|Veteran restaurateur and pioneering chef Lisa Slay and executive chef at the Whittemore House, Grace Dinsmoor.|
Following the release of its "Gods of Food" issue last November, TIME found itself in hot water. Not a single female chef made the list of tastemakers or placed on its lineage chart of culinary influencers. When pressed about it, TIME's former news editor Howard Chua-Eoan explained it to Eater this way: "I think it reflects one very harsh reality of the current chefs' world, which unfortunately has been true for years: It's still a boys' club."
St. Louis is certainly no exception. The chefs who are written about most (including in this publication) and get the most attention nationally are overwhelmingly male. This despite the fact that, according the National Center for Education statistics, enrollment for the 2013 school year at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts' St. Louis campus was split equally between males and females. So, we wondered, what does it mean to be a "female chef" in St. Louis? And is the gender disparity in the kitchen still a problem?
We figured we'd just ask. Riverfront Times extended an invitation to nine outstanding female chefs from the area who work in different parts of the industry, from executive chefs to pastry chefs to front-of-house to culinary education professionals. They graciously agreed to gather on a late-summer evening at the Cellar at Winslow's Home (7213 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-725-7559) for food, drink and conversation.More »