Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

13 Women Behind The Kitchen Shift in Pittsburgh

Kitchen culture in Pittsburgh is changing as a new generation of women chefs takes leadership roles at some of the city’s best restaurants.



(page 2 of 5)

Finn began cooking in local kitchens while in high school, working as a prep cook for renowned Pittsburgh chef Toni Pais at the now-closed Baum Vivant restaurant in Shadyside. She graduated in 2003 from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. and worked in restaurants in San Francisco and Maryland before returning to Pittsburgh in 2008 to open Dinette in East Liberty. Finn will open Café Carnegie at the Carnegie Museums in Oakland late this year or early 2017.

On women-owned businesses: “It’s always there [gendered resistance], but it’s no different than the day-to-day that any woman faces. You just work through it. I got a lot of unsolicited advice. But I’m pretty headstrong, so I ignored a lot of that just like I usually do. Sometimes it’s hard to power through that and just say that this is what I do, this is my money that I’m putting in, this is my vision, and I have a lot of experience as a chef so don’t tell me what to do.”

On the big picture: “In terms of seeing the national picture, it’s become clear that Pittsburgh is unique in that there are so many women involved in our local food movement. It sets us apart a little bit.”
 



 

George was still working an administrative job at UPMC when she decided to go to culinary school at Pennsylvania Culinary Institute at age 33. After graduating, George worked at Spoon for a year and a half before moving to Legume as a line cook. She ran the restaurant’s lunch service and now oversees the day-to-day operations of the restaurant’s kitchen with chef de cuisine Tom Lonardo; she also will oversee the kitchen of Legume’s sister restaurant Pie For Breakfast when it opens next year. 

On gendered behavior from her male counterparts: “I had more of an issue in the hospital being a woman than I do in the kitchen. I dealt with a lot of doctors, and [because] I was in my 20s I got looked down on as the little girl.”

On women running more kitchens: “With the shift to celebrity chef culture, it’s become less of a male-dominated field. Everybody is interested now, and it’s more accessible.”
 



 

Hegarty got her start in the industry as a cook at Wish You Were Here restaurant in Lancaster and went to pastry school at L’academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Md. That led to an externship and employment at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore and then to Pittsburgh, where she worked at Dinette for two and a half years. Later, she worked as pastry chef at Bluebird Kitchen, was Rick Easton’s right hand at the former Bread & Salt Bakery and ran a series of popups at Spirit before taking on her latest role as chef de cuisine at Café Carnegie.

On opportunity: “It’s pretty recent in history that women had anything close to equal rights at all. It’s still not true that women have the same opportunities as men, but there’s more of that opportunity in cooking than in a lot of places.”

On unseen labor: “There are women all over the food business in Pittsburgh who are doing awesome work. Those things get overlooked all the time. Would it be the same if the husbands were home doing the paperwork and the organizational part of the business?” 
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Andrew McCutchen: Thanks for the Memories

It's hard to overemphasize McCutchen's impact on the Pirates and its fan base.

How to Make a Mt. Washington Wedding Proposal Even Better

A lot of grooms-to-be propose on Mt. Washington. Not many decorate beforehand.

Bitter End’s Chicken Dinner Fundraiser

Chefs Becca Hegarty and Rick Easton to cook comfort food to help Hegarty’s mother.

Former Art Institute Housing to Be Converted into Condos

Downtown is booming as plans develop for yet another new apartment building.

Big Ben Not Ready to Retire –– But He's Making Plans

Ben Roethlisberger will do as many former athletes have and start the next phase of his career with a dining venture.

The Post is Quite Good, I, Tonya is Even Better

Reviews of "The Post," "I, Tonya" and "The Commuter," plus local movie news and notes.

Tequila Cowboy: Fine For Some, Apparently a Bad Idea for Others

The bar, which hosted a bizarre incident involving a top Steelers coach, is fine enough for the post-collegiate set.

Researchers and Pittsburgh Dad Agree - The ‘Man Flu’ is Real

There is now science to challenge the popular notion that men are wimps when sidelined by a cold.

High Praise - The Three Steelers Added to the Fight Song

The writers of one of the most familiar Steelers fight songs has updated the lyrics to include the teams newest stars.

