To coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8, Gastronauts Asia introduced Women in Gastronomy (WIG), their first food event and culinary conference.
Female chefs from award-winning restaurants in Thailand, Asia, and beyond, met at The Sukhothai Bangkok to discuss women in the culinary industry and to find answers, share encouragement, and celebrate the outstanding achievements of female chefs.
The line-up of world-class talents included “The World’s Best Female Chef” Ana Roš; Cristina Bowerman; Margarita Forés; Aylin Yazıcıoğlu, and Martina Caruso.
International chefs were joined by local Thai talent too, among them Nooror Somany-Steppe from Blue Elephant; Duangporn “Bo” Songvisava from Bo.lan; Garima Arora from Gaa; Phatchara “Pom” Pirapak from Saneh Jaan; Saki Hoshino from 80/20; and Chudaree “Tam” Debhakam from Top Chef Thailand.
The conference was opened by a keynote from the actress, model, and TV host Cindy Sirinya Bishop, followed by a presentation titled “Driving Gender Balance in Kitchens” from French journalist and President of Parabere Forum Maria Canabal, awarded “Most Influential Woman in Gastronomy” by the Women’s Week foundation.
Guest chefs discussed a wide range of subjects, each sharing their journey to the kitchen before presenting guests with a specially curated dish in what became a long-format 12-course lunch.
A theme of “talent has no gender” (a Maria Canabal quote) began to emerge as chefs discussed, and they agreed women’s main barriers are still the outdated gender perceptions (notably of their skills and capabilities), a primitive and archaic perception that must be addressed. As female chefs, they stated, they are as talented and as entrepreneurially-driven as their male-counterparts, and WIG provided a positive platform for them to discuss, debate, and speak up.