Food News

Five ways to celebrate women in food this International Women’s Day

Female brewers, women heading up kitchens and ladies on the floor: it's not hard to find women in the world of food and drink. But are we giving them the recognition they deserve? With this list, you can take a step in the right direction.

By Emma Breheny

Female brewers, women heading up kitchens and ladies on the floor: it's not hard to find women in the world of food and drink. But are we giving them the recognition they deserve? With this list, you can take a step in the right direction.

In a trend that's all too familiar, the top positions in many kitchens, wineries and food companies across the globe are occupied by men.

Sometimes it's a case of one step forward, two steps back. Recently we were reminded that the late French chef Paul Bocuse trained under the adept eye of Eugénie Brazier, the first woman to earn three Michelin stars; but simultaneous to this revelation, allegations of sexual assault and harassment were hitting big names in American food.

Today, the choices we make about where we dine have repercussions. Recognising women's significant contributions in the world of food and hospitality - and, more importantly, supporting women in the game - is something we can all do to encourage equality. But don't make it a one-off for International Women's Day, make it a habit. Here are five easy ways to ensure the future (of food) is female.

Dine at a restaurant headed up by a woman
Some of the country's top kitchens are run by women, each pushing Australia's cuisine into exciting new territory. While the ratio of female head chefs is still a work in progress, there are plenty of places to spend your dining dollar while supporting the likes of Thi Le, who's reinventing the mod-Asian fusion genre at Anchovy; Alla Wolf-Tasker and her benchmark fine-dining at Lake House; and young gun Alia Glorie at Perth's Billie H. Check out our full list of female-helmed restaurants below.

Buy a beer from a female-owned brewery
Thought beer was only made by boys? Think again. Women brewers are growing in number and stepping out on their own. Look for Melbourne's Two Birds Brewing, Philter in Sydney's inner west, or, if you want to double-down on the good intentions, grab a Sparkke from the beer fridge. Emblazoned with messages of protest such as "change the date" and "consent can't come after you do", every can raises money for causes close to owners Sarah Lyons' and Agi Gajic's hearts.

Support women winemakers
Like brewing, the wine industry has historically been dominated by men, but the number of women making wine continues to grow. Joining old-hands such as Prue and Justine Henschke and Vanya Cullen are Dormilona's Josephine Perry (who won the 2016 Young Gun of Wine Award), Laura Carter of Unico Zelo and Tessa Brown from Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown. A good place to start is with this list from Wine Australia.

Donate to Women in Hospitality
Australia's not-for-profit devoted to helping women lead fulfilling careers in hospitality offers its members mentoring, courses and connections to other women. Make a donation or, if you're working in the industry, sign up.

Follow female authors
Buy a book by Stephanie Alexander, Fuchsia Dunlop or another favourite food writer, retweet the work of a female food journalist or cook a recipe by your favourite female chef. You won't have to look far.

 

Bucket list: Australian restaurants with female head chefs This list is not exhaustive. Your local haunt may also be headed up by a woman in the kitchen - seek it out.

NEW SOUTH WALES
Bar Patrón by Rockpool, Sydney
Billy Kwong, Sydney
Dainty Sichuan, Sydney
Fred's, Sydney
Hotel Centennial, Sydney
Long Chim, Sydney
Mr Liquor's Dirty Italian Disco, Sydney
Nomad, Sydney
Paper Bird, Sydney
Pheast, Sydney
Subo, Newcastle
Three Blue Ducks, Sydney (Bronte)
Town, Bangalow
The Zin House, Mudgee

VICTORIA
Anchovy, Melbourne
Annam, Melbourne
Bellota, Melbourne
Cicciolina, Melbourne
Cookie, Melbourne
Dainty Sichuan, Melbourne
Donovans, Melbourne
Du Fermier, Trentham
Elyros, Melbourne
Epocha, Melbourne
Lake House, Daylesford
Longrain, Melbourne
Oakridge, Coldstream
Ricky & Pinky, Melbourne
Rosa's Canteen, Melbourne
Supermaxi, Melbourne

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Andre's Cucina & Polenta Bar, Adelaide
FermentAsian, Tanunda
Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard, Lenswood
Osteria Oggi, Adelaide
The Currant Shed, McLaren Flat
The Pot by Emma McCaskill, Adelaide
The Salopian Inn, McLaren Vale

TASMANIA
Franklin, Hobart
Fico, Hobart
The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery, Hobart

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Balthazar, Perth
Billie H, Perth
Lalla Rookh, Perth
Liberté, Albany