Steelers Must Avoid ‘Captain Ahab’ Approach to the Jaguars

The Patriots are to the Steelers what Moby Dick was to Captain Ahab and that kind of obsession can backfire.

Drink and Get Inked at the Carnegie Science Center

The upcoming 21+ night will teach you about the science of body art.

Baby Loves Tacos is (For Real) Open in Bloomfield

Owner Zachary Shell stuffs his restaurant with tasty bites as he aims to fulfill a broader mission.

Thoughtful Entertainment

Humanities Festival will examine the state and direction of our society.

PM on KD: Winter HOME Issue

PM HOME Editor Jessica Sinichak appears on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss the big changes at the Kaufmann's building Downtown and how to decorate on a budget.

Lesson Learned: How Design Changed a North Allegheny Classroom

Frustrated by his sterile white classroom, teacher Greg Geibel earned an A+ from students when he transformed the space into something resembling a modern coffeehouse.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Andrew McCutchen: Thanks for the Memories

Andrew McCutchen: Thanks for the Memories

It's hard to overemphasize McCutchen's impact on the Pirates and its fan base.

Comments

Big Ben Not Ready to Retire –– But He's Making Plans

Big Ben Not Ready to Retire –– But He's Making Plans

Ben Roethlisberger will do as many former athletes have and start the next phase of his career with a dining venture.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Bitter End’s Chicken Dinner Fundraiser

Bitter End’s Chicken Dinner Fundraiser

Chefs Becca Hegarty and Rick Easton to cook comfort food to help Hegarty’s mother.

Comments

Baby Loves Tacos is (For Real) Open in Bloomfield

Baby Loves Tacos is (For Real) Open in Bloomfield

Owner Zachary Shell stuffs his restaurant with tasty bites as he aims to fulfill a broader mission.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Here are some of our favorite ‘Burgh-inspired gifts for him, her, kids, foodies and more.

Comments

Meet the Winner of Our 2017 Cutest Pet Contest

Meet the Winner of Our 2017 Cutest Pet Contest

The winner received the most votes among five dogs, four cats and a bunny.

Comments


Tequila Cowboy: Fine For Some, Apparently a Bad Idea for Others

Tequila Cowboy: Fine For Some, Apparently a Bad Idea for Others

The bar, which hosted a bizarre incident involving a top Steelers coach, is fine enough for the post-collegiate set.

Comments

Five Essential January Events in Pittsburgh

Five Essential January Events in Pittsburgh

Country crooners, unsung pop icons, on-ice acrobatics and more winter warmers.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers Must Avoid ‘Captain Ahab’ Approach to the Jaguars

Steelers Must Avoid ‘Captain Ahab’ Approach to the Jaguars

The Patriots are to the Steelers what Moby Dick was to Captain Ahab and that kind of obsession can backfire.

Comments

Fire Still Burns on Occasion for Still-Capable Penguins

Fire Still Burns on Occasion for Still-Capable Penguins

Wins over the Flyers and Blue Jackets might signal a turning point in what's been a mediocre stretch of hockey for a team from which much more is expected.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The Post is Quite Good, I, Tonya is Even Better

The Post is Quite Good, I, Tonya is Even Better

Reviews of "The Post," "I, Tonya" and "The Commuter," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments

Documentary Week at Row House Brings Fresh, Invigorating Films

Documentary Week at Row House Brings Fresh, Invigorating Films

Reviews of "Rat Film" and "Big Sonia," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
How to Make a Mt. Washington Wedding Proposal Even Better

How to Make a Mt. Washington Wedding Proposal Even Better

A lot of grooms-to-be propose on Mt. Washington. Not many decorate beforehand.

Comments

These Elaborate Proposals Were Sure to Get a “Yes”

These Elaborate Proposals Were Sure to Get a “Yes”

Thinking of popping the question? Take a note from these grooms-to-be who set the bar high.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Former Art Institute Housing to Be Converted into Condos

Former Art Institute Housing to Be Converted into Condos

Downtown is booming as plans develop for yet another new apartment building.

Comments

Lesson Learned: How Design Changed a North Allegheny Classroom

Lesson Learned: How Design Changed a North Allegheny Classroom

Frustrated by his sterile white classroom, teacher Greg Geibel earned an A+ from students when he transformed the space into something resembling a modern coffeehouse.

Comments