International Women's Day has highlighted the achievements of women in industry and our hospitality sector has shown that the macho image of chefs is in decline, the team at Cleaner Products believe that the lyrics from the song "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" by the duo Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin sums up the change that is happening in our industry, and we are honoured and privileged to be working with the sisters who are the cream of the crop.
Clare Smyth at Core restaurant was recently awarded two Michelin Stars and her superb Core restaurant is rated No 2 in the UK and Clare Smyth MBE was voted the best female chef in the world, not bad when you think that Mr Ramsay told her she wouldn’t last a week in a kitchen. Our industry does have a sexist problem but times are changing and Clare a softly spoken Irish lass is a cool blonde and undoubtably a force to be reckoned with in the restaurant industry.
Another very successful lady is Angela Hartnett MBE who was another protege of Gordon Ramsay and has gone on to launch her own very successful restaurant group Murano in London’s West End, Angela has also gained Michelin Star accreditation and is known for her sophisticated yet simple, Italy-inspired cooking. Angela’s right hand lady is Sam Williams who oversee’s the Murano’s culinary delights at these much loved London restaurants.
However, the chef that we believe is the one to watch is Sally Abe who is the head chef at the The Harwood Arms which is only gastropub in London to hold a Michelin Star. Having worked under some of the country’s best chefs including Brett Graham and Phil Howard, Sally’s love of game and British produce lead her to become the head chef at The Harwood Arms. Sally is challenging the macho image in kitchens and is addressing the language chefs use to talk to each other and has commented “ just because it’s the way it has always been doesn’t mean it has to stay that way” and Sally’s advice for any ladies in our industry is “ be confident in yourself and what you do and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something you want to do because you can”
Well done girls it’s a pleasure to be working with you.