It’s not often we hear about women in kitchens without waiting for the punchline. But jokes and stereotypes aside, restaurants London-wide house a plethora of fierce female talent – just look at Anne-Sophie Pic with her 3 Michelin stars (the forth female chef ever to receive this) who has just launched in Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square. With March 8th marking International Women’s Day, Balls and Company on Soho’s Greek Street have announced an event to spotlight the many stellar females cooking up a delicious storm in the industry.
A strong line-up of some of London’s best female chefs will take to the stove for a one-off exquisite five-course dinner, helmed by Balls and Company founder, Bonny Porter. The collaborative menu is inspired by women who have played important roles in influencing each of the chef’s culinary endeavors. Home style cooking features heavily, with many of the chefs drawing on family recipes to pay homage to their upbringing. Bubbledogs founder Sandia Chang will welcome guests with crab potsticker canapes in black vinegar and pickled ginger as a nod to her Chinese heritage, and Olia Hercules, author of Mamushka, will bring Ukranian elements to her starter of fermented sorrel broth which will be served with aromatic Moldovian flatbread created by GAIL’s pastry chef Roz Bado.
Mentors and colleagues are also honoured at the table. Freddie Janssen, YBF Street Food Winner and author of F.A.T pickles, credits Latin American chef Elena Reygadas as the muse for her Mexican pink mole tacos, and Weligama founder Emily Dobbs will serve the pickled pumpkin, burrata and speck with chestnut and sage oil dish she learned from former colleague Skye Gyngell whilst in the kitchens at Spring. Margot Henderson, co-founder of Rochelle Canteen, will bring a beloved dish of braised squid and fennel to the table as an ode to Italian cookery writer Marcella Hazan, and Tanya Steytler of Snap + Rye will finish the night on a sweet note reminiscent of her grandmother with saffron bread and butter pudding accompanied by Cornish clotted ice cream and ginger
The evening unites the immense culinary talent of women in the industry and celebrates their incredible achievements over the years. A menu inspired by others will certainly incite further feasts for female chefs and restaurateurs and will no doubt be a strong fist pump for women in kitchens everywhere.
Balls and Company’s International Women’s Day dinner will take place on 8th March, with sittings at 6.00pm and 8.30pm