Three Female Chefs Who Have Overcome the Statistic

By: Sara Pool | May 2, 2021

Although women throughout the world are traditionally associated with the gender normative expectation of cooking for the family, women chefs in the United States are woefully underrepresented in leadership roles throughout the industry. 

In a Bloomberg study conducted in 2014 it was found that less than 7% of prominent restaurant groups in the United States are led by female chefs. In fact, according to the same study there are currently more female CEOs of fortune 500 companies. 

It is not from a lack of trying as women now outnumber men at the Culinary Institute of America. There seems to be a multitude of reasons that have led to this disparity from having to leave positions due to childcare needs, to working in male dominated kitchens, to the expectation that women only want to be in pastry or garde manger, which is French for pantry manager.

However, there are still many women who are bucking the trend who own their own restaurants or lead kitchens as executives. This project explores the challenges and victories of being a female head chef in Los Angeles in 2021.

Chef Mollie Engelhart

Executive chef and owner of Sage Vegan Bistro and Brewery in Los Angeles, CA.

Interview Recorded Feb. 23, 2021

Annie Miler

Pastry chef and owner of Clementine Bakery in Century City, CA.

Interview Recorded March 22, 2021

Danielle Duran-Zecca

Executive chef and owner of Amiga Amore in Los Angeles, CA.

Interview Recorded April 2, 2021