with a great attitude and work ethic over a talented prodigy with pissy attitude any day of the week. It will always make for a better team at the restaurant. I can’t tell you how many amazing cooks have been through my kitchens and simply have not made the cut because of their attitude. And guess what? Three, four, five years later those cooks are still line cooks. They still complain about how much everybody else sucks around them. If you’re a line cook at 25 and still one at 35, it’s time to look in the mirror. I can guarantee that YOU are the problem not anyone else.”


Chef Advice and Words of Wisdom from Gaston Acurio found on blog.chefuniforms.com

Gaston Acurio, La Mar: “The most important ingredient in this food world for young chefs is to be patient. When I was 20-years-old I had to go to a library, now if I want a recipe I can have it anywhere – maybe one million recipes. All this information that you’re receiving makes you think that you’re prepared but you’re not, the experience of life is very important to cook better. You don’t have to worry, you don’t have to rush – wait for your moment and listen to your soul to know when is your moment to go further. In the meanwhile learn, learn and learn.”

And finally, a bit of advice from us at ChefUniforms.com: “Always keep your chef coat clean and stain-free (as much as you can – you are in a kitchen, after all!). For information on how to take care of your chef coats, see our blog “Keeping Your Chef Coat Clean During the Holidays”.

As with any advice you are given, BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? Leave it below for our Chefs!

Who Do You Relate To?

We often associate ourselves with those who inspired us to become who we are today. Sometimes, those associations are with celebrities. We tend to pick out a certain “celeb” in our own industry who reminds us a little of ourselves, whether it be by personality, by looks, or by some other distinguishable trait. Why do we do this? Beats me! But it’s fun to find out what people think about themselves and the celebrities they admire. So, the question remains…

Which of these famous chefs do you relate to the most and why? Leave us your comments, but remember to keep it PG!

1.  Chef Gordon Ramsay         2.  Chef Paula Deen          3.  Chef Rachael Ray


4.  Chef Emeril Lagasse         5.    Chef Bobby Flay         6.  The Swedish Chef


Can’t relate to any of these chefs? Who else do you associate with? We want to know!

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