March is Women’s History Month and I’m dedicating this post to celebrate fellow women in their vital roles in history, specifically in pioneering the written cookbook. Before we get to that, I do want to share the link to resources for the vast contributions that women have made in history overall that may astound you. Do take a minute to check out a few Women in History.
Here is an interesting timeline about cookbooks and women given prominence/recognition regarding cooking from Racheal Ray’s Every Day Magazine (scaled down from the original list):
“1796 – The first cookbook was written by an American. “American Cookery” by Amelia Simmons, is published in Hartford, Connecticut.
1866 -The first-known cookbook by an African American woman in the United States, is published – Malinda Russell’s Domestic Cook Book.
1921 – The General Mills advertising department created the Betty Crocker personality to answer consumers’ cooking and baking questions.
1946 – The precursor to the Culinary Institute of American (CIA) opened in New Haven, Connecticut. Famed alumni include Cat Cora and Anne Burrell. In the inaugural class of 50 students, only one is a woman.
1961 – Julia Child’s cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” is published.
1963 – The French Chef debuts on public television and turns Julia Child into America’s most famous TV chef.
1971 – Alice Waters and her colleagues open Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, pioneering the California cuisine movement.
1976 – Mimi Sheraton is the first female restaurant critic at the New York Times, a prominent post that she holds for eight years.
1987 – The first American woman Madeline Triffon passes the Court of Master Sommeliers’ diploma exam. She was only the second woman ever to achieve the designation.
1992 – Alice Waters becomes the first woman ever to be awarded the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef.
1997 – On the Friends TV sitcom, Monica (Courteney Cox) is appointed head chef.
1999 – The James Beard Foundation honored Edna Lewis as a “Living Legend” for her contributions to Southern Cooking.
2005 – Cristela Comerford becomes the first woman and the first Filipino American to be appointed White House executive chef.
2008 – In Bravo’s Top Chef fourth season, Stephanie Izard is named the first female winner. In 14 winners, only four have been women.
2012 – Cat Cora is the first female chef to be inducted into the American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame.
2016 – More females than males enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America is for the first time ever.”
We’ve come a long way baby! Thank you ladies, one and all, for forging the path for the rest of us. And, it is because of the milestones these women achieved that I can humbly announce publishing my new cookbook, “From Vine to Table: The Unexpected Joy of Zucchini’s Magic.”