Ladies' Food, No-Meat Mondays, Favorite Central American Restaurants

Categories: Talking Points
02.21.Crenn.jpg
Jamesbeard.org
Dominique Crenn.
1. The myth of the humble lady chef. The Toronto Globe & Mail has a feature today on a perennial question: Why aren't there more female chefs in high-end cuisine? As the article points out, the question is even more puzzling now that half of cooking-school students are women. While the piece is thoughtful and smartly written, it repeats a false truism that annoys me: that female chefs generally don't do experimental, device-driven cooking. Almost every article written about Dominique Crenn seems to mention this.

Frankly, I think the reason there aren't more women doing this kind of cooking has more to do with the smaller percentage of women who make it to the head of high-end restaurants -- for a myriad of other reasons. Or maybe I think the essentialist argument is bogus because the chef who opened my eyes to the many possibilities of sous-vide cooking was Seattle's Maria Hines. What do you think?

2. Meatless Mondays grows. On Civil Eats, Chris Elam just wrote about the rise of Meatless Mondays, which is half public-health campaign, half social movement. Elam, who's the campaign's program director, says that more than 150 bloggers now post Meatless Mondays features, and Oprah (!) has even given her approval. "In these polemical, partisan times, perhaps moderation is appealing," he writes.

3. Critic's pick changes. As we ramp up for the Weekly's annual Best of San Francisco issue, I'm taking on a side project: putting my stamp on the "Critic's Picks" section of our online dining guide, which you can also access on the SF Weekly iPhone app. There are currently 125+ critic's picks, all chosen by my predecessor and me. While the two of us share many favorites, last week I realized some of San Francisco's best Mexican and Central American restaurants weren't on the list. Ao I added Las Tinajas, La Santaneca, Gallardos, Taqueria San Francisco, and a few more. The list will keep evolving as I revisit old favorites. Is your favorite missing? Hit me up.

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