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Essential Journal

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Issue 49 – Food and Drink

‘Men are physically stronger [than women] and they can absorb the pressure of the kitchen better.’  Marco Pierre White

I’ll admit it, one should typically reserve the epigraph for figures long-known for their enduring wisdom and unquestionable sagacity. But sometimes, just sometimes, the space is just as well suited to showcasing the baseless, dated, verbal diarrhea of people who really ought to know better.

Get me drunk enough and I’ll doubtless wax lyrical about my time in the food and drinks industry. Over the course of those years, I had the good fortune of working with, and learning from, women who could hold down a station – be that bar or kitchen – with the very best of them (‘them’ being professionals of any gender, you understand). And they did so not with grace or poise or any of the other arbitrarily ‘feminine’ attributes we typically like to ascribe to ‘the fairer sex’, but with grit and tenacity and a cold, hard, professional calm. 

And why would it be any other way? Success in any industry should never be predicated upon your gender, it should be a reflection of your skills. This should be a given; it should go without saying. And yet here we are, having to go back to basics because the guy who made Gordon Ramsey cry had to go and reckon something.

And it’s sad to see, really. I mean, Marco Pierre White is the guy who handed back his Michelin Stars in ‘99 because he thought they were getting boring and outdated. There was a progressive spark there somewhere, at some point. But no longer, it seems. Plato was right: You either retire a hero, or work long enough to see yourself become a rambling, knuckle-dragging part of the problem. That might have come from a Batman villain, actually. And I might be paraphrasing somewhat. Anyway; this issue is dedicated to all things food and drink. 

Bon appétit.