It’s not someone’s gender that determines what role they play in the kitchen at Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. It’s their work ethic, ability and drive.
The food coming out of clubs and restaurants is evolving. So are the chefs and kitchen environments we are creating in. With the long hours, late nights, and a high-stress work environment, kitchens usually have the reputation of being filled with men and bad boy personas, who can stand the heat in the kitchen so to speak.
But walk into my kitchen, and you’ll see something completely different.
While bragging to my wife the other night about how my team is finally coming together, she pointed out something I hadn’t even noticed. Three out of four of my evening hot line cooks are women and there’s a total of seven women working in my kitchen—something far too uncommon.
There’s the stereotype we’re all familiar with: that women do the cooking in the household. So, why is it that cooking professionally is such a male-dominated field?
Here at Grosse Pointe (Michigan) Yacht Club, everyone has an equal opportunity and I’m happy that I’m able to have a well-balanced kitchen with both men and women. I think anybody who wants to prove themselves deserves a chance in my kitchen. I don’t care if you’re male, female, purple, or can only walk backward. If you can do the job and meet or exceed our quality standards, then I will find a place for you if one is available. It’s not someone’s gender that determines what role they play in my kitchen. Their personality, work ethic, passion, drive and whether they can be held accountable or not are all factors in what position is best for them.
I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it’s believed to be that men and women are wired differently. I don’t think this difference has anything to do with what someone is physically capable of, but maybe it’s how we think, react in certain situations, and how we use our creativity. Everyone has something different they bring to the table and I want my kitchen filled with these positive differences. I want each of our positive traits to influence one another and to strengthen my team. Whether we’re male or female, there’s something everyone can offer, so why wouldn’t I want a kitchen filled with diverse chefs?
My kitchen is still predominantly men, but most likely because that’s what a majority of our applicants are. I don’t want anyone to feel intimidated in my kitchen because of their gender. But hopefully, if others know we’re not a testosterone filled kitchen, there might be more women who want to join our team.
It takes a certain kind of person to make it in a kitchen, but that doesn’t mean only men can work their way up through the ranks.