The March issue of Mpls.St. Paul features 15 male chefs on the cover, and no women. A group of female chefs and restaurateurs tell the magazine:
We’re outraged at the viewpoint taken by the cover and subsequent editorial comments on the March issue of Mpls St. Paul Magazine depicting the best chefs of the Twin Cities as all male. It’s a false and embarrassing representation of our diverse food community.
Restaurant critic Mecca Bos writes in City Pages: “Conventional wisdom says that there simply aren’t very many top female chefs, and if we choose to pluck one or two women and hold them up as tokens, the result is disingenuous and untrue. But female chefs are crying bullshit.”
Mpls.St.Paul food and dining editor Stephanie March defends the all-male cover:
People have suggested that we should have included women in the picture just to be more fair.
Quite honestly, isn’t the “token” metric just as offensive as a blind eye? I happen to be female, and I think so. I hope that when you read my words you think “that Steph March is one crisp cookie” not “that Steph March is one crisp cookie, for a girl.”
We judged them on their food, on their restaurant, not their religion, sexual preference, or gender.
Update: I asked Mpls.St.Paul editorial director Jayne Haugen Olson about the flap and she responded:
Our dining team chose to turn the spotlight on a dozen ‘best of the best’ that are pushing boundaries/elevating the local dining scene. The debate and discussion was always about the food/the restaurants and who is creating it regardless of race, gender or sexual preference.
Did we anticipate the level of criticism from the local women in the restaurant community? We anticipated some criticism, but again, we stand by our story of highlighting these top 12 restaurants.
* Where are the women? (startribune.com)
* The missing women of Mpls.St.Paul’s cover photo (citypages.com)
* “I thought: Crap, I wish there was at least one woman here” (mspmag.com)