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Global Chef Shuffle the Grand Gelinaz Is Back

Here’s why you should care

A Tour De France Hosted By Dominique Crenn And Michel Richard Part Of The Bank Of America Dinner Series - Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for NYCWFF

The Grand Gelinaz Shuffle is kind of like a game of musical kitchens: In November, 40 big-name chefs swap kitchens — and lives, really — for a day. The rules are simple: Each chef comes to their new environment with no ingredients, recipes, or staff, soaking up the local culture before eventually preparing dinner at the restaurant.

This year’s chef shuffle takes place on November 10 and features a slew of big names: René Redzepi (Noma), Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn), Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese), and Sean Brock (Husk), just to name a few. The big names are the main draw — diners who can’t make it to Copenhagen, for instance, might find it impossible to ever eat Redzepi’s food if it weren’t for Gelinaz.

But diners have no idea who will be cooking their food until after they've eaten, and the tickets aren't inexpensive: The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa is selling tickets for around $483 per person (and most are already sold out).

Though the event highlights chefs from around the world, it has been called into question for its lack of gender diversity. The first Gelinaz was held in 2013 and featured only one woman in a lineup of 25 chefs, along with a handful of topless female servers. The gender imbalance has persisted in the years since; in 2014, a quarter of the chefs were female, and in 2015, just eight percent were female.

When asked about the lack of gender diversity in the past, organizers have said they “don't want to feel socially pressured about this question.” There are five female chefs featured this year: Dominique Crenn, Bo Songivsava (Bo.lan, Bangkok), Ana Roš (Hiša Franko, Slovenia), Adeline Grattard (Yam'Tcha, Paris), and Manu Buffara (Restaurante Manu, Brazil).

While the event may be lacking in gender diversity, it’s definitely geographically diverse: 17 countries are represented, often providing a big challenge for the participating chefs: In some cases, chefs are thrown into a kitchen in which they don’t even speak the same language.

Gelinaz also offers a resource for lesser-known line cooks, who get to cook alongside a new big name and learn new techniques. (Though in the past, that’s meant 17-hour days with not much downtime.)

Given what an ordeal it is to swap kitchens and execute a production like Gelinaz, it’s perhaps unsurprising that some of the dinners have been referred to as “shitshows” in the past — albeit, shitshows that happen to make for one hell of a party.

This year’s Gelinaz will also feature a new event: Gelinaz Headquarters, touted as 20 chefs, 40 recipes, and four, three-hour dinners. Of the 20 chefs featured at the Gelinaz Headquarters event (also held November 10), just one is female: Clare Smyth.

Tickets for both events officially went on sale Wednesday. Below, the full list of chefs participating in the main Gelinaz event:

Carlo Mirarchi, United States
Christian Puglisi, Denmark
José Avillez, Portugal
Rodolfo Guzman, Chile
Niko Romito, Italy
Yoshihiro Narisawa, Japan
Dan Hunter, Australia
Ben Shewry, Australia
René Redzepi, Denmark
Jock Zonfrillo, Australia
Sven Elverfeld, Germany
Lee Tiernan, United Kingdom
Danny Bowien, United States
Christopher Kostow, United States
Adeline Grattard, France
Matt Orlando, Denmark
Vladimir Mukhin, Russia
Zaiyu Hasegawa, Japan
Dave Pynt, Malaysia
Christian Puglisi, Denmark
Mikael Jonsson, Sweden
Sean Gray, United States
Virgilio Martinez, Peru
David Thompson, Thailand
Paul Carmichael, Australia
Anand Gaggan, Thailand
Inaki Aizpitarte, France
Riccardo Camanini, Italy
Dominique Crenn, United States
Simone Tondo, France
Alex Atala, Brazil
Blaine Wentzel, United States
Sean Brock, Untied States
Daniel Burns, United States
Alexandre Silva, Portugal
Massimiliano Alajmo, Italy
Massimo Bottura, Italy
Manu Buffara, Brazil
Mitsuharu Tsumura, Peru
Ana Ros, Slovenia
Bo Songivsava, Thailand

René Redzepi, Dominique Crenn, Other Chefs are Swapping Kitchens for a Day [E]
28 International Chefs Surprised Wylie Dufresne With Tribute Gelinaz! Dinner [E]
All Gelinaz Coverage [E]

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