Skirt Steak: Women Chefs on Standing the Heat

Charlotte Druckman. Chronicle, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4521-0709-7
In this well-researched book, food journalist Druckman explores what it’s like for women in the very intense and sometimes glamorous restaurant industry as she interviews 75 female chefs and restaurant owners from around the country. Initially, the author’s jokey asides seem distracting and the footnotes reminiscent of a term paper, but once the other voices are interspersed, hers becomes endearing and the footnotes useful sources of additional background, including what certain lingo like BOH (back of house) means. She speaks with such luminaries as Alice Waters and Lydia Shire as well as newbies Christina Tosi and Stephanie Izard (to date the only woman to have won Top Chef). The chefs weigh in on a variety of subjects including how to promote themselves and grow their businesses via television and social media, and balancing 18-hour days and personal lives. But the biggest recurring issue they encounter is sexism, like the banker who won’t give a chef-owner with a thriving restaurant a loan for a second place, the guys in the kitchen who verbally abuse and harass their female counterparts, and the pastry field, where many women end up and do spectacularly well, but are far less respected by awards outfits and restaurant critics. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/17/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4521-2130-7
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