28 December 2019

Weekend Cooking: The Heat: A Kitchen (R)Evolution (Film)

Review of The Heat: A Kitch (R)EvolutionIf you're looking for an interesting food-related documentary to watch this weekend, I recommend Maya Gallus's The Heat: A Kitchen (R)Evolution (2018; 1.25 hr).

This film introduces us to seven successful women chefs in the United States, Canada, England, and France and primarily addresses the issue of why the restaurant industry is still so male dominated. Is it the restaurant culture, the media, or men in general?

These women, most of whom run or own restaurants, talk about their experiences in the abusive atmosphere of professional kitchens. The restaurant system is likened to the military: with strict hierarchies and no room for questioning. The women also compare and contrast their experiences in the (male-dominated) kitchens they were trained in to their own styles in the kitchens they run.

Restaurants are not easy places, and it's difficult for women to get ahead, to get attention, to get the financial backing, and to be treated with respect. Those difficulties are compounded for women of color.

Review of The Heat: A Kitch (R)Evolution

Chefs Suzanne Barr, Victoria Blarney, Amanda Cohen, Angela Hartnett, Ivy Knight, Charlotte Langley, Anita Lo, and Anne-Sophie Pic talk about their struggles and successes to gain recognition and to break the cycle of aggression and abuse found in restaurant kitchens. There is some mention of the #MeToo movement and of being afraid to speak out or of being the first to speak out.

Review of The Heat: A Kitch (R)EvolutionIn the end, all recognized the need for change and the need to give women professional chefs their due, but no one really had any good ideas for how bring this revolution to fruition.

Gallus does a good job transitioning us from one chef and location to another and of showing us that, despite each woman's unique situation and personal history, there are universal problems in the restaurant industry that are shared by all. The film also makes us aware of the importance of supporting women-owned restaurants of all kinds. The Heat: A Kitchen (R)Evolution will give you something to think about.

Here's the trailer:

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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rhapsodyinbooks 12/28/19, 6:36 AM  

I'm always amazed to read or watch accounts of what it is like in restaurant kitchens. Thanks for the review of this documentary - sounds so interesting!

Mae Travels 12/28/19, 7:02 AM  

So many women chefs have the same message -- that life in a restaurant kitchen is hellish -- that it seems totally believable. The choice of women from several countries makes this seem even more representative. I'm always suspicious of books that concentrate only on New York. So it sounds really good.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

bermudaonion 12/28/19, 8:18 AM  

This does sound really interesting. We have a lot of really good restaurants around us and, as far as I know, only one has a female head chef.

Tina 12/28/19, 9:46 AM  

I’d love to watch that. I was hoping Gabrielle Hamilton from her restaurant Prune was included. Big fan. I’ll look for this DVD.

Jackie McGuinness 12/28/19, 9:55 AM  

Three are from here in Toronto, yet I only know of the first one.
Toronto favourite Suzanne Barr of Saturday Dinette, The Gladstone and Kid Chocolate, who is diversifying kitchens one restaurant at a time; renegade Toronto chef Charlotte Langley, who has done away with traditional brick and mortar to host elaborate dinners off the grid, as well as Toronto writer/former line cook Ivy Knight on why she left the industry.

Saturday Dinette is closed. I've been to the Gladstone, but not when she was there.

sherry fundin 12/28/19, 11:01 AM  

i have some great cookbooks and this would be a wonderful way to showcase them. i will keep this in my mind for after the holidays
sherry @ fundinmental

gluten Free A_Z Blog 12/29/19, 7:51 AM  

Looks like an interesting documentary. Came by to wish you a Happy New Year!

Abigail Pearson 12/29/19, 1:37 PM  

This sounds awesome! I need to check it out.

Gail Gauthier 12/29/19, 5:23 PM  

Everything I've heard about working in professional kitchens suggests it's rough for everybody. But isn't feeding people a nurturing act? Don't we think of nurturers as being nurturing?

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