Celebrating Food and Eating Together Is the Aim of Cooking
New Zealand-born Margot Henderson, joint head chef of East London’s Rochelle Canteen and author of You’re All Invited, tells quarterly food journal Lucky Peach about what she loves, and what she doesn’t, working in the restaurant industry.
When Henderson had children she explains, and “[husband] Fergus went off to open St. John and I stayed on at the French [House Dining Room] … I began to realise … Women don’t need the same courage as men. They need more. I am always interested in why there are not more women running kitchens. They’re not in charge. They are still the outsiders.”
“And there’s a reason. I think it’s ancient. I think it goes right back to the Stone Age. Women produce food; men provide food.
“We need to find a place for the gatherer as well as the hunter.
“I feel we will lose the old ways – the delicious, simple ways. I worry for all the young men who want to be superstars … and have forgotten what their grannies cooked.
“What I am passionate about is when food is cooked as a celebration of the uniqueness of an occasion, a coming together of the season and the location.”
The ultimate purpose of cooking, Henderson says is the same for men and women: “Nourishment, eating, the pleasures of being together.”
Original article by Margot Henderson, Lucky Peach, December 2013.
Photo by Andrew Crowley.