Across the pond, female maître-d's are changing the face of service in the restaurant industry. A new book by author Imogen Edwards-Jones, Restaurant Babylon, has food lovers talking about the differences between male and female service; who does it better? And where are the women doing it in Toronto?
In London, UK, there was a famous female maître-d named Elena Salvoni who worked the role until her retirement at age 90.
Although the era of kitchens being boys clubs has not ended, women are taking on more and more roles in restaurants. And those roles are increasingly becoming more senior.
Here in Toronto, Alexandra Albert owns Parkdale's absinthe-and-oysters spot, Geraldine. Chef Lynn Crawford of Ruby Watcho and the Food Network's Pitchin' In has made a name for herself both in the kitchen and on the screen. And until recently, Jennifer Huether, Canada's only female Master Sommelier, headed up MLSE's wine program.
If you look, you'll see women all over the city. Check out this list of top female chefs from the breast cancer fundraiser Eat to the Beat. It may surprise you.
Who are some of your favourite female chefs, managers and maître-d's? Do you think female service is different than male? Better? Worse? Leave your comments below!
· Restaurant Service: Do Women do it Better? [Telegraph]
· Canada's Only Female Master Sommelier Out to Prove Her Mettle [Star]
· Eat to the Beat: 60 Female Chefs. One Worthy Cause. [Official Site]