May 23, 2011
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef
Can women be chefs? When I started in the business (gulp!) 28 years ago, the answer was ‘no.’ I was told this by chef after chef & restaurant owner after restaurant owner. I even had chef instructors at culinary school tell me the only reason I was there was to find a husband who could cook. Those of you who know me, know that just made me more determined to succeed!
I think the young women coming into the business today will have it a little easier than my generation did, but it’s still a battle, fought on the front lines every day (pun intended). For those of you out there wondering if you can be a chef, I’m living proof that YES you CAN! Go for it, but do your research and make sure you know what you’re getting into. It is still a man’s world, so you need to figure out how to not just survive but thrive in it.