On the occasion of March 8, International Women’s Rights Day, TheFork investigates the role of Chef. How? With a survey of their own restaurants partner  and with the testimony of Jessica Rosval, Chef of Canadian origins, winner of the Bellavista “Cook of the Year” Award by the Espresso Guides. And finally, Europe’s leading online restaurant booking app has selected a few restaurants driven by Woman chef not to be missed.
Female catering between obstacles and opportunities
While 72% of the Chef respondents have a very long relationship of fidelity with the place where they work, often since the opening, on the other hand 39% say they have encountered several obstacles due to their gender. Furthermore, two out of three (60%) argue that being a man facilitates the career path in catering. Although 60% of respondents stated that there is no one in the restaurant where he works Chefmore than half of the women interviewed (52%) are convinced that the number of Chef has increased in the past 5 years. Among those who said they have male Chefs in the kitchen, 68% affirm that this decision has nothing to do with the gender they belong to and the perspective is therefore that this situation can change more and more rapidly. Moreover, there are many Chef famous people who have distinguished themselves in Italian catering in recent years: the best known among those recognized by those who responded to the survey are Antonia Klugmann (7%), Cristina Bowerman (6%), Nadia Santini (5%), Annie Féolde (4 %) and Viviana Varese (3%).
In the kitchen, solidarity is woman: the case of Jessica Rosval
Precisely with a view to enhancing female catering, TheFork is happy to report and support the activity of Jessica Rosval, a young Chef of Canadian origins who, after a five-year experience at Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana, in 2019 was chosen by Bottura himself and his wife Lara Gilmore to manage the kitchen of Casa Maria Luigia in Modena. Furthermore, in 2021 the Espresso Guides chose her as “Chef of the Year”: “For me cooking is not a competition, it shouldn’t be: I am obviously proud of my team, with whom I share this recognition but the most important thing for me is to have the opportunity through this award to be able to communicate to as many people as possible, ”he told TheFork.
In this case, the message that Rosval wants to spread is that linked to AIW – Association for the Integration of Women, a Modenese association founded in 2020 by her best friend, Caroline Caporossi, which aims to provide migrant women with professional training that allows them to actively integrate into the fabric of Italian society: “We realized, especially in the period of the pandemic, that many women arrived in Italy for various reasons they were unable to live up to their abilities and potential, to live the life they had dreamed of. We asked ourselves what we could offer these people: I have my knowledge from Chefso why not make them available? ”.
“Our project is divided into two parts: the first is the culinary training, which we offer specifically to migrant women from our community to whom we teach the basic techniques of cooking and also the fundamentals of the world of work in Italy”, continues the Chef underlining how the goal of the four-month course is to confer on these women not only the skills but also the confidence needed to fit into any reality in the restaurant world, chosen on the basis of their abilities, their inclinations and their practical commitments in the family. But this is also accompanied by the opening of a restaurant real: “Second, we are about to open the restaurant Roots: it is important because it will be a cooperative company whose profits will be immediately reinvested in training projects and, above all, it will represent the first destination of those who leave the courses, in order to give a concrete idea of how this type of profession works “.
Jessica Rosval is a prime example of how the restaurant world is changing: “Once this sector, like all the others, was dominated by men, now women they are making their voices heard more and more. Let’s say enough to have to prove that we are up to it every time, we reiterate that we too have ideas, experiences, stories to tell “. And he adds: “I have nothing to prove to men who think there is no room for women in the kitchen, I don’t care about them. I know that in this moment of my life I am where I need to be ”. Here, precisely, Rosval’s final message is projected towards tomorrow: “Excluding women is a thing of the past, all the beauty and light, on the other hand, are in the future. And I choose to live there “.
TheFork supports this commendable initiative and the restaurant Roots will soon be bookable on the platform.
The restaurant selection of female Top Chefs
Waiting for more and more young female talents to enter the restaurant world, here is a selection of restaurants available on TheFork that already today can boast a solid and imaginative female guide.
La Capanna di Eraclio, Codigoro (FE), Chef Maria Grazia Soncini
Marked with a star on the MICHELIN Guide, La Capanna di Eraclio offers a familiar and almost homely atmosphere, cloaked in nostalgia, in which to taste typical recipes made above all with local delicacies, those of the Po delta, carefully prepared by Chef Maria Grazia Soncini .
Glass Hostaria, Rome (RM), Chef Cristina Bowerman
Cristina Bowerman and her Glass Hostaria are also marked with a MICHELIN Guide star: in the heart of Trastevere, the cuisine here becomes an expression of the border, between tradition and innovation, between Italian recipes and fusion solutions, between reassuring elegance and experimental courage. Special attention also for vegetarians.
Il Falconiere, Cortona (AR), Chef Silvia Regi Baracchi
Immersed in a relais and before that in a farm in the Cortona countryside, Il Falconiere, a Michelin Guide star, is a restaurant that envelops you with its relaxed atmosphere and traditionally Tuscan cuisine, which Chef Silvia Regi Baracchi enhances through strictly local recipes and products.
La Perla del Mare, San Vincenzo (LI), Chef Deborah Corsi
The scenography, in La Perla del Mare, a Livorno restaurant recommended by the MICHELIN Guide, is already one of the main ingredients, overlooking the beach of San Vincenzo with, in the background, the islands of Capraia and Elba. Deborah Corsi’s cuisine, then, is a celebration of seafood recipes reinterpreted with a decidedly contemporary twist.
I Salotti, Chiusi (SI), Chef Katia Maccari
I Salotti a Chiusi is a restaurant with a suggestive setting, especially when in summer you can dine in the outdoor gazebos. The cuisine of Katia Maccari, which received a MICHELIN Guide star, is creative and rooted in the products of the same farm. There is also a historic cellar with over three thousand labels.
The White Cutlery, Abano Terme (PD), Chef Mariana Epure
At the foot of the Euganean Hills stands La Posata Bianca, a restaurant with a fascinating and romantic setting. The cuisine of Mariana Epure brings together experience and innovation, aiming at a cuisine of both sea and land that aims to enhance the flavors and above all the carefully selected raw materials.
Mamìe, Monza (MB), Chef Maria Rosaria Peluso
Essential, elegant, modern but also deeply linked to family roots, the same as the “grandmother” who gives the place its name: in the Mamie restaurant, the Salento Chef Maria Rosaria Peluso develops a Mediterranean and innovative cuisine, with great attention to conviviality .
Prosit Restaurant, Caselle Torinese (TO), Chef Manuela Devietti Goggia
The Prosit restaurant boasts a more than secular tradition in the Turin area, which Chef Manuela Devietti Goggia has recently renewed with a formula that blends classic Piedmontese and Ligurian cuisine with the formula of gourmettine, small and delicious courses. There is also a delightful tea room.
U Fucularu, Catania (CT), Chef Carmela Grasso
In the heart of the splendid Catania, U Fucularu is a proudly family-run trattoria, where Carmela Grasso offers its guests authentic Sicilian cuisine, with the freshest Mediterranean flavors, ready to celebrate the most typical ingredients of this land. On the menu fresh pasta, meat and fish dishes, classics such as caponata or exotic proposals such as cous cous.
 Data collected by TheFork through a survey conducted in Italy from 17 to 25 February 2022 on 542 partner restaurants.