The age old phrase has decided to rear its unwanted and somewhat irritating head once again. Following the surge in prime time food programmes worldwide, such as the Great British Menu and the unstoppable force that is the Masterchef brand, more and more award winning chefs are being given their own ‘come look at these dishes you’ll never ever be able to make ever’ shows. However, Rachel Khoo, who you may (or may not know) from the BBC 2 show The Little Paris Kitchen, has slammed broadcasters for not showing enough female chefs on TV, according to the Huffington Post.
She says “As a woman you have to tick all these boxes to be able to be on TV. I know I look a certain way and that’s partly why I’m on TV. If I were really ugly and fat, I don’t think I’d have had the same chance.” Despite the rising number of female chefs en vogue, see Mary Berry and long time fave Nigella, it is undeniable that there just aren’t many female chefs in the public eye.
The aforementioned Great British Menu, for one, does feature both a female judge and female contestants, however, only 1/3 of the regular panel are female, and only 2 of 9 chefs in the semi final were women. Coincidence? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
But as for whether or not image is central to broadcaster’s decisions is still somewhat hazy. Khoo claims that female chefs are subject to scrutiny focused on their body, but to be quite frank, no female TV chefs that I can call to mind are the paradigm of youthful beauty.
Nonetheless, its interesting to see that although women still ‘belong in the kitchen’, they of all people are seemingly neither seen nor heard.