The ability of women to achieve success in gastronomy

Calonge-Sant Antoni Chair of Gastronomy, Culture and Tourism of the University of Girona organised a round table, on the 17th of September,  discussing the ability of women to achieve success in the world of gastronomy. Five female professionals from different disciplines who are linked to gastronomy discussed this principal theme and the role of women in the sector. The round table experts were Natali Canas, the architect, founding partner and creative director of El Equipo Creativo, Tana Collados, the TV3 journalist specialized in cooking and food,  Chef Carme Ruscalleda, chef of the restaurant Sant Pau,  Audrey Doré, sommelier of the restaurant El Cellar de Can Roca, and Dr. Diane Dodd, President and co-founder of the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) . The debate, moderated by the Director of the Fòrum Gastronòmic Pep Palau followed up on the presentations of Master Degree thesis’ presented by scholarship students for the academic year 2017-2018.

Dr. Diane Dodd, President and co-founder of the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT), revealed a vision of women that, “are committed to solidarity, sustainable values, to improve the planet and our environment.” As one fo the founders of the European Young Chef Award, she explained how the European Young Chef Award encourages the participation of female finalists but does not use positive discrimination because she believes women have value on their own without needing special treatment. Having a balance of gender on the jury and/or strong role female role models can be a good influencing factor to encourage female participants. This was a notion that the other participants strongly shared. Diane Dodd noted that two years ago the annual competition started out with no women competing and through actively encouraging women to participate, this year the competition will see at least three female chefs in the finals. Aside from being a competition about great gastronomy and innovation the European Young Chef is about sustainability and Diane concluded that this is a field where  “women are leaders and have much to give.”

The debate stood as an open reflection of women’s roles and influence in different aspects of gastronomy. The participants of the round table concluded that, while the role of women increasingly stands out in the world of gastronomy and important steps are being taken, women must also bet for competitive work and trust their ability to achieve success.


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