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Journal Article

Why Are There No Great Women Chefs?

charlotte druckman
Gastronomica
Vol. 10, No. 1 (Winter 2010), pp. 24-31
DOI: 10.1525/gfc.2010.10.1.24
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/gfc.2010.10.1.24
Page Count: 8
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Why Are There No Great Women Chefs?
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Abstract

This article applies the rhetorical and deliberately provocative approach of the watershed essay art historian Linda Nochlin wrote in 1971—“Why Have there Been No Great Women Artists?”—to today's culinary industry. Nochlin used the question her title posed as a theoretical trap that would draw attention not only to the inherent sexism or prejudice that pervades the way the public perceives art, but also to those same issues' existence within and impact on academia and the other cultural institutions responsible for posing these sorts of questions. Nochlin bypassed the obvious and irrelevant debate over women's being less or differently talented and, in so doing, exposed that debate for being a distraction from the heart of the matter: how, sociologically (media) or institutionally (museums, foundations, etc.), people define a “great artist.” Although it's 40 years later, the polemic is as effective when used to understand the gender divide in the food world.

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