Celebrating Women in Culinary Culture

The first International Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York. Today it is celebrated on March 8th, and the theme this year is Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.  It’s of particular interest when it comes to the culinary work place, where it is often noticed, women chefs are a minority.

Ariane in the Kitchen 1980s EDIT

The founder and owner of D’Artagnan, Ariane Daguin, was a trailblazer back in 1985 when she began her company.

Ariane has been has been making culinary history as a strong female role model ever since. Here’s an article in New York Business Journal that tells her story.

She has explored the question of women in business many times, including in this interview on the topic with the Huffington Post, where she advises: “Don’t think of yourself as a woman, think of yourself as a business person. When you enter a negotiation or are managing other people, thinking more about “being a woman” over- complicates the situation and will interfere with the end goal.”

The Stainless Steel Ceiling

Where are all the women in professional kitchens? Although women are the majority of home cooks, they run only a small percentage of top kitchens in New York and elsewhere. New York Magazine talked to seven prominent women chefs in NYC to find out why they think this is the case.

Interestingly, the National Restaurant Association found that roughly 50 percent of all restaurant businesses in the nation are owned by women, and women-owned eateries are growing at a faster rate than restaurants as a whole in the United States. Although they may not be the head chef, 61 percent of adult women have worked in a restaurant at some point in their lives. The stats are encouraging.

Women in Restaurants Info Graphic NRA

Women in Culinary Education

For the first time in its history, the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York has more women enrolled in the school than men. As of this fall, 51.6 percent of the student body is female. With more women graduating we can expect to see an increase of their numbers at restaurants in the coming years.

One CIA alum, Melissa Rodriguez, recently made history when she became the first female chef at the 4-star (New York Times) restaurant Del Posto – one of Manhattan’s most high-profile Italian restaurants. Read an interview with Rodriguez in Grub Street to see what it takes for a woman to make it in the kitchen.


Women Who Can Take the Heat

For those in the culinary profession, Women Chefsand Restaurateurs is an organization that supports women in the culinary industry, and Ariane has been an active collaborator and partner for years.

WCR Website Screen Shot

Enjoy these photos of Ariane with some of the female movers and shakers in the culinary world and beyond. And join us in raising a glass to women around the world today.

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