1. Peggy Chan, Grassroots Pantry
As a young girl, I was inspired to cook and host gatherings by my mother; the happiness and joy she gained from cooking for others was endearing. I realised I was capable of cooking professionally, despite the culinary world being a male-dominated one, when I was nudged by my high school guidance counsellor to try it out. The more I cooked, the more I realised my passion; this inspired me to become a better cook.
There are many women making real progress in the industry; Alice Waters, the pioneer of farm-to-table cooking has made huge changes to the way we see, source and consume food.
Whether in significant or subtle ways, sexism exists—not only in the hospitality world, but also across many male-dominated industries. Most people don't call it out because we've enabled that sort of culture, masking it as an industry norm.
The industry used to be very good at “putting women in their place”, but times have changed. My approach to dealing with sexism is by calling it out – whether in restaurants I’ve worked at, or even within my own kitchen. I empower women to speak up for themselves.
The industry used to be very good at “putting women in their place”, but times have changed