Dominique Crenn has lashed out at San Pellegrino saying their leadership skills were disappointing and they were not inspiring. This comes after an image did the rounds on social media showing a total of 37 jurors for the San Pellegrino 2018 Young Chef competition from nine different regions without a single woman.
This is not the first time that giants like San Pellegrino, Michelin or the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list have been the subject of tough criticism for ignoring women in what is often called a ‘boys club’. This despite the fact that the World’s 50 Best Restaurants have come up with the title of female chef of the year. Dominique Crenn won the award in 2016
Pressure on this issue has been mounting over recent years with journalist Maria Canabal also setting up the Parabere Forum to raise awareness on the issue. But she was not alone. GELINAZ! silently organised an event in Upper Austria this summer which involved 12 male chefs and 11 female chefs (one female chef dropped out at the last minute otherwise it would have been equal).
“You are not inspiring and I hope you learn from this, and show up for all of us. Please evolve and do the right thing.”
Crenn, based in San Francisco and considered to be one of the best chefs in the World and who has also been featured in the Chef’s Table series told San Pellegrino on their Instagram feed that “you are not inspiring and I hope you learn from this, and show up for all of us. Please evolve and do the right thing.”
She said ‘we are in 9 countries not one female representative, truly shocking. Shame of you San Pellegrino”.
According to the San Pellegrino site, there are women jurors in regions not pictured in this particular post, including Jen Agg for Canada, April Bloomfield for the USA, Ana Ros for Eastern Europe, Cristina Bowerman, Caterina Ceraudo and Loretta Fanella for Italy among others, but the photo on social media speaks volumes and the disparity is shocking.
At the Gelinaz! event in Austria, Ana Ros told Food and Wine Gazette that there is more awareness today about the additional difficulties that women face when working as chefs in a restaurant. But at the same time, she also says that today men also participate in the upbringing of their families and therefore the challenges are the same for everyone.
Many chefs, including the male chefs who were at GELINAZ! DOES UPPER AUSTRIA spoke about how the event was calmer and different to usual. San Pellegrino may need to take a leaf out of the example set in Austria.
They cannot afford another marketing blunder of this kind.
The third edition of S.Pellegrino Young Chef will be held in Milan in 2018 and will include area finalists from each region of the world.