The Female Chefs Reigning Over the Culinary Industry

The Female Chefs Reigning Over the Culinary Industry

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Out of the top 100 on our Social Chefs list, 15 are women. 

This just demonstrates that restaurant kitchens are still dominated by the male sex. Not to mention, male chefs earn an average of 28.1% more than female chefs, according to Glassdoor.

But, why is that? Is it an issue of sexism in the kitchen? Or is it that women often have to pick between advancing their careers or having children?

Nonetheless, the world is changing and now there is a new generation of female super star chefs who are changing the culinary landscape for the better.

So, we decided to highlight some of the top ladies on our list.

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What Makes Renee Erickson's Restaurants a Success?

Renee Erickson in the kitchen  | thewhalewins.com

Renee Erickson in the kitchen | thewhalewins.com

Renee Erickson is the James-Beard nominated chef and owner of four wildly successful and different restaurants in Seattle, including The Walrus, The Whale Wins, Barnacle, and Boat Street Cafe.

So what started it all? Well, Erickson never intended to have a career in the restaurant world. She is not a classically trained chef and started as a waiter at the French restaurant, Boat Street Cafe. At age 24, the original owner of Boat Street Cafe asked her to take over the business. With a group effort from some of Erickson's friends and family, the restaurant was remodeled in one weekend. It reopened looking completely different and the rest is history.

So what makes her a successful restaurateur?

  • She picks her staff carefully and trains them in a hands-on approach to make sure they are the right fit for the restaurant team.  
  • The selected ingredients from the farmer's market determine the menus.
  • By wearing multiple hats: even though she now spends her time managing the restaurants instead of cooking in the back of the house, she will still step in to help if the restaurant is short-staffed.

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