A number of chefs are calling for an end to the violence that is all too common in restaurant kitchens in France. According to France 24, many prestigious French chefs participated in a panel on Monday in Paris to discuss the psychological, physical, and verbal violence "frequently endured by young and apprentice cooks."
The BBC writes that the meeting was inspired by an incident that took place in April, where an assistant chef at the Michelin-starred Le Pré Catelan was caught burning a young cook "several times with a small, white-hot spoon." Other chefs also shared similar stories, with many admitting that they were "forced to endure insults, slaps, and even punches" as apprentices in well-respected kitchens.
Chef Adeline Grattard recalled not only hearing slurs from male staffers, but she was also forced to carry heavier objects than her male counterparts as punishment "for being a woman."
Ludo Lefebvre — who owns Trois Mec in Los Angeles — points out that the problem is more rampant in France than in other countries: "When I moved to the US, I used to shout all the time at my employees, I ended up in court... It's different over there. You talk more openly, you resolve your problems together."
Thankfully, the chef caught burning the apprentice was fired and the group behind the panel hopes that now the "era of silence is over."
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