I’m not sure who to blame for my outrage. The subject line in my RSS feed says “France’s Anne-Sophie Pic Named World’s Best Chef”. And the post it represents says the same thing. But the website The Food Section really only aggregates posts from other places, and clicking through to the full article at The Independent makes for a very different story. Anne-Sophie Pic is, according to the bottled water company that decided the contest, the world’s best FEMALE chef.

And what pisses me off is – why should there be a distinction? Why are we still separating our chefs by gender?

Sure there are fewer female chefs, for a whole variety of reasons ranging from family choices (men can’t have the babies) to history (hundreds of years ago, because men were always paid more, male chefs were seen as status symbols), but it doesn’t mean that the female chefs who are working and running kitchens and restaurants aren’t every bit as good as the men.

Is the gender segregation meant with good intentions – to level out the playing field? Or is it misogyny, pure and simple?

Pic, like her father and grandfather before her, holds 3 Michelin stars. To my knowledge, Michelin doesn’t have a separate set of stars or awards for restaurants run by female chefs versus male chefs. So why the segregation for this contest?

Image: Anne-Sophie Pic photo: Jeff Nalin/Maison Pic

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