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Are there any words that you really want for people to stop describing as female cooks (or really women, period)?
Charlotte Druckman brings this question to over 100 female cooks and food writers for her book, Women on Food a compilation that embodies a range of marquee voices such as Nigella Lawson and Rachel Ray to pioneer 92- annual writer Betty Fussell, who is still entering the van at her retirement home in Santa Barbara, California, to buy raw cream and nectarines at the farmers market.
A mix of essays, questions and questions and short riffs, he is full of writing that is belligerent, funny, skeptical, angry , sometimes sacred and generally nailing. In a dignified way, this highlights offscreen icons such as Alabama midwife Georgia Gilmore, who cooks tirelessly for civil rights campaigns, and New York-based update Cheryl Rogovsky, who in 2004 became the first farmer to be selected for MacArthur's grant. show a command of topics that run the gamut from Osai Endolin's grueling story about how a solo dinner as a black woman comes from the free side of a white savior complex to the deep dive of Soleil Ho in the way Pac-Man takes on the role of food in video games, to the criticism of Sadie Stein's (too) respectful lack of sensitivity in MFK's Fisher Writing. Of the Q & As questions, the sprinkler is the one with Fussell, whose answers are as unpasteurised as the cream it buys on the farmers market. When Druckman asks, "How do you think writing food can be a feminist act?" Fussell goes back: "I don't think it should be. It's easy. Food is breaking through the stupid categories we put on things. I hate the word feminism ."
Despite this counterpoint to the clarion, Women and Food is a strongly feminist polemic. Druckman, a writer and keen observer of the culinary landscape, compiled it in the wake of the #MeToo movement and parked it on a fast-paced turnstile, where food is knocked against money, gender, race, sexuality, class and history. It begs the central question: Why are women chefs and food writers still under salt in all their undeniably brilliant achievements? Why, for example, do we constantly hear about the European culinary aristocracy of Renee Recepi, Ferran Adria and Massimo Bottura, but almost nothing about Karmen Ruskaleda, the Catalan cook who has more Michelin stars than most chefs in the world?
The answer returns, somehow elliptically, to the earlier question that Druckman asked his associates: Are there any words or phrases that you really want people to stop using to describe female cooks (or really women, period)?
The list of words turned out to be quite long. Many rejected gender qualifications, such as "women" or "women," prefer to be considered cooks or writers, tout Court. Unsurprisingly, the chick, bitch and babe have their thumbs down. So did the cheeky, the boss, the fairy, the balls, the strong, the healthy and the lioness. Mother's markers – nourishment, caring, matriarchal – and the whole cat-grandmother-pastel-glaze-cupcake-nostalgia – made some blunders.
Others labeled physical evaluators as petite, beautiful, sexy, ex-models, attractive – prosecuted by prosecutor Marie Wahara in her essay on how fashion has taken the food world away. Uyehara Takes The Deal For Food Magazine Cherry Bombe Tries As A Feminist To The Bone, But Which Calls For Her Close Reflection On "Young, Hip, Photogenic" Chefs And Putting "Serum-Feared Martha Stewart And Nigel Loson "on its cover with the price of lesser-known and not as model women.
But the word that has emerged as a lightning rod of contempt is one that may surprise readers, given that it so often and proudly spins around everyone and like ne plus ultra in praise: badass.
Over the last decade or so, badass has become part of the cliché of the cliche world of food, above with the unbearable "great" and "incredible". It began as a proud black slang for resistance, was enthusiastically attached to everyone else, and now sits at the top of a trend that turns a negative word into strikingly positive (wicked, mean, bad, sick, crazy, hernia, her brothers and sisters.  President Obama made headlines to say with regard to the US National Women's Soccer Team that "playing as a girl means being a jerk." The daily Kos was cheating that the unscrupulous Tubman would soon be on the $ 20 bill. Angie Marr is a fortune teller, proclaimed he both to the New York Times and New Yorker to the chef and co-owner of Beatrice Inn in the West Village, while The Village Voice congratulated her on bringing " badass attitude "towards the historic cookhouse.
Overuse came out of the bad spot on his range." It's like interesting : so rash it is almost pointless, "says Eater features editor Rebecca Flint Marks . "It is a designated word that conveys only thought."
But the deeper reason why so many women in the food world do not like it is because of the connotations it has acquired. Although his slang, demotic roots give him a touch of modernism, for many women he embodies the heightening conventions of masculinity that dominate restaurants in the kitchen.
It is not as if every woman cook and writer is hostile to the bad. Several use it in the book (and the media – as Angie Mar's example shows) in a completely complementary context. But for the overwhelming number, he admires the heavy, foul-smelling dressing room of those who are disparagingly known as "bro-culture."
