On this episode of Chef AF, our host Chef Jim Berman sits down with Chef Mollie Kaufmann of the restaurant Little Pearl in Washington, D.C. to shed some light on the “controversial” topic of being a female leader in what has been a predominantly male-led industry.
“I think there are a lot more female chefs than people realize, and I think there are a lot more female chefs behind male restaurateurs than people may realize,” says Kaufmann.
She goes on to explain that the way traditional kitchens operate does not need to change to accommodate a chef, just because that chef happens to be a woman. The only thing that needs to evolve is the industry's ability to even the playing field. To lead a successful kitchen, there must be mutual respect and a positive work environment. Chef Mollie explains that it hasn’t been an easy journey but that has not stopped her from becoming a lead chef at a highly rated restaurant.
“The end goal is the food and your experience as a guest, and it shouldn’t matter if a man cooked it or a woman cooked it or whomever,” says Kaufmann.
Listen to the podcast above to hear the full conversation with Chef Kaufmann about her journey and her advice on how to grow into a flourishing chef and team leader in today’s industry, regardless of whether you are male or female.