Countless culinary documentaries have focused on the lives of brilliant-but-complicated men who cook in high-end restaurants — the Chef’s Table series is perhaps the most popular example of this genre — and now the culinary world is finally getting a film that will shine a light on the women who are changing kitchen culture around the world.
Maya Gallus’s new documentary The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution features three women who have spent most of their adult lives in the kitchen, and five younger chefs who the filmmakers believe are “the hungry talents of a new generation.“ The former group includes French culinary titan Anne-Sophie Pic, London fine-dining star Angela Hartnett, and New York-based Iron Chef and former Annisa owner Anita Lo. The young guard is represented by Toronto luminary Suzanne Barr, former Chumley’s chef Victoria Blamey, Canadian pop-up dinner maestro Charlotte Langley, writer/ex-line cook Ivy Knight, and Amanda Cohen of NYC vegetarian favorite Dirt Candy.
The trailer for the film shows these acclaimed chefs directly addressing the sexism that is rampant throughout professional kitchens. “There’s a saying that ‘men cook for glory and women cook for love,’” Anita Lo remarks. “And if we do, it’s because of how we were raised, and of that social construct. But as a chef, you really want to be judged on your work, you know — gender really has nothing to do with it.”
No word yet on when the film will receive a theatrical release, but The Heat had its world premiere at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival over the weekend, and it’s slated to air on Canadian TV station TVO this fall. Stay tuned for updates on The Heat as they become available.