Female chefs collaborate on menus during Women’s History Month
Timed with Women’s History Month, Rosewood Miramar Beach is featuring a collaborative menu between Caruso’s chef de cuisine Shibani Mone and Chef Rachel Haggstrom of Paso Robles’ The Restaurant at JUSTIN.
Both restaurants were awarded a one Michelin Star as well as the Michelin Green Star for 2022.
Chef Mone will host Chef Haggstrom at Caruso’s for two nights on March 17 and 18, and the following week Chef Haggstrom will host Chef Mone at JUSTIN on March 24 and 25.
Each night the pair will prepare a special menu highlighting their unique points of view with an eye on sustainability and Central Coast produce.
Menu items will include Santa Barbara Abalone, Morro Bay Oyster, Crown Jewel Caviar; Channel Island Halibut, White Asparagus, Pacific Clams, Asparagus Crema; Maple Leaf Farms Duck, Huckleberry, Beet, Buckwheat; Santa Barbara Bluefin Ahi Tartare, Lemon, Taggiasca Olives, Almond Granita; Hand Pulled Burrata, Spring Peas, Potato, Prosciutto di Parma; Coastal Miramar Honey, Pixie Tangerine; and Vanilla Maccaron, Blueberry Bonbon, Saree’s Snickers.
Costs are $295 for the Chef’s Tasting Menu, an additional $195 for the standard wine pairing and $345 for the additional elite wine pairing.
With an impressive resume featuring high-profile kitchens around the country including Eleven Madison Park, NoMad and The Modern in New York City and Quince in San Francisco, Chef Mone approaches her work with a discerning palate and pursuit of excellence.
She received her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and kitchen administration from the Institute of Hotel Management in Aurangabad, India, and her associate master’s degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America in New York.
A California native, Chef Haggstrom joined JUSTIN in 2019 and is best-known for her upscale farm-to-table cooking style that draws influence from the state’s bounty of fresh, seasonal produce, allowing her a wide variety of ingredients that bring California’s seasons to the plate.
In her role as executive chef, she leads the culinary team that caters events, galas and weddings as well as the dining program at JUSTIN’s Tasting Room in downtown Paso Robles. Most recently, The Restaurant at JUSTIN received Five-Stars in Forbes Travel Guide’s 2023 Star Awards, one of the most prestigious global ratings for luxury hotels, restaurants, and spas.
Chef Haggstrom earned her culinary degree at the California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco. She then worked her way through the kitchens of various elite culinary destinations including The Dining Room, the Michelin Star restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco; the former Postrio by Chef Wolfgang Puck; Thomas Keller’s three Michelin star-restaurant, The French Laundry; and as executive chef at the Balboa Bay Resort.
Chef Haggstrom and Chef Mone are in rarified company as two of the 25.2% of female chefs in the country. According to www.chefspencil.com, about a quarter of head chefs around the world are women, but only 6% of head chefs of Michelin Star restaurants are female.
The number of female chefs is on the rise worldwide with several countries reporting a steady increase over the past few years. In the United Kingdom, the number of female chefs has increased by a third since 2016, and they now make up about a quarter of the workforce.
The United States has also seen a steady rise in female chefs over the past seven years. In 2014, 22% of the chefs were female, while in 2019 the number increased to 23.9%.
But while the number of female chefs is on the rise, what’s the picture at the very top of the table? How many female chefs run the world’s best restaurants, and how does the number at the top compare to other industries?
To answer these questions, an industry team researched the number of female chefs who run some of the best restaurants in the world. Specifically, it analyzed 2,286 Michelin-starred restaurants in 16 countries as well as the top 100 restaurants in the world ranked by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants association (three quarters of the world’s 100 best restaurants are also Michelin-starred).
In Norway, Sweden and Denmark, there are currently only two female chefs running a Michelin-starred restaurant. Compare that to 62 male-run Michelin restaurants in the region.
In the Netherlands, there is only one female chef among the 112 chefs running the country’s top restaurants, while in Germany, there are only 13 female chefs among the country’s 337 Michelin-starred head chefs. France scores only marginally better than Germany with 5% of Michelin-starred restaurants led by women.
The share of women-led top restaurants is higher in the United States (7%) and the United Kingdom (8%). But two countries in Europe’s south and two of the continent’s culinary powerhouses — Italy (10%) and Spain (11%) — lead the table with the highest share of women in leading culinary roles.
The team asked several top chefs and organizations about the causes for the underrepresentation of women in leading culinary roles.
“Since we introduced ‘The World’s Best Female Chef Award’ 10 years ago, we have been working to draw attention to this inequality and to shine a light on supremely talented female chefs — both with the aim of celebrating them as individuals but also to inspire future generations of young women,” said William Drew, director of content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
“Until women are more equally represented in the hospitality sector or occupy higher positions within the industry on a more equal scale, we will continue to celebrate and elevate the achievements of women in this space.”
The introduction of the award created some controversy in the industry, as some people complained it was discriminatory. But many appreciated it for what it is — a celebration of the most accomplished female chefs in the industry.
“We hope that one day The World’s Best Female Chef Award isn’t needed, but until there is more diversity in the industry, we’ll continue recognizing the best female chefs and inspiring ongoing debate around gender issues in the food world,” said Mr. Drew.