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June 12, 2006



I think your talent and determination will get you through the hard times. I have worked in many places in London where I was the only girl and I found having a sense of humour and a thick skin helps. It is very different from the US, with harassment policies, etc!


he is right. you'll get used to it. it does amaze me how the system treats everybody differently and on that divide. no easy advice and no hard advice either. you'll make it though and then you can tell your grandkids all about it.


Amy I'm on pins and needles to hear your updates on your experience and relaying it back to Gilles. We are so proud of you! You are paving the way for the future of women chefs and your stories and experience will help them immensly.

For now, its great to see you completely immersed in this new world and forging your place it in. I know you. You will definitely make an impression and more importanly, a difference. :)


Sorry, long comment coming up.

That's the beauty of many European kitchens - everyone's treated the same; male or female. They're rough on you no matter who you are. Gay, straight; religious, prude; boy, girl. We're all going to be fed to the lions - daily.

Sure, there's loads of sexual (and other) humor; but at least there's humor. We all share one bathroom; and we all share the mess. The hours get in the way for any guy (or gal) who wants time with their family.

Sounds just like the last place I worked in Madrid.

Don't use your gender to "get out of" the nasty jobs; you'll lose the respect of your peers. Do however accomodate your physical strength and get help with the giant stockpots. Don't be butch; be a really competent cook.

You're right, the restaurant kitchen is not set up for women at all; not for women separate from men. It's set up for cooks.

Two notes: Ask the office if there's another w.c. that you might use (upstairs?) - for the sake of privacy. Although my experience is that the female cooks, washers and wait-staff just as often barged in on me changing as vise versa. It is, after all, Europe - and we're a tad more casual about body awareness.

Walking to and from the resto in your uniform is not a policy of your workplace; it is a French regulation. You can be cited and fined for endangering the public health. Although that's really very unlikely.


I've worked as an engineer, another male-dominated profession, and out on the construction sites you're very aware that you're not "one of the guys." But I found that being friendly and professional goes a long way to making things go smoother - I'm sure most of the guys want things to go well too! I really admire your strength and fortitude - and that's a great pic!;)

Ms. Glaze

Thanks for all encouragement!!! I can't tell you how nice it is to come home at 11PM and read encouraging words.

Will – I can tell you have a lot of experience in Eurpean kitchens whereas mine is mainly in San Francisco and in London. I really appreciate you filing me in on the French regulations, I didn't know it was illegal to wear your uniform out. However, on another note, there's a reason why sexual harassment is illegal in the States.


And we wait impatiently for your 35 women / 1 man kitchen in your own 3 star restaurant :)

shuna fish lydon

I have often filled the position of being the only woman in kitchens I've worked. I have worked for female amd male chefs, large restaurants and small. I was told early one, by another female line cook, that I would have to work twice as hard for half as much respect.

I have also worked for female dominated kitchens and I do not prefer them.

I think it's important to talk about these inequalities as well as it is to understand that they are part of the business.

I feel, often, that it is my duty to tell people who will never understand the internal working of a professional kitchen about them. Because otherwise kitchens will continuously be filled with people who only have stars in their eyes, not those prepared with stamina and an uncompromising work ethic.

Incredible female chefs have paved your path, I look forward to you and I taking on the responsibility of paving the path for others after us.

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