This time last year, Time published a cover feature titled Gods of Food that came under major fire, and rightly so, for its serious lack of women. It's "pantheon" listed 13 "gods," nine of which were men or groups of men, and its international chef family tree was 100 percent pure dude.
In response, Eater interviewed Time editor Howard Chua-Eoan, who defended the magazine's choices by saying bumbling things like, "we just went with the basic realities of what was going on and who was being talked about," and "we did not want to fill a quota of a woman chef," and then "the media covers the industry. I don't think the media has to advocate for anything."
So, if the media isn't advocating for anything or anyone, what are we doing?
Yes, there's been a longstanding gender bias in the world of food and drink, but when Melissa Buote and I starting thinking about what it would look like if we were going to report the "basic realities of what's going on" in Halifax's food industry we came up with the idea for this feature. We started making a list of pioneers, ambassadors and newcomers—owners, chefs, servers, food lovers—who we admired, who we were excited about. Some were people we'd covered before, others we thought deserved some spotlight, and when we stepped back and looked at our messy scrap of paper full of names it was clear that our food scene is not dominated by men, at all.
So this year we've replaced our New Restaurants issue with a feature celebrating 28 rad women in local food and drink. Lists are trouble, and we totally recognize this. We don't consider this list to be an ultimate one, we have dozens of amazing names that we couldn't fit into this feature, but it's a snapshot of who's making Halifax a great place to eat and drink.
Click here to read more or navigate the list below.
Renée Lavallée, The Canteen
Amber MacLean, Morris East
Ami Goto, Dharma Sushi
Annaleisa Scigliano, NSCC
Bee Choo Char, Prince George Hotel
Ceilidh Sutherland, Field Guide
Christine White, Taste of Nova Scotia
Folami Jones, Kwacha House Cafe
Gina Haverstock, Gaspereau Wines
Hana Nelson, Afishionado Fishmongers
Ingrid Dunsworth, The Cake Lady
Jenna Mooers and Jane Wright, EDNA and jane's next door
Jessica Best, The Canteen
Kellye Robertson, Garrison Brewing Company
Kelly Neil, kellyneil.com
Lauren Marshall, enVie
Lia Rinaldo, Devour! Food Film Fest
Lil MacPherson, The Wooden MOnkey
Liz Ingram-Chambers, Le Bistro by Liz
Marie Nightingale, writer
Mary Nkrumah, Mary's African Cuisine
Natalie Chavarie, The Food Wolf
Sheena Clark and Kathy Cooper-MacDonald, Made with Local
Stephanie Bertossi, The Bertossi Group
Tara MacDonald, Two If By Sea
Unni Simensen, Scanway Catering