An Auckland-based photographer examines the changing role of modern women in the domestic and commercial kitchen. by Victoria Baldwin
A woman’s place is in the kitchen – a well-known and often-used phrase, yet when you look around most professional kitchens and read top-chef lists, why do women feature so little?
Throughout history, as cooking moved beyond the home and into a more commercial world, tasks that were once dominated by female ‘cooks’ became those performed by male ‘chefs’. In recent times though, things are shifting. Flicking through Instagram and the pages of food magazines, I see innovative female chefs rewriting the restaurant game, using their feminine appeal to reach new audiences. I see bloggers creating cooking revolutions from their home kitchens. What was once a place of oppression, has been subverted by many women to bring them success and personal agency.
‘A Woman’s Place’ is a project that examines the changing role of modern women in the domestic and commercial kitchen. Each subject is a forerunner in her field, helping to defy preconceived notions of gender bias. By showcasing the women in a hyper-feminised manner, I hope to evoke reflection within the viewer on how much has changed in this industry over the past half century, and what we have yet to achieve.
I’m an Auckland-based photographer with a passion for food and the human connection that it inspires. My work showcases a vivid realism through my bold and optimistic images. I am the Vice-President of the Advertising and Illustrative Photographers Association and was the instigator of ‘Women’s Work’, a group exhibition for International Women’s Day. Originally from Sydney, and coming from a family in food production, food was part of my story from a young age. Upon finding a love for photography, these two worlds naturally combined. Since then I have delved into every part of the process and now find myself equally at home in a paddock as I am in the studio.
A background in theatre has resulted in a great love of mise en scène. I work closely with stylists and understand that what’s not in the scene is just as important as what is. This considered approach in combination with my structured process of image making, results in work that is not only bold and impactful, but also highly relevant to the project’s display medium. victoriabaldwin.com
Operations Manager of Odettes Eatery & Hugo’s Bistro
Poi has been enjoying the hospo life for over 15 years. While there is a bit of paperwork involved, the job is varied, so you can sometimes find her washing dishes, behind the bar or on the coffee machine, in a section, chatting too much to the lovely regulars – wherever needed. She caught the hospo buzz in Italy on a student exchange, where her host family owned and ran a 250-seat restaurant near Milan. Some of the waiters were 60 years old and still loving service, and it was treated as a profession. Also, having chefs to make treats and snacks for her was the best! She’s currently addicted to anchovies, preferably Ortiz, but anything will do.
A Lady Butcher
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Hannah started her career as a chef, moving to New Zealand five years ago. Upset by the selection of mainly imported charcuterie available here she began making cured meats at home and eventually A Lady Butcher was born. Sustainability and no-waste eating are the driving factors behind A Lady Butcher and Hannah ensures every part of the animal is used, but it’s more than that; she knows each of the farmers personally and knows that their animals are always well cared for.
ELLA ROSE SHNAPP
Grower, Maker, Educator & Beekeeper
Ella Rose is a freelance ecological educator, food grower and beekeeper with a love for food and plants. Coming from a tiny Scottish village, she hopes to bring the sharing, caring village values with her through her work. Ella Rose works with communities, young folk and people with disabilities to care for people and the land.