Women should stay in the kitchen!

by Peeter Pihel

As we celebrated International Women’s Day (at least in this side of the world) just a week ago, I found myself thinking, how come an old and worn-out expression like ‘women should stay in kitchen’ is in some occasions still in use. Although home-cooking has been and still is very much women’s domain.

If we take a look at how are things in the professional kitchens here in Estonia, we see a whole different world. Only 10% – 13% of people working in kitchen are women and even that number is mostly generated by the cooks working in school canteens. Going even further we see that we pretty much don’t have any female chefs in Estonia comparison to men working in the best restaurants here and abroad. But not to give Estonia a bad name, it’s not much different around the world as well.

Looking at the last years ”The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ we only find Elena Arzak with her father in the TOP 10. It’s worth to mention that the competition also gives out an award for Best Female Chef. I reckon that our local culinary awards by Flavours of Estonia and Silverspoon should also take notice and show their appreciation and praise to female chefs of Estonia. Culinary world is tough and sometimes even ruthless – that’s why I definitely give accolades to women who make it. We should all do that!

By the way – research has pointed out that the companies that embrace women in their boards show better business results. It’s clear that the times of running the kitchen with Gordon Ramsey-like vulgarity and abusive language should be over for good!


Angelica Udeküll & Peeter Pihel

My first teacher and mentor Angelica Udeküll - thank you for your endless trust and support