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Letter: Women in the kitchen: nothing more than a distraction to the male chefs…?

24 March 2017 by

In the April 2017 issue of Food and Travel there is an interview with two-Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines MBE, in which he states: "Stick a pretty girl in a kitchen and that's it: game over".

Now I completely understand that he wasn't talking about women actually working on the pass and I would never suggest, in this day and age, that his view extends to his employment criteria. His comment was solely in response to the possible distractions of an open kitchen. Anyone who has had an A-list celebrity unexpectedly arrive in their establishment will be well aware of the chaos it can cause to impressionable staff and indeed, customers alike. Sadly, Mr Caines had to use an explanation that gives the image of a testosterone-fuelled kitchen brigade of easily distracted teenage boys.

Our industry has been working for years to distance ourselves from the idea that the kitchen is the last male bastion save Donald Trump's cabinet; Christ, even the Pirelli calendar has moved on. Mr Caines is a leader in the catering industry, he has been awarded an MBE, his is an example to all, pot wash to hotel manager. Could he possibly do the industry a favour and think before he speaks to a journalist or keep his ‘distractions' to himself.

Please could you have a word?

Kind regards and happy International Women's Day.

Sam Wydymus

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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