(Mirror) According to 2018 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 22 percent of chefs and head cooks are women, although women make up over 55 percent of the workforce in food preparation and serving-related occupations. When it comes to management positions in the restaurant industry, the percentage drops to single digits.
The hospitality industry serves as a first work experience for many women. Restaurants and bars not only discriminate against women, they also often create an atmosphere which encourages sexual harassment.
Things are changing, slowly but steadily.
The Mirror interviewed three women from three different operations; Carol Moran co-owner of the recently opened Apartment 9f, a small mom and mom operation; Annie Blake from the mid-sized Death or Glory in Delray Beach; and Lisabet Summa, Culinary Director and Chef Partner with Big Time Restaurant Group (Louis Bossi, Rocco’s Tacos, Big City Tavern, City Cellar, City Oyster, Grease, Barrio) about the challenges and rewards of being women in the male dominated hospitality industry.
Carol Moran, said she has been in the food and hospitality industry, “Forever!” She previously operated Thirteen and Thirteen-Even in Wilton Manors. Born and raised in South Florida, she worked in restaurants while putting herself through college and discovered she loved the business. She’s been doing it ever since, in a variety of capacities. She ran the wine program for a super popular busy restaurant in NYC and is now back to home with her wife Nancy to oversee her newest effort, the recently opened Apt 9f on Wilton Drive.
Annie Blake is one of four co-founders (three of whom are women) of Death or Glory Bar in Delray Beach. In addition to overseeing operations most nights at the restaurant, Blake’s day job is Director of Premium Sales for Cocktail Kingdom, the world’s premier manufacturer and distributor of professional barware (available at the Death or Glory satellite shop). She’s been with Cocktail Kingdom since 2012, where she brands barware for liquor portfolios globally (translation: she’s responsible for badass swag and keeps company with the best drink slingers across the country.)
Blake brought Miracle, the holiday Pop Up Bar, to Death or Glory in 2017 and is
expanding it to other locations in South Florida. This summer, Death or Glory has been
hosting Bar Brawls, a highly popular bartender competition featuring some of the top
cocktail slingers from the tri-county area.
She lives in Boynton Beach with her husband and their dog Buddy, who is the loveable mascot at Death or Glory. She attended NYU for Communication Studies and grew up in Clifton, NJ.
Lisabet Summa has been the culinary catalyst for Big Time Restaurant’s extraordinary growth over the past 25 years. She is one of only a few women in the U.S. restaurant industry who is both a senior culinary operations executive and owner. “LB” is responsible for new concept culinary development, design/build of high-performance kitchens for each brand, menu development, kitchen profitability, food safety, and the hiring, personnel development, and motivation of more than 600 kitchen professionals.
Prior to joining Todd Herbst and Bill Watson at Big Time Restaurant Group twenty years ago, Lisabet Summa worked with chefs Charlie Trotter and Florida’s Norman Van Aken at Sinclair’s American Grill at Jupiter Beach Resort. Summa was head chef at Café L’Europe on Palm Beach and pastry chef at Café St. Honore in Palm Beach Gardens. She was an instructor at Florida Culinary Institute where students voted her Best Teacher in 1994.
A native of Chicago, Lisabet’s early culinary inspiration came from her mother and grandmother. Her first professional culinary job was modest. She served as a line cook at a Chicago diner while attending the Goodman School of Drama. When a friend returned from attending a European cooking school, Summa’s culinary sights were raised, and she left acting behind.
She selected the French restaurant Alouette as the place she wanted to begin working in the world of haute cuisine. The all French, all male staff was put off when she knocked on the door and volunteered to work for free, but she won them over quickly. Later, Summa moved to Chicago’s acclaimed French restaurant, Maxim’s, as pastry chef.
Check out Rick's Weekly Food Column @
Check out Rick's Weekly Food Column @
Check out all of SFGN's Dec. Mirror @