‘Ottawa’ Capital Voices: ‘There is Nothing that Could Give Away my Gender in Your Plate’
In anticipation of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations, the Citizen’s Bruce Deachman has been out in search of Ottawans — 150 of them — to learn their stories of life and death, hope and love, the extraordinary and the everyday. We’ll share one person’s story every day until Canada Day.
“To speak about being a woman in a kitchen is kind of a taboo. I was once told, ‘Oh no, we’re not gonna talk about that, don’t tell me you are one of them.’
“Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be a woman in a male-dominated industry, but don’t create a category based on gender. I hope to be an inspiration for men and women alike. I don’t think about gender when I am cooking and I don’t think it is relevant.
“It does sadden me when I feel women are left out, and it is frustrating when women are set in a different category. Take for example the ‘Best Female Chef’ award from the Michelin guide; I believe that is a step back.
“Cooking is my job, cooking is a lot of people’s job. We do it instinctively, there is nothing that could give away my gender in your plate. It doesn’t matter.
“In my day-to-day, I do admit I would love to be a tall and strong man to lift what needs lifting — it is a physical job. But my first thought is not, ‘I wish I was a man.’ It’s more like, ‘Man, I need to lift some weights, I need me some bigger arms.’ Reality is, I’m a small person.”
— Marysol Foucault. Edgar restaurant, Gatineau, Oct. 21, 2016.