“I was told early in my career: ‘You can be an amazing wife, an amazing parent, or an amazing chef,’” says Melissa Chickerneo, corporate executive chef at Behind the Scenes Catering. “‘You can do two of these things, but never three.’ And every day, I try to prove that person wrong.”
Kristine Subido, director of culinary at LinkedIn, Bon Appetit Management Company, concurs with Chickerneo’s sentiment, saying that being told what she couldn’t do has only motivated her to work harder. “If you’re also younger, you’re walking in the kitchen, you get a lot of looks,” she says. “They think you’re the salad, or pastry (chef)... but you want to win at the game, and prove them wrong. So you kick their butt on the line.”
She Brings the Heat
Smithfield Culinary recently launched a campaign, “She Brings the Heat,” designed to shine a light on women, like Gold, Chickerneo, and Subido, who have held or currently hold top positions at industry brands. The company strongly feels it’s a topic that should be discussed more often—and hopes that the discussion will inspire more women to pursue careers in the restaurant industry.