"Badass is a blasted way to describe a kind of cultural male whiteness – aggressive, puffy," Druckman told NPR. "And then it gets put on women because what feels like a tattered 'I know the honor' or a backhand compliment. Calling a woman – cook or otherwise – a 'badass' is a way of suggesting she's cool or appropriate because it behaves like a man (specifically, aggressive, sneaky) that she is only interesting or worthy of consideration, because she is contrary to any type, because otherwise she would be categorized because she is a woman. close to equal unless it imparts masculine behavior.This exalts this harassment, bull cult at the same time that it degrades the culture of anyone who does not follow this pattern, female, white, or otherwise. "
New York restaurant Ning Kang states that expectations embodied in words like badass are that one must to persist in male personality traits to succeed. "Some women are certainly these things by nature and it's part of their personalities and it's great," she says. "But some women are gentle and gentle and shy and I don't think this should be a reflection of our style of work. We are able to succeed with our intelligence, attention to detail, sensitivity to people's feelings and more."  This feeling – that women do not have to try to feel a masculine ideal of power – is explored by author Tamar Adler, who experiences a kind of worship while working at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. When she arrived, she thought of burning her forearms from earlier kitchen prints, like the stigmas of a bad farm. "After a few months, one of the chefs, a woman, told me she had just learned to never burn and never cut," she writes. "Like, the badges of hard work and hot ovens were a little unpleasant for her. The real class was so good they didn't touch you. She never lifted a heavy compost bin or all the lamb or half pig, but calmly asked for help. She never asked for help. she was not exhausted, she was never burned, she was never exhausted, she was angry, she was dirty. She took care of herself and took care of the kitchen. I like that. "
For many women cooks, the ballroom comedy surrounding the extravagant use of badass is that while pouring on the "difficult" and cooks and those who allegedly stormed male bastions of kitchen craft – butchers, grill, burgers, sushi, wood, fire – prejudices to allow women in these spaces are still almost intact. Many chefs complain about their gender-oriented pasta, desserts, grain bowls, gluten-free, vegan, salad, brownies, farmers, food, pizza, granola and this old heavy, comfortable food.
Another remark, Druckman points out, is that badass is also a classic example of word assignment. "It came out of black culture and in that context, I think it's a great word," she says. "Seeing this word perceived to apply to a large, generic population that I think of (I know, probably reductive), collectively, as a representative of the 'white solid party blurring the frat boys' culture' is so far from the resistance as much as you can. "
Her co-workers apparently share her opinion, because – to her surprise – badass popped up in response to another question she asked: What about words or phrases used to describe male cooks (or men,
"I want terms like labor, badass, hardcore to be used to describe strength," says Teresa Nelson, who runs the blog Black Culinary History "What they really do is give a kind of toxic masculinity to men ways that support her in insane ways. I think strength is a virtue that men and women need, but there is a way we talk about men's power that reduces women while marginalizing men, as if all they could be are these one-dimensional cartoons as opposed to fully formed people. The whole story is bad for everyone. "
One of the coolest lines in the book comes from writer Jordan Rothman:" If you wish, mine is never to read another story about brothers discovering noodles. "It's a brilliant apreçu of the hugely popular tropical a show about exotic travel and food, a long corner of men. In fact, the two chefs who walked a few steps as the connecting du jour sconces culture – they were disdainfully called "the culture of brothel cuisine", "#brozone" and "all this brother" – are the late Anthony Burdain and momofuku grand D.
"I don't think it's personal – or I hope it isn't," says Druckman. I see them as links to a long-running movement, to brother culture as a foodie. The Burdain started it, from the perspective of engaging in mainstream culture and turning it into a pop-culture charm with Kitchen Confidential, and Chang representing his apotheosis – I think Momofuku culture has become synonymous with culture sconces, and this has penetrated his magazine . Peach also. Once Burdain and Chang became emblematic of this culture, they became ubiquitous; they penetrated all the media. That's why they get bro-bashing. They became denominators. "
She adds that" Burdain eventually apologized for his role in perpetuating and celebrating his brother's culture. I think Chang is also receptive to the critics who hunt him down and is still trying to adjust his brand and choice accordingly. But these labels or ideas attach to and become larger than humans. I think we will always associate them with armor at some level. "
As he edited The Women of Food Druckman grew to such an extent that he even wrote his obituary, but had to leave the book to look for space." Yes, I wrote an obituary for the word, the word " badass, "she says." And I would do it again. When I wrote this vow, my goal was to bury it with a wink. And I had a lot of fun doing it. "
Nina Martiris is a journalist based in Knoxville, Tenn.