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Dominique Crenn Blasts San Pellegrino For Gender Inequality

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She says the brand’s competition needs to evolve

Photo by Patricia Chang
Monica Burton is the deputy editor of

Dominique Crenn, the San Francisco chef, Chef’s Table star, and champion for women in the industry is, once again, calling out sexism where she sees it. The San Pellegrino-sponsored World’s 50 Best Restaurants List awarded Crenn the dubious honor of World’s Best Female Chef 2016, and now, with San Pellegrino’s gender bias newly on display, she is asking them to “please evolve and do the right thing.”

A screen shot of the jurors for San Pellegrino’s 2018 Young Chef competition is making the rounds on social media for the disappointing image it presents: a total of 37 jurors from nine different regions and not a single woman. The competition, which aims to find “the best young chef in the world,” selects jurors to represent 21 different geographic regions. These chefs judge 210 semifinalists, and some serve as mentors to the regional finalists during the competition.

According to the San Pellegrino site, there are women jurors in regions not pictured in this particular post, including Jen Agg for Canada, April Bloomfield for the USA, and Ana Ros for Eastern Europe, among others, but the disparity is stark. Crenn called out San Pellegrino for the gross oversight on Instagram. Beneath the photo of the male judges, she wrote in full:

I thought we all got the memo that women are 50 percent of the population. Oh wait..54 percent.. I guess @sanpellegrino_official @sanpellegrino_us ...YOU DIDN'T..your leadership skills are disappointing, You are not inspiring and I hope you learn from this, and show up for all of us. Please evolve and do the right thing. "we are In 9 countries not one female representative, truly shocking considering we are 50 percent of the population shame on you @SanPellegrino

This is, of course, just the latest example of gender bias from chef competitions. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List, formerly known as the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants List, is well known for its lack of female-run restaurants, and as Crenn proves, a World’s Best Female Chef honor is sorely insufficient.

@dominiquecrenn [Instagram]
S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018: Local Juries and Mentors [S.Pellegrino]