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 4 of 5)

Renee took a just-for-fun cooking class while working as an advertising buyer in New York City, and it inspired a career change. She trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute Cooking School, worked at some catering jobs and later landed a spot on the line at the celebrated restaurant Momofuku. Renee left New York to work at a farm in South Carolina, and then returned to New York to work at Momofuku Ko and as the pastry sous chef of Del Posto before moving back to Pittsburgh to run the pastry program at Whitfield. 

On femininity in the kitchen: “It’s not a putdown to have a feminine touch or a feminine side. It’s OK to slow down and talk and ask people how they’re feeling. And that’s something that’s working its way through kitchens in general. I said something once pre-shift at Del Posto about how it’s OK to address your feelings, and everyone really agreed with that.”

On the holdouts: “Things are going to change. Some companies are still in the dark, but they’re going to have to recognize it sooner or later. Women are the next big thing. We’re getting our chance and I’m excited to be part of that.”
 



 

Romane’s first job in the culinary world was at Enrico’s in the Strip District in the late 1990s, and she went to Bidwell Training Center to further her culinary education. After helping to open the cafe behind Enrico Biscotti, she spent time in Florida and Colorado before returning to Pittsburgh. Back in town, she worked as a caterer for All in Good Taste Productions before starting her own catering business in the Enrico’s kitchen. Romane opened e2 in Highland Park in 2010; the restaurant closed in October 2016. Romane soon will open Black Radish Kitchen in Point Breeze.

On feminism: “We’re part of the first generation of women who grew up with all of these options to be able do what we want. You can have a job and have a family and have a girlfriend because of the feminist generation in the ’70s. And working as a chef in the food-service industry is part of that.” 

On a new style of leadership: “We’re part of this generation where we grew up eating better food, demanding better politics of our surroundings. We’re going to demand a different work climate, and that’s happening across the board. We’re starting to level out and moving away from a lot of patriarchal behavior. We’re changing the stigma of the kitchen. You have to start living in a healthier world and change the climate for your employees. You’ll burn out if you don’t make that change.”
 



 

Thackray was working as a social worker and headed toward a career as a lawyer when at age 22 she felt drawn to a more creative pursuit. She started doing prep work for Jamilka Borges, then the executive chef at Bar Marco — work that eventually led to a line-cook position when Borges found herself short-staffed. Eventually, Thackray became the restaurant sous chef, a position she held until she opened The Vandal in Lawrenceville in 2015.

On femininity in menu design: “On the by-and-large, and people might argue with me about this, I think you can look at a menu and see if it’s a woman or a man that’s running the kitchen. The most rudimentary way to look at it is to say there’s a technique drive in men and a completeness of a dish drive in women.”

On temperament: “There are days I want to scream and to lose my temper, but it’s different as a woman. You’re still seen as hormonal or as a bitch. So it forces you to take a more appropriate line of communication, to take a moment. I’ve gotten angry, but I’ve never lost my [temper] on somebody. But that makes the environment better. It’s easier to teach people to do better when you treat them like people.”
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Battle of The Hollywood

Dormont's historic Hollywood Theater faces an uncertain future after news of a potential sale prompted an immediate public furor.

Three Rivers Champion: Cecile Springer

A self-proclaimed “loudmouth,” Springer says her favorite part of volunteering is meeting other people and persuading them to do what she wants them to do.

Phantom Thread Is, Somehow, Both Unpleasant and Lovely

Reviews of "Phantom Thread," "Call Me By Your Name," "Den of Thieves" and new animated releases, plus local movie news and notes.

Nominate the Best! Pittsburgh Magazine's 2018 Readers' Poll

What is Pittsburgh's best breakfast joint? Dive bar? Yoga studio? Local singer? Meteorologist? It's time to nominate your local favorites in multiple categories.

Amazon Includes Pittsburgh in its Top-20 List for HQ2

The list of 20 was narrowed from 238 proposals Amazon received in October. So which other cities made the cut?

Restaurant Review: or, The Whale

The Downtown restaurant is a captivating, if costly, catch.

Celebrating 5 Pittsburghers Who Built Careers Behind the Bar

Pittsburgh is a city that celebrates its neighborhood bars. In some of those spots, second- and third-generation regulars are pulling up their stools to be served by someone who started pouring drinks decades ago.

Second Chances: Crossroads in the Kitchen

People working to overcome substance abuse problems and ex-offenders discover a welcoming environment in restaurant kitchens.

How to Pamper Yourself in Pittsburgh

Looking to beat the winter doldrums? We round up the best places and experiences for a little personal indulgence.

Miss Pusadee's Garden? We Have Some Good News.

The Tongdee family now operates Burgh Thai in Verona.

The Growing Popularity of Shooting a Clay Pigeon

Skeet shooting is taking off as a favored western Pennsylvania hobby.

Steelers' No. 1 Problem Makes Others Pale in Comparison

Until they solve it, the Steelers are more of a Fantasy League team than they are a Super Bowl team.

New series ‘$1’ to be filmed in Pittsburgh

The mystery thriller is latest to cash in on the city’s filming opportunities.

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.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Amazon Includes Pittsburgh in its Top-20 List for HQ2

Amazon Includes Pittsburgh in its Top-20 List for HQ2

The list of 20 was narrowed from 238 proposals Amazon received in October. So which other cities made the cut?

Comments

New series ‘$1’ to be filmed in Pittsburgh

New series ‘$1’ to be filmed in Pittsburgh

The mystery thriller is latest to cash in on the city’s filming opportunities.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Miss Pusadee's Garden? We Have Some Good News.

Miss Pusadee's Garden? We Have Some Good News.

The Tongdee family now operates Burgh Thai in Verona.

Comments

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


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Nominate the Best! Pittsburgh Magazine's 2018 Readers' Poll

Nominate the Best! Pittsburgh Magazine's 2018 Readers' Poll

What is Pittsburgh's best breakfast joint? Dive bar? Yoga studio? Local singer? Meteorologist? It's time to nominate your local favorites in multiple categories.

Comments

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


The Battle of The Hollywood

The Battle of The Hollywood

Dormont's historic Hollywood Theater faces an uncertain future after news of a potential sale prompted an immediate public furor.

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


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers' No. 1 Problem Makes Others Pale in Comparison

Steelers' No. 1 Problem Makes Others Pale in Comparison

Until they solve it, the Steelers are more of a Fantasy League team than they are a Super Bowl team.

Comments

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


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Phantom Thread Is, Somehow, Both Unpleasant and Lovely

Phantom Thread Is, Somehow, Both Unpleasant and Lovely

Reviews of "Phantom Thread," "Call Me By Your Name," "Den of Thieves" and new animated releases, plus local movie news and notes.

Comments

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


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