Serious Eats: New York

Let's Expand Amanda Cohen's List of Kick-Ass Female Chefs in NYC

 Chefs Gabrielle Hamilton, Sue Torres, Anita Lo, Amanda Freitag and Elizabeth Falkner

Chefs Gabrielle Hamilton, Sue Torres, Anita Lo, Amanda Freitag and Elizabeth Falkner at Second Helping of Life. [Photograph: Kim Fajardo]

Last week, some food folks got talking on Twitter about the dearth of female chefs featured in New York food events—and the press's often inadequate coverage of female chefs' work. That got Dirt Candy chef and blogger Amanda Cohen on the case in a standout post last Friday. The claim: it's hard to find female chefs for events and stories in New York. Cohen's response: nuh uh!

In the time that it took her to "drink about 3/4 of a cup of lackluster coffee," she penned a powerhouse list of women who own or run kitchens in New York. Take women like April Bloomfield, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Einat Admony. Or Sue Torres of Suenos, Susan Povich of Red Hook Lobster Pound, and Jody Williams of Buvette. And plenty more, many behind great kitchens, all running the show.

Back on Twitter, more people chimed in with even more names. Gazala Halibi of Gazala Place. Wafa Chami of Wafa's. Rawia Bishara of Tanoreen. And Amanda kept adding them to her list. Here's where it stood as of Tuesday morning:

April Bloomfield - Spotted Pig, The Breslin, The John Dory
Anita Lo - Annisa
Alex Raij - El Quinto Pino, Txikito, La Vara
Missy Robbins - A Voce (formerly)
Gabrielle Hamilton - Prune
Sue Torres - Suenos
Einat Admony - Balaboosta
Lynn Bound - all MOMA restaurants
Sara Jenkins - Porsena, Porchetta, Porsena Bar
Elizabeth Karmel - Hill Country
Julie Taras Wallach - Tipsy Parson
Barbara Sibley - La Palapa
Ashley Merriman - Waverley Inn
Elizabeth Falkner - Corvo Bianco
Amanda Freitag - upcoming project in Empire Diner space
Paola Marracino - Paola's Restaurant
Zarela Martinez - Zarela (formerly)
Jody Willliams - Buvette
Jean Adamson - Vinegar Hill House, Hillside
Rita Sodi - I Sodi
Caroline Fidanza - Saltie
Donatella Arpaia - Donatella, DBar, Kefi
Lidia Bastianich - Felidia, Becco, Del Posto, Esca
Rebecca Charles - Pearl Oyster Bar
Alex Guarnaschelli - Butter
Leah Cohen - Pig and Khao
Zahra Tangorra - Brucie
Grayson Schmitz - Willow Road
Kristin Sollenne - Bocca Di Bacco
Hong Thaimee - Ngam
Akiko Thurnauer - Family Recipe
Sawa Okochi - Shalom Japan
Ivy Stark - Dos Caminos
Sarah Buck - Pies n'Thighs
Carolyn Bane-Pies n'Thighs
Erika Williams - Pies n'Thighs
Anna Klinger - Al Di La
Sara Kramer - Glasserie
Molly Nickerson - Sorella
Susan Povich - Red Hook Lobster Pound
Sohui Kim - The Good Fork
Amy Scherber - Amy's Bread
Heather Carlucci - Lassi (formerly)
Mary Redding - Mary's Fish Camp
Savannah Jordan - Brooklyn Fish Camp
Ann Redding - Uncle Boons
Meg Grace - The Redhead
Sarah Simmons - City Grit
Kitty Thammasat- Ayada
Gazala Halabi - Gazala Place
Sripraphai Tipmanee - Sripraphai
Rawia Bishara - Tanoreen
Katarzyna Ploszaj - Petit Oven
Marny Conforti - Tuscany Grill
Patti Jackson - I Trulli (formerly)
Elise Kornack - Take Root
Wafa Chami- Wafa's
Francine Stephens - Franny's
Shanna Pacifico - Back Forty West
Katy Sparks - Tavern on the Green

See the full post on Cohen's blog.

Of course there are more. Ratchanee Sumpatboon of Larb Ubol. Melissa and Emily Elsen of Four & Twenty Blackbirds. Dorie Greenspan of Beurre and Sel. Allison Robicelli of Robicelli's. And then there's Cohen herself, who certainly deserves to be on that list. Plus a whole world of pastry chefs, amazingly talented sous chefs, kitchen managers, bartenders, and street vendors who've worked their way up through the ranks to high places in their fields. For further reading, do check out Charlotte Druckman's Skirt Steak, a book with stories from over 70 women in the food industry on what it's taken to get to where they are today.

We've been to our fair share of food events and we'll agree with the critics: you often see the same faces again and again, overwhelmingly male. New York's food media, for all its diversity, tends to call on the same names again and again—overwhelmingly male. Are awesome female chefs really that hard to find in New York, or are we just not looking hard enough? As Cohen demonstrated, it's not even that hard to look.

So let's expand this list even further. What names can you add? And as for us on SE:NY, we interview chefs all the time, and more of them can and should be women.* So who do you want to see featured on Serious Eats? Let loose in the comments.

* A disproportionate spread of subjects for which I'm at fault, not our excellent writers of those series.

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