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New Local Organization: Women Chefs and Restaurateurs of Minnesota

Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer of Chef Shack Ranch belong to Women Chefs and Restaurateurs of Minnesota

Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer of Chef Shack Ranch belong to Women Chefs and Restaurateurs of Minnesota

The past year has had female culinary professionals up in arms over the lack of media attention focusing on their work. We've seen it both nationally and locally, and female chefs say they aren't going to take it anymore.

However, they are taking it in stride, and Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer, acting as spokespeople for the newly formed Women Chefs and Restaurateurs of Minnesota, say that these current events are offering up a "wonderful opportunity."

See also: The Twin Cities' Most Humble Chefs

While their newly formed Facebook Page has already garnered over 300 likes in less than a day, Summer and Carlson say they hope to reach out and do more than just the networking that the page will undoubtedly facilitate. And the organization is open to everyone, not just women in the business.

"We just want to highlight women and people and all of the diversity there is and all of the different price points."

When "Best Chefs" lists are compiled by various media entities those lists are often composed heavily of technical innovators who fall into a mid- to top-tier price bracket. The WCRM group wants to shed light on the diversity of styles that traditionally get left off those lists.

"This is an open forum. It's grassroots, it's a great networking tool for reconnecting and creating a broader picture," said Carlson.

The National Organization of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs has been around for more than 20 years, and their annual conference will take place April 19 and 20 in New York City. Summer and Carlson will be attending and posting newsworthy topics regularly on the local Facebook site from New York.

Carlson says that the lack of female culinary professionals in the media will be a hot topic of conversation at the conference. Next year's event takes place in California, but WCRM is hoping to bend the conference president's ear and convince them to bring it to the Twin Cities in 2017.

Stories on the WCRM have so far included things like profiles on important national female chefs, how to find pro uniforms suitable for the female form, a profile on Michelin-starred chef Eugénie Brazier, and a New York Times article on the next generation of female chefs.